New uses of Social Media in Academia (AMEE 2017)

Workshop Summary 

Here is a review of the AMEE workshop by @nlafferty @AnnalisaManca and @whole_patients

The Digital Native

In the early 2000s the terms ‘Digital Native’ and ‘Digital Immigrant’ were coined by Marc Prensky to describe internet users.

Prensky on millennials – “They have spent their entire lives surrounded by and using computers, videogames, digital music players, video cams, cell phones, and all the other toys and tools of the digital age.”

Lecture room

Today’s students are often seen as highly technology savvy especially when using the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat.

While younger digital users are sophisticated in their everyday use of online tools, they may be somewhat less sophisticated in their academic interactions with social media.

Prensky’s original terminology has now been updated.  Today, if you have any online ‘footprint‘ you are now known as a ‘Digital Resident’ (e.g. leaving posts on sites). Online users who do not leave public traces of their use are considered ‘Digital Visitors’.

At the AMEE 2017 conference workshops we had the opportunity to make a ‘low tech.’ map of our use of social media and discuss new online research tools.  Here is my map:

Andrew's Digital Map.jpg


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Use of Social Media

How can we improve our use of social media as an adjuvant to academic pursuits?


Tools to gather information and shape research questions:

  • Google, DuckDuckgo (no tracking), WIKI pages, PubMed, GoogleScholar, Quora

To identify collaborators:

  • Linked-in, Twitter, Orchid

Discussion platforms amongst the research team:

  • Google Docs,, Research gate, Slack (Dropbox on steroids), Line (asian whatsapp), Whatsapp, Dropbox, Bristol Online (more secure than survey monkey)
  • NB – Caution with local ethics guidelines is paramount (cloud based technologies may be increasingly limited in the future)

Referencing Tools:


Team collaboration:

  • Skype, Google Hangout, Zoom

File Sharing:

  • (See the above list), EverNote, OneDrive
  • Google-drive may be sub-optimal for security (or not allowed by ethics)


Recruitment (as research or as a research tool)

  • Interactive Domain – use social media to recruit and retain participants
  • Search by ‘hashtag‘ on twitter or other social media platform
  • Observational Domain – collection of ‘already produced’ data
    • (organises twitter ‘hashtags’)
    • TAGS Version 6.0 (link)
  • Write up and referencing with file sharing sites (see above)


Coffee Break Discussion (Unofficial)

  • Avoid predatory journals (consult if unsure)
  • Search “I can has PDF” (Semi-legal option to access journal articles behind firewalls)
  • Sci-hub (Semi-legal option to access journal articles behind firewalls)

RSS icon

Further Reading

  • Social media use in medical education: a systematic review – CLICK HERE
  • Perspectives on social media in and as research: A synthetic review – CLICK HERE

One thought on “New uses of Social Media in Academia (AMEE 2017)

Comments are closed.