Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

#BJPsych and social media – likes, followers and leading?

  • Judith R. Harrison (a1), Joseph F. Hayes (a2), James Woollard (a3) and Derek K. Tracy (a4)

Summary

This article explores the growing interface between social media and academic publishing. We discuss how the British Journal of Psychiatry (BJPsych) and other scientific journals are engaging with social media to communicate in a digital world. A growing body of evidence suggests that public visibility and constructive conversation on social media networks can be beneficial for researchers and clinicians, influencing research in a number of key ways. This engagement presents new opportunities for more widely disseminating information, but also carries risks. We note future prospects and ask where BJPsych should strategically place itself in this rapidly changing environment.

Declaration of interest

J.R.H., J.F.H. and D.T. are on the editorial board of the BJPsych. D.T. runs its social media arm.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      #BJPsych and social media – likes, followers and leading?
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      #BJPsych and social media – likes, followers and leading?
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      #BJPsych and social media – likes, followers and leading?
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

Corresponding author

Correspondence: Dr Derek Tracy, Queen Mary's Hospital, Sidcup, London DA14 6LT, UK. Email: derek.tracy@nhs.net

References

Hide All
1Colman, E. The first English medical journal: Medicina Curiosa. Lancet 1999; 354: 324–6.
2Hoang, JK, McCall, J, Dixon, AF, Fitzgerald, RT, Gaillard, F. Using social media to share your radiology research: how effective is a blog post? J Am Coll Radiol 2015; 12: 760–5.
3Adams, CE, Jayaram, M, Bodart, AYM, Sampson, S, Zhao, S, Montgomery, AA. Tweeting links to Cochrane Schizophrenia Group reviews: a randomised controlled trial. BMJ Open 2016; 6: e010509.
4Fox, CS, Bonaca, MA, Ryan, JJ, Massaro, JM, Barry, K, Loscalzo, J. A randomized trial of social media from Circulation. Circulation 2015; 131: 2833.
5Fox, CS, Gurary, EB, Ryan, J, Bonaca, M, Barry, K, Loscalzo, J, et al. Randomized controlled trial of social media: effect of increased intensity of the intervention. J Am Heart Assoc 2016; 5: e003088.
6Eysenbach, G. Can tweets predict citations? Metrics of social impact based on Twitter and correlation with traditional metrics of scientific impact. J Med Internet Res 2011; 13: e123.
7Gholami-Kordkheili, F, Wild, V, Strech, D. The impact of social media on medical professionalism: a systematic qualitative review of challenges and opportunities. J Med Internet Res 2013; 15: e184.
8The General Medical Council. Doctors’ Use of Social Media. General Medical Council, 2013 (http://www.gmc-uk.org/Doctors_use_of_social_media.pdf_58833100.pdf).

Keywords

#BJPsych and social media – likes, followers and leading?

  • Judith R. Harrison (a1), Joseph F. Hayes (a2), James Woollard (a3) and Derek K. Tracy (a4)

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed

#BJPsych and social media – likes, followers and leading?

  • Judith R. Harrison (a1), Joseph F. Hayes (a2), James Woollard (a3) and Derek K. Tracy (a4)
Submit a response

eLetters

Social media presence, is there any other choice for psychiatrists?

John Lyne, Department of Psychiatry, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, 123 St. Stephen's Green, Dublin 2
Mary Cannon, Department of Psychiatry, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, 123 St. Stephen's Green, Dublin 2
Ian Kelleher, Department of Psychiatry, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, 123 St. Stephen's Green, Dublin 2
23 July 2019

We read with great interest the editorial by Harrison and colleagues in May 2019 edition of BJPsych.1 We run a twitter account (@irishjournpsych) for the Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine, the official research journal of the College of Psychiatrists of Ireland. Twitter has been a very useful tool for disseminating journal content, and for highlighting the practical relevance of our publications. We believe that social media has a crucial function in highlighting important psychiatric issues of relevance to the public and policymakers.

The advent of social media and Twitter has enabled a dynamic platform for communication with both the public and with politically powerful policymakers. This platform is accessible to a much larger audience than our scientific journal content. The added respect of a peer-reviewed scientific publication affiliated with a body of professionals can only add to the influence of social media output by a journal.

As a profession our hard-earned publications have, on average, little impact on public policy and service reform. It is well-recognised that there is an astonishingly long delay between scientific findings and changes in practice and policy.2 Furthermore, the voice of the psychiatric profession has been increasingly diluted by the voices of many other stakeholders with an interest in mental health. Social media and Twitter must now surely be regarded as an essential platform for promoting our research, as well as advocating for our patients and service reform.

Fraught with potential pitfalls, social media requires input and oversight from experienced practitioners and academics. Tweeting unbiased views representing consensus opinion within a College or Journal is challenging, and the potential for misinterpretation of closely scrutinised social media content is substantial. Nonetheless we regard such challenges as miniscule relative to the potential missed opportunity of not embracing social media.

In general our journal account focuses on alerting the Twitter community to new papers of interest. To be more politically active may require sophisticated governance structures with dedication of time and expertise to manage the complexities of social media platforms. In our view this would yield significant rewards worthy of the additional effort. The Twitter “genie” is now firmly out of the bottle, and we are obliged to make the best use of it’s potential to impact on public and political circles for the good of patients everywhere.

Declaration of interest: None

References

1. Harrison J, Hayes J, Woollard J, Tracy D #BJPsych and social media – likes, followers and leading? British Journal of Psychiatry2019; 214: 245-47

2. Morris ZS, Wooding S, Grant J. The answer is 17 years, what is the question: understanding time lags in translational research. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine 2011; 104 : 510-20

... More

Conflict of interest: None declared

Write a reply

Using #new power in using social media for better health

Carl Fredrik Johansson, Consultant Psychiatrist and GenerationQ Fellow (Health Foundation), RCPsych and The Health Foundation
17 June 2019

I am pleased to see Harrison et al¹ discussing the interface between social media and academic publishing and ask where the BJPsych should “strategically place itself”. Many clinicians- including myself- use social media as their main source of access to new publications and its use allows a wider audience to be reached.

The authors give sensible advice for clinicians in public debate on emotive topics. Unfortunately, avoiding argument and accepting differences in opinion do not tend to have a powerful impact on social media.

If BJPsych or other academic institutions hope to guide public opinion on scientific and health topics, an understanding of the failings of traditional communication strategies in social media is essential. In their book #newpower, Henry Timms and Jeremy Heiman ² outline the shifting rules on how public opinion can be formed and shaped in the age of social media. They draw on examples such as recruitment to ISIS and the emergence of the anti-vaccine, (or anti-vaxxers) movement to show how traditional institutions are failing in their messaging.

Social media is used extensively in quality improvement networks to connect and share knowledge, and help spread innovation. For example the one hour TweetChat on May 20th 2019 with Hugh McCauchey (@HughMcCauchey), National Director for Improvement in England, reached an estimated 1.25million people (according to Twitter analytics).

The #EndPJparalysis campaign has become a global social movement activating a range of healthcare professionals, patients and carers, reducing long hospital stays and has led to new avenues of research being explored. ³

Social media can be a source for good for better health. Understanding how it can be used effectively to spread learning, combat misinformation and change minds is essential and we can all be involved in this work.

1. Harrison J, Hayes J, Woollard J and Tracy D. #BJPsych and social media – likes, followers and leading? Br J Psychiatry 2019; 214: 245-247

2. Timms H and Heimans J. #newpower: Why outsiders are winning, institutions are failing, and how the rest of us can keep up in the age of mass participation. Doubleday, New York, 2018

3. Oliver D. Fighting pyjama paralysis in hospital wards. Br J Medicine 2017; 357:j2096

... More

Conflict of interest: None declared

Write a reply
Show replies

to Using #new power in using social media for better health


×

Reply to: Submit a response


Your details


Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *