2collab, the research collaboration platform from Elsevier, publisher of science, technology and medical (STM) information, announced the results of a survey, asking researchers working in academia and government institutions about the role of social media in their professional lives. The survey, which yielded over 1,800 responses, revealed that scientists and researchers are using blogs, wikis, social networking, and bookmarking applications primarily for professional reasons and that these social media applications have provided them with additional resources to help collaborate, connect, share, and discover information.
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. Several issues were identified such as the need for specialist tools, higher security, and validation of users.