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9 Research Impact Things

Self directed learning tool for researchers interested in demonstrating research impact beyond the academic sphere.

Social media and digital footprint

Who's got time to tweet all day? Promoting your research and engaging with your audience on social media, like any other impact strategy, takes time. But social media can be a great tool to create your influence network and help you to achieve impact. 

Getting started

Even if you decide not to use social media to promote your work and engagement for now, it is important to be aware of the digital footprint of yourself and your research projects because the first thing research end users do when searching for information, experts, and potential collaborators is to search the web.


  1. Search for yourself using your preferred search engine, e.g. Google, by your most commonly known name.
  2. If you have a common name, add the name of your institution to the search.
  3. Check out the first page of results.

Do your search results reflect the reputation you have worked to build offline? What can you do about it? The steps below will help you to manage your digital reputation:

  1. Update your Curtin staff profile: log in to Staff Portal and update your staff profile to include a biography and links to social media profiles. Check out the staff profiles of Dr Natasha Hurley-Walker and Associate Professor Tama Leaver.

     

  2. Create and maintain an ORCID record: ORCID connects your research outputs and activities to you and makes you and your work more discoverable and identifiable. Check out the Curtin University Library ORCID guide for more information.

     

  3. Create a Google Scholar profile. If you make your profile public it will appear in Google Scholar results. Follow this link for Instructions to set up a Google Scholar profile.

     

  4. Create a LinkedIn profile: LinkedIn can be used to showcase your track record and achievements, promote your work, and connect with peers, industry, and potential collaborators. Follow the link to join LinkedIn.

 

Want more? Read this short blog post "How to Google yourself effectively and what to do about it" by Brian Croxall for other tips to take control of your online presence. 

Learn more

Before you jump on the social media bandwagon you may want to consider your stakeholders and goals. In addition you might want to assess your appetite for risk against potential gains before deciding if you want to pursue this approach.


  1. Take a look at the Social Media page from Curtin University Marketing which provides guidance and advice on social media best practices.
     
  2. Read this preprint of an article published in Nature Review Chemistry, in which 3 academics share their view of the reward and risk of social media.

     

  3. Read this article written by a research translation consultant on the value of social media for researchers.

     

  4. List three discipline experts who use social media or online profiles and are achieving impact. Reach out to one of them and ask if they would share their experiences. Reflect on the conversation and list what you think are the 3 key contributing factors to their successful social media strategy, and consider how you could apply these to your impact goals.

     

Remember: It is very important to familiarise yourself with the Curtin University Social Media Guidelines as you are representing the University so these guidelines should be always be considered and adhered to.

 

Consider: do the rewards and risks discussed in the articles resonate with you? Were there any rewards and risks you have not thought of?

Explore in depth

Want to use social media to build engagement and create impact? There are many tools and platforms and existing resources to help you get started. This section will focus on developing an effective social media strategy which will guide you to choose the tools that will work for you. Using one or two tools very well is a much better investment of your time.


  1. Listen to this Fast Track Impact podcast episode, "Using social media to build engagement throughout the research process", an interview with Jane Mills and Jasmine Black.

     

  2. Read this short article by O.F. Fagbule on the "use of social media to enhance the impact of published papers".

     

  3. Now refer back to your impact goals and use Professor Mark Reed's social media strategy planner to develop an actionable and measurable social media strategy.