If you build it…

As a researcher employing social media tools as research instrument, a report from the Research Information Network in July 2010 was an interesting comparison with my own experiences presented at Ethicomp 2010 in Tarragona, Spain.

The RIN report entitled ‘If you build it will they come‘ recognises the current limited use being made by what is also a small group of researchers. Having personally endured some personal heartache (since both aren’t fully accepted in academia) from the employment of both an action research methodology and social media in his research, I was pleased to see the conclusion on page 53 state:

“Researchers themselves are the most important enablers and communicators of emerging best practice. It is important that they should consider the full range of available tools and services as an intrinsic part of the research and scholarly communication process, and seek to learn from each other about new developments and practices that prove beneficial. Where web 2.0 tools and services have proved useful, the researchers involved can play a valuable role in exchanging information, thereby increasing awareness of the range of available tools and services (generic and discipline specific) and their utility for particular activities and settings. Better sharing of experience about how new offerings might be usefully and effectively deployed may be key to encouraging uptake and learning about effective use.”

Having written conference papers about both methodology and tools, I think I’ve done my initial share, but I do hope to continue in developing their use and promoting them in the future.

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The organisers of ETHICOMP 2011 in Sheffield, England have issued a call-for-papers.

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