Social Media's Magnetism towards Researchers: Implications for Libraries.

Author:Batool, Farwa
 
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Introduction

Social media is a medium of interaction (Downes, 2005, p. 411). Social media is a wellestablished phenomenon that has continued to grow and develop since the inception of the Internet and it connects people with each other (Bejune & Ronan, 2008, p. 11). Huang, Hood and Yoo (2013) stated that gender difference is significantly effect on the usage of internet and Web 2.0 applications. Females more frequently use Web 2.0 applications than males (p. 57).

Subrahmanyam, Riech, Waechter, and Espinozia (2008) explored that Internet users prefer Internet and especially social media websites for communicating with their friends and family members (p. 432). Hasim and Salman (2010) explored that in Malaysia, use of social networks is common. It has very affirmative effects on users (p. 309). Steiner (2009) stated that social software allows the users to tag a resource. Libraries use this new trend to keep in contact with the students (p. 4).

Objectives of the study

  1. To explore the familiarity of Social media among M.Phil and PhD scholars.

  2. To know the usage frequency of the given social media websites.

  3. To assess the usage purposes of social media among research scholars.

  4. To find the implication for libraries keeping in view the users' trends toward social media.

    Research Methodology

    The researcher used survey method for this study. Two public sector universities of South Punjab, The Islamia University of Bahawalpur and Bahauddin Zakariya Multan were surveyed.

    Research scholars of M.Phil and PhD from the five faculties of each university, were selected as a whole population. Convenient sampling method was used and survey was conducted through questionnaires. Close ended questions were asked by the Respondents. Researcher got response from 871 research scholars. Five point Lickert scale was used for acquiring the results.

    The researcher personally visited all the faculties to get frequent and fruitful response. Collected data were analyzed through quantitative research method in SPSS 20.

    Review of the Related Literature

    According to Topper (2007), 55% users use online social networking sites mostly MySpace or Facebook. Out of these teens, 66% say that their profile is invisible to other users and 91% give the reason that they wants to interact with friends, 82% use the sites to contact with those seen less frequently and the interesting thing is that 17% users use these sites only for flirt. While Madhusudhan (2012) examined that the researchers prefer Facebook and ResearchGate for the research and educational purposes. In spite of various advantages of SNSs it is mentioned by the respondents that the use of social media is just wastage of time (p. 100). Vrocharidou and Efthymiou (2011) examined that university students adopt instant messaging, E-mails and Social networking sites frequently. The students use these computer mediated communication applications fulfillment of their social and educational requirements (p.609). Lwago (2012) explored that respondents have much more passion towards e-learning and Web 2.0 technologies. Higher education institutes should take step to promote e-learning and increase awareness of these technologies for positive and effective use. Universities have to focus on the curriculum development programs (p. 103). Ayu and Abrizah (2011) explored that most of the libraries are using social networking site like Facebook for their advertisement and marketing of their services (p.239).

    Nicholas, Watkinson, Rowlands, and Jubb (2011) explored that Facebook and Twitter is frequently used by the university users of UK. Social media is very effective for library marketing. But the researchers founded that many libraries are not connecting with the social media. If connected then they have less understanding about marketing plan (p. 375). Burton (2008) pointed out that now libraries want to create networking into their services, so that users can interact with each other on the topics of their interest. Steiner (2009) stated that social software allows the users to tag a resource. Libraries use this new trend to keep in contact with the students (p. 4). According to Khan and Bhatti (2012), in Pakistan social media is positively adopted. The...

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