What is it to be a 21st Century Scholar? Is scholarship possible by digital mean? Many health care professionals are unfamiliar with social media and this is the crux of the paper and the discussion. How different is a traditional scholar versus a digital one. Can you be both? Is digital scholarship as meritorious as traditional? What are the challenges? What are the benefits? Read on, and check out the podcast here (or on iTunes!)
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Chan TM, Stukus D, Leppink J, Duque L, Bigham BL, Mehta N, Thoma B. Social Media and the 21st-Century Scholar: How You Can Harness Social Media to Amplify Your Career J Am Coll Radiol. 2018 Jan;15(1 Pt B):142-148
Reviewer: Daniel Cabrera (@CabreraERDR)
What is it to be a 21st Century Scholar? Is scholarship possible by digital mean? Many health care professionals are unfamiliar with social media and this is the crux of the paper and the discussion. How different is a traditional scholar versus a digital one. Can you be both? Is digital scholarship as meritorious as traditional? What are the challenges? What are the benefits?
This paper is a narrative review of the roles and challenges of scholars in the current world of digital media, publishing and social media enhanced academics. The authors discuss the profile of academic embracing digital realms, why this is impactful and importantly how to get online and start creating digital scholarship.
The authors make the case that scholars should all use the tools available on the armamentarium and occupy all the spaces available to fulfill their role and social contract. Digital platforms and particular social media are ways to a means and not the objective. Traditional and digital media have the same goal, but they are different vehicles.
Key Points on Method
A narrative review – 2 case studies
One of the great things about this article is that the authors give a very practical and step-by-step introduction on how to start your career as a digital scholar.
- Goals and target. Define your role, your target and your brand. For example, you can decided to focus on HPE profession education aimed to teachers.
- Getting online. Create a digital persona and choose one or two platforms where you are going to be active. Above all you need to identify the community where you will contribute.
- Engage. Participate don’t lurk. You need to collaborate, curate and then create. As you are creating your network to participate in information exchange. Eventually create your own channel of creation, for example a blog or a YouTube channel.
- Expand. Once you have a firm base, you can start creating a larger footprint. This is the Hyatt’s concept of the home base, the embassies and the outposts.
- Reach. As any other activity, there are problems with social media and digital scholarship. One of them is the public nature of the work and the reach it can get, even beyond the expected spheres. Most of the concerns are about liability and risk. A simple mantra to remember is Farris Timimi’s “Don’t Lie, Don’t Pry, Don’t Cheat, Can’t Delete, Don’t Steal, Don’t Reveal”.
The authors conclude that social media is a tool for the modern scholar and scientist. Those that choose to use it should be aware of potential pitfalls but should not shy away because social media can greatly increase the reach and impact of their work.
Spare Keys – other take home points for clinician educators
Being engaged in social media can help you cultivate mentors and raise awareness of your research. Social media presence has the potential to influence public opinion and could drive funding for research and education or support policies Social Media scholarship is a space that needs to be occupied by scholars. If academics are not active on this level, other agents will occupy the space with the risk of spreading unsubstantiated information (e.g., immunizations). Knowledge creation and distribution is moving from a liner/hierarchical model to a network/socially based paradigm. Being able to navigate and influence this networks is of paramount importance.
Type of Paper
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