Category: Social Media

For many academics, the web is just a means to an end: Shifting gears to solve the digital divide.

The academic community faces a significant problem in staying up-to-date with new technologies. Often the easiest option for researchers is not to engage rather than trying a new way of working. Andy Tattersall looks at the lack of adoption of digital technologies and argues that in academia, the problem has often been a lack of translation: academics are advised how […]

“Brain Study Confirms Gender Stereotypes”: How science communication can fuel modern sexism.

The way much research on sexual differentiation is conducted and communicated has come under intense criticism from scholars in both the natural and social sciences. Cliodhna O’Connor describes how traditional gender stereotypes are projected onto scientific information and its subsequent reporting. But the dynamics of online spaces have also facilitated more nuanced debate about the social implications of research, and its […]

The Organized Mind: How to better structure our time in the age of social media and constant distraction.

The information age is drowning us in a deluge of data, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to separate facts from pseudo-facts, objective from biased sources, and at the same time, we’re all being asked to do more at home and at work. Daniel Levitin reviews the cognitive neuroscience of attention and memory, presents the differences between mind-wandering mode and […]

Scholarly communities face crucial social challenges in maintaining digital networks that can sustain participation.

If we are going to take full advantage of the affordances that digital networks provide—facilitating forms of scholarly communication from those as seemingly simple as the tweet to those as complex as the journal article, the monograph, and their born-digital descendants— Kathleen Fitzpatrick argues we must focus as much on the social challenges that these networks raise as we do […]

Collaborative writing tools, useless titles and a long-term strategy for open science: Popular Posts of 2014

It has become tradition the last few years for us to take a look back at the past year’s most popular posts on the Impact blog. This year’s list features a diverse range of topics from collaborative writing tools to the more theoretical implications of neoliberalism on research openness. Many thanks to all our contributors for creating and allowing us […]

A political economy of Twitter data? Conducting research with proprietary data is neither easy nor free.

Social media research is on the rise but researchers are increasingly at the mercy of the changing limits and access policies of social media platforms. API and third party access to platforms can be unreliable and costly. Sam Kinsley outlines the limitations and stumbling blocks when researchers gather social media data. Should researchers be using data sources (however potentially interesting/valuable) […]

Book Review: Sharing Our Lives Online: Risks and Exposure in Social Media by David R. Brake

The growth of social media sees us heading towards a radically open society. David R. Brake aims to provide an overview of the harms that can be posed by unwary social media use for both adults and children. He then draws on in-depth interviews, and a range of related theories of human behaviour to consider why this happens. This is […]

Taking pleasure in small numbers: How intimately are social media stats governing us?

Critical academics have long been wary of the way formal quantitative data get used to rank, assess and differentially value universities, departments and people. Do similar concerns apply to social networking statistics? Or, is this data on likes, views and followers quite a different matter? At a time when pressures exist to grow one’s numbers, Davina Cooper asks whether there can […]