Two practical and useful social media guides for research and policy engagement Social media has a significant impact on how individuals communicate, interact and collaborate. It should be an important component in any researcher’s toolkit, to engage stakeholders, gather and analyse data, and disseminate findings. However, most often it isn't, because it is still so new, and because there is yet much to be discovered, explored and understood regarding its capabilities, utilities, pitfalls, and practical uses as a tool and mechanism in conducting and disseminating research. Social Media: A guide for researchers produced by Alan Cann of the Department of Biology at the University of Leicester, and Konstantia Dimitriou and Tristram Hooley of the International Centre for Guidance Studies, offers a useful and practical guide to engaging a range of resources.
Impact 2.0 – New mechanisms for linking research and policy was originally developed by Cheekay Cinco and Karel Novotney, at the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) and is now managed and updated by Fundacion Comunica, with the financial support of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC). It seeks to develop a body of knowledge about the use of Web 2.0 in policy-oriented research and design. Perhaps on account of the scale, scope and speed of change in new communication tools and technologies, these tools have not been extensively exploited in promoting and strengthening links between research, advocacy and policy. This guide can be helpful to researchers who wish to better understand how social networking tools can be used to identify the main policy actors, issues, connected themes, and opportunities; how these tools can be used to encourage discussion, debate and collaboration; and how to leverage them in engaging and maintaining relations with policy makers and other important stakeholders.