Social media: A network boost

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   Information scientist Cassidy Sugimoto was initially sceptical that Twitter was anything more than a self-promotional time-sink. But when she noticed that her graduate students were receiving conference and co-authoring invitations through connections made on Twitter, she decided to give the social-media platform a try. An exchange that began last year as short posts, or 'tweets', relating to conference sessions led to a new contact offering to help her negotiate access to an internal data set from a large scientific society. “Because we started the conversation on Twitter, it allowed me to move the conversation into the physical world,” says Sugimoto, who studies how ideas are disseminated among scientists at Indiana University in Bloomington. “It's allowed me to open up new communities for discussions and increase the interdisciplinarity of my research.”

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