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Values of Social Network for Scientists (by Comprendia)

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“Here at Comprendia, we’ve never advocated that Facebook should be recreated for scientists, as there are 700,000+ life science graduates in the US already using the application,* and they are likely already connected there to lab mates and colleagues. Rather, we should broaden our idea of the ‘social network’ to include any online community of scientists, not just those which are similar to Facebook. The value of social networks for scientists lies in faster access to information relevant to their research and the communities that are made more available by new tools. Here are 6 successful examples which can be used to understand scientific social communities. (…)

  1. Facebook Pages & LinkedIn Groups. Scientists have used mailing lists and forums for years. Facebook pages and LinkedIn groups are a ’2.0′ version of them with the benefits of centralization and easier access to participants. Life science companies, most notably Life Technologies, have fostered social networks in the form of Facebook pages centered on a topic.
  2. Twitter Hashtags. Scientists use Twitter to share scientific blog posts and news, to find friends and colleagues around a topic or event, and sometimes to vent about their situation. Hashtags, which are text identifiers for status updates on a topic, allow a Twitter social network to form around it…
  3. ScienceOnline
  4. True Social Networks. (…) ResearchGate’s has 1.4 million users, as we know that scientists don’t have time for frivolous endeavors, especially when they’re under the watchful eye of their Principal Investigator. As we noted in our post a year ago, there has to be a value for them to participate, and the successful ones center around research publications. BiomedExpertsCiteULikeResearchBlogging, andResearchGate had the highest traffic in our quick study, and they all rely heavily on publications. I like to say that PubMed was the first social network for scientists.
  5. Publication Sharing/Open Access. Related to the last point is a subject that requires its own mention as it transverses from proper social networks to desktop applications, Twitter, and even a movement to make research publications more accessible.Mendeley is the rock star of the publication sharing/open access genre, boasting 1.77 million users who are sharing 169 million publications. When we speak with life scientists at conferences or client visits, we often hear about the application even from those who are not strong believers in social media. Additionally, these applications have whetted scientists’ appetites for more open access to publications
  6. Blogs.  “blogs were one of the first forms of social media for scientists.”  Blog aggregators such as ResearchBlogging orScienceSeeker feature hundreds of blogs and likely a comparable number of communities focused around individual research topics.
(…)
At conferences and networking events today, we are seeing a transition, albeit slowly, to a new breed of scientists who understand the importance of scientific networks. We need to adjust our definition of scientific social networks to understand the next steps towards helping scientists use them to thrive.
What Is A Scientific Social Network? 6 Thriving and Inspiring Examples
Comprendia, March 12th, 2012

Written by hbasset

March 21, 2012 at 8:06 pm

One Response

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  1. […] The following blog post by Herve Basset (http://www.linkedin.com/in/hervebasset) and Comprendia (http://comprendia.com/) focuses on the value of social networks for Scientists https://scienceintelligence.wordpress.com/2012/03/21/values-of-social-network-for-scientists-by-compr….  […]


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