Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and other social media platforms are sometimes dismissed as distractions for students. But they’re also avenues for scientific communication.

Scientists are active on social media, discussing everything from methods to the latest developments in research. They even use social media to raise funds. Scientists sometimes provide mentoring online and have conversations with more junior researchers about their careers. Social networking tools also provide a space to build both social and professional networks, allowing scientists to develop new collaborations.

Assistant professor Ashley Rose Mehlenbacher wrote the book "Communicating Science Online". It is available online for free. Check out her summary and find tips on how to communicate online for your own research project.