Speaking to Times Higher Education ahead of the event, he said that there was often a lack of understanding about what researchers were trying to do with social media.
“At the very basic level, researchers aren’t doing anything very different – finding new knowledge and trying to engage people with that.”
Social media tools extend and accelerate this process, he added.
Dr Spencer said that research development staff needed to be able to address academics’ basic concerns about using social media, rather than having technical knowledge of the tools themselves.
For example, one of research users’ main concerns about social media is how to maintain separate professional and private identities, he said.
“Do I create a separate professional identity or do I mix the two? The answer for most people is to use different tools to achieve different aims. I tend to use Facebook for family and friends, Twitter is something of a mix of professional and personal, and things [such as presentation software] Prezi and blogs are entirely professional.”
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