Scholarly communication and possible changes in the context of social media: A Finnish case study

by F Gu, G Widén-Wulff
Electronic Library ()


Purpose - The focus of this paper is to study the influence of social media on scholarly communication. The aim is to provide an overview of researchers' use of Web 2.0 techniques, and discuss a possible change of information behaviors in the context of scholarly communication. Design/methodology/approach - A web survey was distributed to a targeted sample of university staff (professors, teachers, researchers, and doctoral students). SPSS was utilized as a main tool to synthesize and analyze data, and present the results. Findings - Web 2.0 tools are well-known to researchers. Most researchers are familiar with blogs, wikis, social networks, multimedia sharing, and online document. Social media provide a convenient environment for scholarly communication. Depending on different aims within the scholarly communication process, researchers choose appropriate modes of communication in their research work. Research limitations/implications - A combination of content analysis with survey and/or interviews may highlight other aspects of Web 2.0, which is not possible using a single method of content analysis. Originality/value - There are few studies on the changes of scholarly communication in the context of Web 2.0. This study provides new insights for exploring the effects of Web 2.0 tools on scholarly communication and the development of new information behavior to match the scholarly environment of social media. This understanding can aid the researchers to keep abreast of new characteristics of scholarly communication and help the librarians to develop the correlative services in the scholarly environment of social media. Copyright © 2011 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.

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