One key role that we as scholars and researchers in academia have to take into consideration is that we are not only expected to be successful in the classroom and teaching and mentoring students, but we also have to make sure that we establish ourselves as leaders in the scholarly community.
The way to accomplish of course is through conference presentations, invited presentations and lectures at various conferences (both research and professional) as well as publish. Publishing in academic journals is a thorough process – you first have to determine which journal would 1) be interested in the area of research you have explored 2) has published similar studies using either the specific methods or theory and 3) is a key research outlet and forum for sharing the latest trends, issues, and studies in the particular discipline. The review process for submitting to a journal can take as long as a month, but even be as long as six or seven months at a time. Through review among the various reviewers and editors, the researcher will receive feedback on whether or not their research study and publication has been 1) accepted; 2) accepted with major revisions or 3) rejected. There are of course many different options to take for each of these, but the key thing to remember is that it will take time, energy, and dedication to get the research study published in the scholarly community.
With this being said, with certain areas of interest in a particular discipline (ex. public relations and social media, social media and crisis communications) – how can researchers be able to share their findings and research with the academic community in a timely manner? Well – one way that scholars are getting their research noticed to their various audiences and followers (including the scholarly community) is through social media. Whether it is posting the findings and feedback about the study with followers on Twitter or even showing where people can go directly to a personal website of the researcher to find out more information about the study.
However, the other route to look at is online journals – which a lot of them are peer-reviewed and the studies are published quite quickly. For example, I submitted a research study with a few colleagues of mine on our study looking at online and offline relationships in connection with social networking sites and loneliness to the Media Psychology Review. Not only is the study posted on the online journal website, but I also have the PDF version of the paper on my own personal website for followers and others to review at their leisure.
There are many benefits and opportunities for researchers to share their research studies with the scholarly community in a tangible way with social media including writing blog postings about the research, providing commentary or podcasts about the research with various individuals, posting multimedia elements showcasing research (Slideshare), and even presenting the information and results in a webinar or online video meeting.
Of course, those that are opposed of sharing research and their findings on social media may say that it does not count in the academic community or count towards putting another line on the CV. However, by NOT being present on social media and sharing what you are doing in terms of research is a huge risk towards your professional reputation as a scholar and professional. Social media (personal blog, personal website, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Slideshare, Quora, etc) allow you as an individual researcher and professional to establish your reputation and expertise in a particular area within your discipline, which is built and invested in over time and among these various digital platforms. It is also good to also include traditional ways in sharing you research interests with others by doing invited professional presentations, guest lectures, and presenting at dissertation colloquiums.
By establishing this credibility and trustworthiness of information with your research, people will be able to recognize your work, expertise and understanding about a particular phenomenon or issue in a particular industry, and make the connections on the research study and research agenda. In addition, having a presence on social media with your research will also provide a good record of your research agenda, interests, and expertise on the job market and for future employers and collaborators on research projects. It also allows protection for the researcher if they use social media for their research ideas, interests, and studies by providing a timeline and documentation in the digital academic community – which is definitely something that researchers today have to be aware of and be actively managing their reputation with this specific focus in mind.
All of these issues will continue to be present in both the professional and scholarly community – the key thing to remember is that in the 21st century, there are many opportunities and outlets to where you can go with your research, so it is key to explore all of these various possibilities since they all come together to form your professional reputation in research and consulting in your respective discipline.
Hope you all are having a wonderful day!