University of Oulu

Koivumäki, K., & Wilkinson, C. (2022). “One might tweet just for money”: Organisational and institutional incentives for researchers’ social media communication and public engagement practices. Studies in Communication Sciences, 22(3), 471–491.

“One might tweet just for money” : organisational and institutional incentives for researchers’ social media communication and public engagement practices

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Author: Koivumäki, Kaisu1; Wilkinson, Clare2
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, History, Culture and Communications
2University of the West of England, Science Communication Unit
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.2 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Seismo, 2022
Publish Date: 2023-03-29


The changing media landscape and proliferation of social media potentially increase agency amongst researchers to communicate individually. It also points to a need for studying science communication at an organisational level to understand how science communication activities can be collectively organised to have a substantial impact. Despite these changes, there are ongoing questions regarding the perceived value of science communication and the ways in which it can receive institutional support in credit-driven academic cultures. Therefore, this study set out to explore how incentives relate to researchers’ communication activity and how these can be influenced by digital communication contexts. This article presents a qualitative analysis of semi-structured interviews with 17 researchers and 15 communication professionals in Finland. Results indicate that academic leaders are in the key position to support organisational science communication culture, and their acknowledgement for science communication can be more effective than encouragement from in-house communication staff. This suggests that there may be a key gap vis-à-vis training in science communication and engagement which is targeted towards scientific and organisational leaders. The results also imply there is enduring value in communication activities featuring in periodical performance evaluation and that analytic data from digital media endeavours can form an intrinsic reward.

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Series: Studies in communication sciences
ISSN: 1424-4896
ISSN-E: 2296-4150
ISSN-L: 1424-4896
Volume: 22
Issue: 3
Pages: 471 - 491
DOI: 10.24434/j.scoms.2022.03.3205
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 518 Media and communications
Funding: This work was supported by the Strategic Research Council at the Academy of Finland [grant number 292854] and the Finnish Cultural Foundation.
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 292854
Detailed Information: 292854 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2022, the authors. This work is licensed under the “Creative Commons Attribution – NonCommercial – NoDerivatives 4.0 International” license (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0).