Thursday, January 29, 2009

Academic Research in Social Media

In my last post I shared a summary of some academic research I had done. It started with a post to the APR group on LinkedIn, just a sentence about one result of my research I thought would interest the group. I got several responses of interest asking to know more, so I shared it on my blog. I got some interesting responses from academics and practitioners alike, which is a kind of feedback you don't always get in regular conference presentations and journal publications.

That led me to add a blog post to PROpen Mic, a social media site for PR students and faculty. I asked about whether academics sharing research in a social media forum might one day qualify as scholarship when professors are reviewed for tenure and promotion. Not immediately, seems to be the consensus of professors from various points in the country who deal with entrenched 'publish or perish' systems, according to comments on PROpenMic. 

A slow change may be coming. Tiffany Gallicano of the University of Oregon commented to my PROpenMic post and shared information on her PRPost blog that some publishers do not see a blog post sharing research being "previously published" and will still consider manuscripts for journal publication. 

So, we might see more professors sharing scientific research results about PR on blogs and in social media venues. It still won't count for much in campus review committees, but it will be in the original spirit of why professors are expected to do research: to inform the profession.

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