Scientists’ use of social media: The case of researchers at the University of the Philippines Los Baños

Florante Cruz, Serlie B. Jamias

Abstract


Using proportional random sampling, 86 researchers working at the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) were chosen as respondents of a survey study that aimed to determine scientists’ perceptions and use of social media for research. The study also investigated the influence of several factors — age, awareness, Internet connectivity, research style, and technology adoption behavior — on the scientists’ use of social media in research and research–related activities. Results showed that age, connectivity, research style, and technology adoption behavior did not influence the use of social media by UPLB scientists in research. The study also found age to be correlated to factors such as connectivity, research style and awareness of social media. On the other hand, the researcher’s connectivity and broad discipline were found to be correlated to his or her awareness of social media tools. In conclusion, awareness of social media tools roughly translated into actual use of social media in research. In spite of this, a considerable gap exists between awareness and actual use of social media in research by UPLB researchers. In terms of policy, it is suggested that the university administration take a hard look at the benefits and tradeoffs of integrating the use of social media in various aspects of instruction, research, and extension. A social media use policy should be carefully crafted and appended to the University’s existing acceptable use policy for Internet resources.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5210/fm.v18i4.4296



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