Throughout the winter and spring of 2018, we delivered a classroom survey to over 200 undergraduate students from a variety of programs at Royal Roads University. Our purpose was to explore how to improve and accelerate the dissemination of research information online to a wider public. The survey explored social media use, where participants searched for scientific information and research online (on climate change, sustainable community development, and/or biodiversity conservation), how they engaged with this information, what forms of media they found interesting (images, videos, data visualizations, etc.), what visual features attracted them to online platforms, and how they connected with other users online. Our research results will help inform upcoming peer-reviewed publications as well as a forthcoming ‘Research Curation Best Practices’ document that will be circulated widely to academics.
While we are still analyzing our data, here are some preliminary findings.