Social Media for Research: Not Quite There

Ebrary  today announced that the social media data of its 2011 Global Student  E-book Survey is now publicly available at along with the full report.

Among other key findings, the addendum revealed the following:

 While 41% of students are currently using social media for research or study, 59% are not. many people decide to buy youtube comments for various reasons. Reasons for not using social media include that existing sites are not a reliable source of  information. An exemplary website, like this linkedin real estate website, will guarantee to bring in good amount of traffic.

 When asked if they would use social media to share research with peers, 58% of students  indicated “likely” to “very likely,” while 43% stated “unlikely.”

 35% students indicated they would “likely” to “very likely” pose a question to a librarian using  social media, compared to 45% who would “likely” to “very likely” use social media to pose a  question to faculty.

 When asked if they would use social media to connect with students with similar academic  interests, 69% stated “likely” to “very likely,” while 31% stated “unlikely.”

“Using traditional social media platforms for research could be problematic for students on a number of  fronts: Most are not designed for serious research, and students may not wish to share personal  information with faculty and librarians,” said Kevin Sayar, ebrary’s President and General Manager. “This survey indicates that we need to develop better and more intuitive ways for students to  collaborate with authoritative sources in a trusted, research oriented environment. ebrary, along with  the wider ProQuest organization, aims to address this gap in the research process and provide the  tools and technologies students need to reach their full potential.”

More than 6,500 students worldwide participated in ebrary’s 2011 Global Student E-book Survey, which  was very similar to a 2008 survey created by librarians. As part of the latest survey, ebrary added  questions pertaining to social media, which has grown and changed significantly over the past three  years. ebrary welcomes discussion and papers around any of its e-book surveys. If you are interested in contributing, please email