Creating trust: scholars, self-representations and online environments

Project: Research

Project Details

Layman's description

This project is about researchers representations online and how they are used as ways to construct trust. More specifically, the study will address the questions: How are scholars using social media or social network sites to create an image of them selves? What is the significance of authenticity or trustworthiness if at all in the online presences?

During 2016 and 2017 Helena Francke will be part of the project. Her sub project is described below:
The researcher is increasingly a public figure, one who is expected to market herself and her research and – ultimately – her employer. The audience for such marketing differs and can consist of other researchers, future employers and funders, future students, mass media, politicians etc. It is thus often a question of reaching both intra-academic and extra-academic audiences and to establish a trustworthy identity in relation to these different audiences.

There is a growing body of research on how and why researchers use social media, but so far fairly little has been written on their use of social networking sites (SNS) specifically targeting researchers, such as ResearchGate or The key question with which this part of the project is concerned is how (if at all) trustworthiness, authority and expertise is constructed in these SNS and if there are similarities to how (if at all) trustworthiness is constructed on professional or personal web sites. The question is addressed both from the perspective of what types of information about the researcher and her work the SNS infrastructure encourages the researcher to add, what the system produces for the researcher, and how the affordances in the system are utilized by the researcher. By focusing on web resources but analyzing them as part of social practices, the study draws on document practice theories.
Effective start/end date2013/01/012017/12/31

UKÄ subject classification

  • Information Studies