The Use of Social Media in Informal Scientific Communication Among Scholars: Modeling the Modern Invisible College Page: 2
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Algarni, Mohammed Ayedh. The Use of Social Media in Informal Scientific
Communication among Scholars: Modeling the Modern Invisible College. Doctor of Philosophy
(Information Science), May 2014, 129 pp., 14 tables, 18 figures, references, 118 titles.
The concept of the invisible college is a key focus of scientific communication research
with many studies on this topic in the literature. However, while such studies have contributed to
an understanding of the invisible college, they have not adequately explained the interaction of
social and structural processes in this phenomenon. As a consequence, past research has
described the invisible college differently based on researchers' perspectives, resulting in
misinterpretations or inconsistent definitions of the relevant social and structural processes.
Information science and related disciplines have focused on the structural processes that lead to
scholarly products or works while placing less emphasis on the social processes.
To advance understanding of the invisible college and its dimensions (including both social
processes and structural processes), a proposed model (Modern Invisible College Model, MICM)
has been built based on the history of the invisible college and Lievrouw's (1989) distinction
between social and structural processes. The present study focuses on the social processes of
informal communication between scholars via social media, rather than on the structural
processes that lead to scholarly products or works.
A developed survey and an employed quantitative research method were applied for data
collection. The research population involved 77 scholars from the Institute of Public
Administration (IPA), in Saudi Arabia. Descriptive statistics, frequency and percentage were
conducted for each statement. Means and standard deviations were calculated. The results
indicate that the majority of participants heavily use social media for scientific communication
purposes. Also, the results confirm that scholars consider social media to be an effective and
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Algarni, Mohammed Ayedh. The Use of Social Media in Informal Scientific Communication Among Scholars: Modeling the Modern Invisible College, dissertation, May 2014; Denton, Texas. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc500018/m1/2/: accessed June 15, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; .