The ability to publish and read research articles electronically has impacted the world of academics in ways that can’t be ignored. Some of these impacts were detrimental, such as the ability to spread misinformation like a virus seemingly without limits. Other changes, however, were beneficial to both the reader and the researcher, like the opportunity for scholars to leverage blogs for peer surveys and social research.
Surveys from peers and the ease of conducting social research are game-changers for many researchers who were concerned about the poor quality and inability to obtain widespread information from previous methods of data collection. Now, with high standards set in their design of surveys, how they conduct them, and how these surveys handle the reporting of information, researchers can feel confident in the responses they receive.
These survey data analyses must be obtained somehow through controlled variables, which is why many scholars are turning to blogs for their information.
Changing With the Times: Accessing Info Through Blogs
Blogs have completely altered how readers and researchers are able to access information today. They’re used to the answers to their questions being available at the click of a button and they don’t want to go back to libraries, card catalogs, and requesting journals that would be delaying their research or ability to move forward with their work.
Open access publications offer scholarly information for free, and authors are turning toward these publishers with ever-increasing frequency.
Best Practices for Leveraging Blogs
When it comes to using blogs for peer surveys and social research, you have to make sure you’re setting your standards high. It’s easy to get superficial or false information if you don’t.
As you design your questioning methods, keep these best practices in mind:
● Think about your research question before you ask it. What do you ultimately want to find out? Come up with clearly defined questions that will guide your participant to trusting you with their honest answers, leading you to the core of the information you need.
● Determine your sample size and demographics. Make sure there’s a question in your survey that helps you adjust your data to the right population.
● Consider how you’ll handle the follow-up and cost. Some surveys are free but also free-range. There are many survey generators available that have a small cost associated with them but they’ll also focus on only your chosen participant pool. These generators frequently have follow-up capabilities, as well.
● Have methods in place for pretesting and quality control. Like dipping your toes in the water first, have a couple of questions set up first to determine if the participant qualifies for the pool of demographics you’re looking for. Also, throw in some outlier questions to make sure the person’s answers are high quality and not clickwork.
You can use your blogs to include your peer surveys for social research, but it’s frequently best to link to an outside survey generator that takes all of these best practices into consideration automatically so you don’t have to.
Using Your Content for Leverage
Of course, it’s up to you to build the foundation with your reader to encourage them to take the survey in the first place. You can do this by creating a research-focused post that discusses your aim, intentions, goals, and processes, without biasing the reader in any directions.
As with best practices for designing your research questions and surveys, there are some guidelines to optimize your blog content for leverage, such as:
● Keep it short and sweet. Readers prefer the inverse pyramid effect, which gives them everything they need to know first instead of drawing out the information. That way, if they’re still interested in the details, they can keep reading; otherwise, they can go ahead and click out or take the survey right away before you lose their attention.
● Use infographics. Text is great, but infographics when possible catches the reader’s eye and draws them in for more information. Infographics are used to show off data in a way that can easily get the point across.
● Consider posting your content in slides or videos. Many readers today want synopses rather than the entire content at first. Then they can delve further where they’re interested. Think of your work in terms of how you’d present a PowerPoint or a 60-second video. Condense your ideas on the landing page and then offer “click for more” elaboration options.
These tricks for leverage may sound like you’re “dumbing down” your content, but rather, you’re attracting more readership. Those who want to know more can get the elaborated content versions, but others will recognize your name, remember the content, and then come back to you later when the information is relevant to them.
Add More Leverage with Impactio
Another way to ensure you’ve leveraged your work to its maximum potential is to use Impactio to create your professional profile. With Impactio, scholars turn their work into professional documents that transfer seamlessly into web pages to be used as blogs. You can create charts, tables, and graphs for your citation and publication data to be displayed as eye-catching images, and once you’ve published your work, you can follow its impact through citation tracking.
When you’re ready, you can create your academic profile to connect with other experts in the Impactio community, share your profile, and request peer feedback through your surveys for more impact!