Social media: A guide for researchers (Ruth Filery Travis case study)

Added by Catherine Gray on 07 February 2011 18:13

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Ruth Filery Travis

I am an AHRC-funded PhD student. I undertook an MSc at University College London in the Technology and Analysis of Archaeological materials. After that I worked for a while for English Heritage.

At this early stage in my career my primary method of dissemination is through my blog, along with rarer opportunities to present at conferences or give posters. I am attempting to get a paper published in an academic journal, but the really long lead-in time from first draft to publication is very off-putting as is the completely opaque process and the complete lack of any actually useful guidelines. I think traditional academic journals are really difficult to access for the first time because they tend to come across as more of ‘who you know’ than ‘what you know’.

I typically use Wordpress Blog, Twitter specifically for academic/professional position, Delicious (but not particularly), Zotero for citation (though I refuse to pay for all the storage I would need to properly share my citations), Friendfeed (only for specific actions/conferences etc) and Academia. I also use Facebook but mostly for social reasons.

The one thing which is more important my professional life is my blog, because it is the most constructive and it gets good traffic because of the resources I post. I feel it is good because it gives enquirers a good idea of who I am, allows me to publicise myself in a way I control, and I enjoy being able to help others.

The one thing that discouraged me from using social media is that it is time wasting! I think most of them are largely pointless

I feel that the major hurdles to the adoption of social tools are actually traditional ‘gatekeepers’ (journal editors, interview panels) who don’t think that they are good for anything. We’d all use them more if the people who control our career profession understood them

Ruth Filery-Travis’ blog: Finds and Features http://findsandfeatures.wordpress.com

The main project page for Social media: A guide for researchers is here.


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