Use of blogs, Twitter and Facebook by UK PhD Students for Scholarly Communication

Yimei Zhu, Rob Procter


This study explores scholarly use of social media by PhD students through a mix-method approach of qualitative interviews and a case study of #phdchat conversation. Social media tools, such as blogs, Twitter and Facebook, can be used by PhD students and early career researchers to promote their professional profiles, disseminate their work to a wider audience quickly, and gain feedback and support from peers across the globe. There are also difficulties and potential problems such as the lack of standards and incentives, the risks of ideas being stolen, lack of knowledge of how to start and maintain using social media tool and the potential need to invest significant amount of time and effort. We found that respondents employed various strategies to maximize the impact of their scholarly communication practice.


social media, scholarly communication, blogging, Twitter, Facebook, PhD students, early career researchers

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