Five Things Scientists Should be Doing on Social Media


Sean Ekins shared five tips with us for what you can do as a researcher and scientist to help elevate your scientific career.

The odds are high that you may have just shared something with family or friends on Facebook, or you tweeted your response to an event while reading this and drinking your coffee. But do you know that the social media tools you use for fun, post photos/videos to, and consume media on can also help you reach the public, highlight your science, and increase your network as a scientist? I have identified five things you can add to your typical social media activity. These simple actions can help your career, or might just lead to a new collaboration or discovery.

Twitter: Twitter is simple to use and it’s easy to share the link to something you have done. Just do it in moderation. Maybe your paper was published, and you think it’s worth sharing with others. Why not post a link to the preprint or author copy? Perhaps you have a new lab member– introduce them to your network in a tweet with their twitter handle. Perhaps you put out a blog on your science– share the link on Twitter.

LinkedIn: Linkedin is not just for business managers to share their greatest coaching ideas or meaningful quotes (although there is a lot of that). Why not post an update of what you are doing? Like with Twitter, try to post the link to a paper, presentation or blog. You can also provide information on your papers in your profile so that anyone can find you (perhaps a recruiter) and get a better idea of your expertise and productivity.

SlideShare: If you just got back from a conference you probably have a presentation or poster that you think might be worth sharing. Why not post it on Slideshare? You can then tweet out a link and also connect the presentation to Linkedin so that it appears on your profile.

Figshare is a great place to post preprints (confirm that the journal you submitted to allows this), slides, data, supplemental files, additional information, posters, and more. You can specify who to share with and what needs to be kept private or public.

Kudos: There are plenty of places to post your papers and preprints such as ResearchGate, but what about enriching your research output so that you can provide more insight on what you have done over the course of your career in terms of publications? This service helps you track the citations and altmetrics on articles, and also provides a dashboard of all of your papers.

Remember, be nice on social media. Like everything in life, use it in moderation and do not abuse it.