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Social media research benefits

Social media - a research opportunity

Written by Cat Wilkins, ADRC-Wales

Email: c.j.wilkins@swansea.ac.uk


Social media platforms do more than just provide a forum to promote research.

Social media offers opportunities and benefits for researchers in:

  1. Widely and efficiently disseminating research
  2. Effectively engaging people in research
  3. Accessing resources and the global research community
  4. Resourcefully attracting attention from potential collaborators and funders

Benefits of using social media in research

Researchers use social media to share ideas, solve problems, view webinars and tutorials. They access journals and read publications, leave comments and ask questions.

You can reach a global audience for discussions in your field of research.

Question and answer sites help researchers interested in, for example, statistics, machine learning, data analysis or data visualizations.

Find people, interesting research, organisations, interesting content, such as cool data visualisations through Twitter follows and networks. Read blogs on data science, methodology or statistics.

Use LinkedIn as a portal to data science articles, posters, reports. Post recent presentations, promote research, project findings and outcomes. Use the digital space for exposure: ‘look at what I’ve just found/done’.

Social media for research

There are a range of well-known, well-used platforms and resources at the researcher’s disposal including:

  • Google Scholar
  • stackoverflow
  • stack exchange
  • Research Gate
  • ‘R’ software
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn

Benefits for research

Social media is a place to publish your research reports, findings and outputs. Promote your research, gain exposure, engage with the public.

Share experiences, hone your research skills. Learn more about your field. Learn from other people, globally. Solve problems and find solutions to challenges – chances are someone somewhere will have worked through the same problems before you.

Demonstrate impact. Create impact

Show your funders you have generated interest and engagement in your research, that their money is well spent.

Attract funders. Win funding.

Market yourself and your skills along with your research: anticipate where the next grant or funding is coming from and how you demonstrate your successes.

Social media research success 

Karen Tingay and Athanasios Anastasiou from ADRC-Wales used social media with unprecedented rewards for their research aspirations.

Karen posted a research poster and upcoming conference presentation on LinkedIn which gained exposure and secured major funding.

"Self-promotion wasn’t the objective; it was just enthusiasm and excitement to shout about what we were doing. I’ve never had to apply for funding, I’ve always been approached. Big funders come to me."

Karen is a statistician and Research Support Officer helping researchers accessing administrative data for their research with ADRC-W.

To discover how ADRC-W research support team can help you access administrative data to answer your research questions contact the ADRC-W team.


Written by Cat Wilkins from ADRC-Wales and published on the ADRN blog under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-SA 4.0. Images used with permission.


Page last updated: 24/10/2017