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social media infographic

This is the second in a series of three posts which will explore engaging undergraduate and graduate students through social media. The first post focused on the use of social media. These posts are based on a study conducted by Hanover Research.

By Beth McGough, Social Media Manager, ProQuest

Part 2: Social media for study and research

When students were asked if they use social media for study and research, 61% responded that they did not use social media for this purpose. But the rest of the study’s findings reveal a more complex picture.

When more specific questions were asked, the responses were highly dependent on how the student defined “study and research” and what constituted “social media.” If a respondent took the question to mean “Do you cite Facebook as a source?” the answer would be no.

As Part 1 of this blog series revealed, a high number of students were likely to pose questions, share research, and connect with other students through social media.

Students were asked if they’d received training in the use of social media for study and research. Only one out of every twenty students had received social media training. This reveals an opportunity to incorporate new media into information literacy instruction.

What can librarians take away from this portion of the study?

Expand information literacy instruction to include social media for research. This could include:

  • Teaching students about the social media features of online databases and research tools
  • Show students how to connect with researchers in their discipline through social media, such as how to participate in a Twitter chat
  • Introduce discipline-specific communities such as Quora and the editing side of Wikipedia

Stay tuned for the final installment of this series next week.


Additional Resources (click on the infographic below to open it in SlideShare)


For a more in-depth look at the Hanover study, download the Engaging Students through Social Media whitepaper, or view the Engaging Students through Social Media presentation given at Internet Librarian 2013.

05 Nov 2013 | Posted by Shannon Janeczek

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