2collab Survey Reveals That Scientists and Researchers are "All Business" With Social Applications

Monday, June 9, 2008 General News
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- Social Media Will Have Major Influence on key Aspects of ResearchWithin Five Years

2collab (http://www.2collab.com), the research collaboration platformfrom Elsevier, the world's leading publisher of science, technology andmedical (STM) information, announced today the results of a survey, askingresearchers about the role of social media in their professional lives. Thesurvey, which yielded over 1,800 responses, revealed that scientists areusing blogs, wikis, and social networking and bookmarking applicationsprimarily for professional reasons. Results show that these social mediaapplications have provided scientists and researchers with additionalresources to help them collaborate, connect, share and discover information.

2collab surveyed science, medical and technical information professionalsworking in academia and government institutions to establish exactly whatinfluence new web applications are having on the way scientific research isconducted. Over 50% of respondents see web-based social applications playinga key role in shaping the future of research. The largest influence will beon critical analysis and evaluation of research data, professional networkingand collaboration, dissemination of research output, career development, aswell as grant application and funding.

Results show that many researchers believe social applications will havea major influence on the future of research. One respondent, an EnvironmentalScience researcher based in Spain commented, "Social media and electronicjournals will be the future of scientific information dissemination. Currentscientific journals must not disappear but the business model will change."

Comments from survey respondents identified several issues need to beaddressed before mass acceptance by the research community is possible -namely the need for specialist tools, higher security, and validation ofusers. However, these concerns were not seen as insurmountable obstacles, andmany anticipated tremendous potential for social media. "Existing socialnetworks are mostly used for casual social interaction between young people.In order to be more relevant to academia, networks with professionalcredibility and accountability will need to develop," writes anotherrespondent, a Canada-based associate professor of Biochemistry, Genetics &Molecular Biology.

"While it is clear that scientists and researchers will continue to usetraditional sources for information discovery, the survey indicates thatsocial media applications will provide additional indicators of quality anddiscovery," states Brant Emery, development manager for 2collab. "In an erawhere information travels fastest digitally, online applications will offerthese professionals what one researcher stated as a "source of power."Creating these online scientific communities gives everyone a chance to offertheir voices and participate in research, thus increasing the flow ofcommunication, access to knowledge and helping accelerate scientificdiscovery."

The survey report is available upon request by emailing the mediacontact, Lauren Hillman.

About 2collab

2collab is a social research application that provides a new way ofprocessing scholarly information from any source. 2collab provides a platformfor researchers to connect with others in their fields, making it possible toexplore, share and collaborate, increasing the chances to discover newresearch opportunities and mine the collective wisdom of the its membercommunity. 2collab (http://www.2collab.com/) was developed in conjunctionwith Elsevier's usability labs and its premier Development Partners, whichinclude many established research institutions.

About Elsevier

Elsevier is a world-leading publisher of scientific, technical andmedical information products and services. Working in partnership with thegloba

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