2collab survey reveals that scientists and researchers are 'all business' with social applications

June 09, 2008

AMSTERDAM - June 9, 2008 - 2collab (www.2collab.com), the research collaboration platform from Elsevier, the world's leading publisher of science, technology and medical (STM) information, announced today the results of a survey, asking researchers about the role of social media in their professional lives. The survey, which yielded over 1,800 responses, revealed that scientists are using blogs, wikis, and social networking and bookmarking applications primarily for professional reasons. Results show that these social media applications have provided scientists and researchers with additional resources to help them collaborate, connect, share and discover information.

2collab surveyed science, medical and technical information professionals working in academia and government institutions to establish exactly what influence new web applications are having on the way scientific research is conducted. Over 50% of respondents see web-based social applications playing a key role in shaping the future of research. The largest influence will be on critical analysis and evaluation of research data, professional networking and collaboration, dissemination of research output, career development, as well as grant application and funding.

Results show that many researchers believe social applications will have a major influence on the future of research. One respondent, an Environmental Science researcher based in Spain commented, "Social media and electronic journals will be the future of scientific information dissemination. Current scientific journals must not disappear but the business model will change."

Comments from survey respondents identified several issues need to be addressed before mass acceptance by the research community is possible - namely the need for specialist tools, higher security, and validation of users. However, these concerns were not seen as insurmountable obstacles, and many anticipated tremendous potential for social media. "Existing social networks are mostly used for casual social interaction between young people. In order to be more relevant to academia, networks with professional credibility and accountability will need to develop," writes another respondent, a Canada-based associate professor of Biochemistry, Genetics & Molecular Biology.

"While it is clear that scientists and researchers will continue to use traditional sources for information discovery, the survey indicates that social media applications will provide additional indicators of quality and discovery," states Brant Emery, development manager for 2collab. "In an era where information travels fastest digitally, online applications will offer these professionals what one researcher stated as a "source of power." Creating these online scientific communities gives everyone a chance to offer their voices and participate in research, thus increasing the flow of communication, access to knowledge and helping accelerate scientific discovery."
-end-
The survey report is available upon request by emailing the media contact, Lauren Hillman.

About 2collab

2collab is a social research application that provides a new way of processing scholarly information from any source. 2collab provides a platform for researchers to connect with others in their fields, making it possible to explore, share and collaborate, increasing the chances to discover new research opportunities and mine the collective wisdom of the its member community. 2collab (http://www.2collab.com/) was developed in conjunction with Elsevier's usability labs and its premier Development Partners, which include many established research institutions.

About Elsevier

Elsevier is a world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services. Working in partnership with the global science and health communities, Elsevier's 7,000 employees in over 70 offices worldwide publish more than 2,000 journals and 1,900 new books per year, in addition to offering a suite of innovative electronic products, such as ScienceDirect (http://www.sciencedirect.com/), MD Consult (http://www.mdconsult.com/), Scopus (http://www.info.scopus.com/), bibliographic databases, and online reference works.

Elsevier (http://www.elsevier.com/) is a global business headquartered in Amsterdam, The Netherlands and has offices worldwide. Elsevier is part of Reed Elsevier Group plc (http://www.reedelsevier.com/), a world-leading publisher and information provider. Operating in the science and medical, legal, education and business-to-business sectors, Reed Elsevier provides high-quality and flexible information solutions to users, with increasing emphasis on the Internet as a means of delivery. Reed Elsevier's ticker symbols are REN (Euronext Amsterdam), REL (London Stock Exchange), RUK and ENL (New York Stock Exchange).

Elsevier

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