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Social applications help academics share information

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Scientists and researchers take a business approach to social applications. A survey by Elsevier's 2collab, 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 provide scientists and researchers with additional resources to help them collaborate, connect, share and discover information.

Brant Emery, development manager for 2collab said: ‘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. 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.’

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.