Social Online Networks as Spaces of Knowledge Creation, Management, and Dissemination: The Brazilian and Portuguese Case of Researchers in Information Science

Social Online Networks as Spaces of Knowledge Creation, Management, and Dissemination: The Brazilian and Portuguese Case of Researchers in Information Science

Raimunda Araujo Ribeiro (Universidade Federal do Maranhão, Brazil), Lídia Oliveira (University of Aveiro, Portugal) and Cassia Cordeiro Furtado (Universidade Federal do Maranhão, Brazil)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5867-5.ch008


This chapter presents the purposes, uses, and perceptions of Luso-Brazilian lecturers/researchers in the information science and documentation area on the use of online social networks in academic environments as spaces for communication, collaboration, interaction, and availability of content, in the paradigm of science 2.0. To answer the questions and the objective outlined, a survey questionnaire was applied, including both multiple-choice questions and open-ended questions. The questionnaire was made available, in an online platform, to teachers/researchers linked to post-graduate programs in the area of information science in Brazil and Portugal.
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Infocommunication environments, especially social networks, focused at meeting specific demands in the context of open science, are characterized as spaces that move and boost the actions and performances of teachers / researchers in academies and research institutes. These environments are considered to be competitively strategic in all spheres of society and organizations, enhancing behavioral changes in the form of communication, publication, production, management, availability, exchange and sharing of information resulting from a cognitive, social, collective and networked process.

This is due to the functionalities that exist in these environments that, in addition to the expansion of existing spaces and interaction, present specific tools for professionals who work in science, such as the ones in ResearchGate,, and Mendeley who measure reputation of the performers involved in the construction of innovative teaching and research methodologies and in the production and dissemination of scientific knowledge.

These social media platforms also enable the creation of profiles of specialized experts, giving voice to these professionals, as well as offering a variety of bibliometric /indicators, responsible for creating the image and reputation of academics, such as altmetrics.

For that matter, this research presents the following inquiring questions: What is the profile of Brazilian and Portuguese researchers in the area of Information Science and Documentation that use social networks? What are the attitudes, motivations, perceptions and purposes of using social networks by Brazilian and Portuguese researchers in the area of Information Science and Documentation? It also aims, as a central objective, to evaluate the embracement process, motivations, purposes of use of social networks by scientific communities in the area of Information Science, focusing on the Brazilian and Portuguese context.

Thus, to answer the questions and objective outlined in this investigative process, the study was applied using the survey questionnaire, made available on an online platform, with open and multiple-choice questions. Therefore, to analyze the qualitative data of this investigation, the technique of content analysis was used.

The analysis of the content was carried out in stages, organized “around three time poles” with the appropriate adaptations, based on Bardin's proposal (2014, p. 121-127): pre-analysis, material exploration, categorization Table 1) and treatment of results, inference and interpretation from the speeches emanated by the respondents.

Table 1.
Categories and sub-categories of analysis

Source: The authors.

Thus, for the definition of the locus of this investigation a survey was carried out at the Schools of Librarianship, Documentation and Information Science with Post-Graduation in Brazil on the website of the Brazilian Association of Education in Information Science (ABECIN-

Key Terms in this Chapter

Academic Social Networks: Online spaces of interaction, content availability, project management, among other functionalities, aimed at specialized audiences.

General Social Networks: Online spaces for interaction and availability of content, aimed at general and specialized publics.

Scientific Visibility: Wide dissemination of the actors, scientific products, and the institutions of a country in front of the scientific communities in the global scenario.

Altmetric: Alternative measures of product impact and scientific interactions provided by digital environments, such as online social networks.

Open Science: Scientific practice made possible through the open resources architecture made possible by the internet.

Reputation: Recognition acquired by the scientists for the work developed in the academies and research institutes.

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