School of Information Sciences -- Faculty Publications and Other Works

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The use of social media in scholarly communication has grown in recent years, and consequently, scholars’ uses of social media has gained importance as a research topic.The aim of this article is to shed light on the role of social media in scholars’ work. The research presents findings from a survey (N=528) conducted in Finland in late 2016. There exists no prior research on the role and uses social media among Finnish scholars. This research specifically focuses on the perceived role of social media in information seeking and sharing. We also study the differences between disciplines, age groups, and positions. Results show that scholars do not perceive social media as being central for their or information seeking and sharing, and that social media services are not replacing traditional publishing forums. Scholars do appreciate the social media services intended and developed for academic use, and find them as having value for their work than general social media services. However, according to our results, social media services have a marginal role in scholars’ information seeking and scholars infrequently share their readings in social media platforms. Some disciplinary differences existed, but there was no connection between scholars’ age or position and the role of social media. Our study shows that the role of social media in academic work and scholarly communication is still rather small. Further research is needed to find out what are the reasons for scholars lack of interest towards social media.

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