Do you want to discuss science? Use Twitter

Nature just published a survey of how scientists use social media:

The results confirm that ResearchGate is certainly well-known (see ‘Remarkable reach’, and full results online at More than 88% of scientists and engineers said that they were aware of it — slightly more than had heard of Google+ and Twitter — with little difference between countries. Just under half said that they visit regularly, putting the site second only to Google Scholar, and ahead of Facebook and LinkedIn. Almost 29% of regular visitors had signed up for a profile on ResearchGate in the past year.

Here is their graph for usage:

Science social networks(There’s such a thing as Microsoft Academic Search?!)

So a lot of people are “using” ResearchGate. But if you look into the details of how it’s being used, it’s basically LinkedIn for scientists. Something that people check and update because they feel like they should for professional reasons. But look at how people use these networks! It’s clear: if you want to discuss research and actually interact with other scientists, you should really be using Twitter.

Why you should use twitter


3 thoughts on “Do you want to discuss science? Use Twitter

  1. Interesting. I would like to see a similar usage graphic for blogs (the old school social media) and G+, but they only have it for 6 of the networks. I also wonder if the StackExchange network (or something like it) will ever be able to make it up on these lists. I think it has been pretty transformative for mathematicians and theoretical computer scientists. I am also surprised that more Social Science and Humanities folks regularly use Google Scholar than Science and Engineering folk.

    • Hey! You’re alive!

      Yeah I wish they had made it for G+, too. It’s the only other social network that may be as useful (more useful?) than Twitter…such non-overlapping populations, though!

      I wonder if the problem with StackExchange is that it’s too easy for the non-technical population to find their way in to the biosciences?

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