CTSI Social Media Bootcamp for K Scholars

To some, social media may not seem like an obvious tool for scientists and researchers as it's often seen as a personal channel to post photos, stay in touch with friends and family, etc. However, its already having an impact on researchers' work, as noted in a recent article in Elsevier - 'it can be used to tracked research related to a scientist's work, used to maintain networks of collaborators and peer experts, and support an investigator's research impact, career advancement and funding.' And even for scientists not interested in having an online presence, social media can still be used to learn, listen and amplify science and research to a larger audience.

To address these issues, CTSI piloted its first Social Media Bootcamp for Scientists and Researchers with its K Scholars and guest UCSF communicators. The bootcamp topic "Academic/Research Blogging & Social Media to Amplify Your Work" was chosen based on an initial social media survey sent to K Scholars ahead of the event. The pilot also serves as a precursor to a campus wide social media bootcamp series.

UCSF guest presenters Alexander Smith, MD, MPH (K Scholar alum) and Eric Widera, MD, shared their story of how they started their blog GeriPal.org. Initially aimed at healthcare providers interested in geriatrics and palliative care, their regular blogging and active use of social media grew GeriPal's audience to the point where its a leading resource in this area for journalists and interested community worldwide. GeriPal is linked to regularly by news outlets such as NYTimes' The New Old Age blog.

Bootcamp Highlights:
- Introduction and 'hands-on' live tweeting session
- A Starting point - social media as a listening tool for your research, news, collaborators
- The GeriPal story - viewers were not just the usual suspects, rapid response to misinformation (faster to write a blog post than an Op-Ed NYTimes piece), getting picked up by new outlets & National Academy of Sciences
- Going from under 10 citations on a publication in a major medical journal to the top Google ranked blog post with hundreds of thousands of views
- Who has the time? Practice makes you faster.
- Professionalism: What's safe to say in a crowded elevator at work?

Watch the video on Youtube or below!

Event Handout 1 & Handout 2: K Scholar-UCSF Twitter Guide

Helpful Links

- Science Magazine: Scientist’s Guide to Social Media
- ElsevierConnect: Social Media for Scientists Including the Shy, Overcommitted, Unconvinced
- Healthcare Hashtags
- Academia.edu: Why Every Lab Should Tweet
- Nature Blogs: Social Media Tips for Scientists
- UCSF Social Media Guidelines

See all 49 Tweets from #KScholars during the one-hour bootcamp from May 9, 2014: