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Social Media Is Reshaping British Universities' Value Systems in Scramble for Likes, Shares

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Some responses to social media posts.

Universities value judgements about research are becoming coupled to social media platforms as they compete for funding by demonstrating their influence beyond academia, an analysis suggests.

Credit: Digital Shifters

Researchers at the U.K.'s University of Cambridge looked at universities' use of social media in "impact" case studies and found that their value judgments about research have been tied to social media platforms.

The researchers scanned 1,675 Research Excellence Framework (REF) case studies for 42 terms relating to social media, and found that social media was mentioned in about 25% of REF submissions.

The researchers said a high number of case studies claimed impact using such statistical information as follower counts, comments, views, downloads, likes, mentions, and shares.

Researcher Katy Jordan said, "At the moment, the main incentive academics are offered for using social media is amplification: the idea that your research might go viral. We should be moving towards an institutional culture that focuses more on how these platforms can facilitate real engagement with research."

From University of Cambridge Faculty of Education News (U.K.)
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Abstracts Copyright © 2021 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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