Vitae and the Open University are proud to launch the Handbook of Social Media for Researchers and Supervisors: Digital technologies for research dialogues.
Funded through Vitae Innovate and developed by the Open University this handbook aims to assist researchers and their supervisors to adopt and use social media tools in the service of their research, and, in particular in engaging in the discourse of research. The handbook presents an innovative suite of resources for developing and maintaining a social media strategy for research dialogues
Social media such as wikis, blogs, social bookmarking tools, social networking websites and photo- and video-sharing websites facilitate the gathering and sharing of information and resources in entirely new ways. The whole nature of collaboration and the ways in which research is being managed and undertaken are developing rapidly and radically.
Social media is changing the behaviour and expectations of researchers, employers and funding bodies.
As a result, Vitae is working with researchers and researcher developers to further the understanding of researchers' digital development needs, to identify the professional skills necessary for digital literacies in the Vitae Researcher Development Framework , and to provide development opportunities.
Alison Mitchell, Deputy Director of Vitae commented that
‘...researcher development must follow researchers into the digital age to support professional development in an international collaborative context. Vitae resources along with the new RDF Planner have been developed to support researchers and integrate access to the Vitae Researcher Development Framework effectively in the digital world.’
Vitae has also joined with a number of professional associations in supporting the JISC Developing Digital Literacies (DDL) programme to promote the development of coherent, inclusive and holistic institutional strategies and organisational approaches for developing digital literacies in higher education.
Vitae is encouraging higher education institutions to embed digital literacies within their researcher development activities.
Alison Mitchel said of the findings of the project:
‘Whilst researchers are confident users of digital literacies, there are perceived barriers and potential impacts on work- life balance, potentially affecting equality of opportunity, which should be considered by institutions in developing a digital literate community. Researcher developers see digital literacy as important and yet may not be confident users themselves.’
For more information, visit www.vitae.ac.uk/socialmediahandbook