Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Share your presentations!

There are several places to share your presentation slides. Popular sites include Slideshare, Authorstream, Slideshow, Scribd, and many more (see: Mashable and Hellobloggerz for more complete listings).  But why should academics share these? One reason is that much time is spent preparing slides for conference presentations, research talks, and classes, and they tend to digest a lot of in-depth information and analysis that are products of current research efforts.  Many times these presentations summarize research papers and reports which are ultimately published in both digital and hard-copy formats. Presentations are also a form of scholarly communications, which like other products, should be shared.

Sharing presentations is yet another way you can make your work visible online.  Just as academics and research professionals search for scholarship in the form of books, chapters, articles, and white papers, they are also looking for presentation materials to reference and adapt.  Obviously citation practices for presentation slides are different from those of traditional scholarship, but hopefully yours will be duly cited by those who come across yours.

A very good example is Laura Czernoewicz's presentation on Slideshare.  She provides some excellent information about online visibility in slide form.  These types of presentations can also be more condensed and helpful than having this same information in article form.  Good presentations are hard to create, but done well, can be a good way to promote your interests and research in an accessible and interesting way.  In her case, some of the infographics are intriguing and provide good summary statistics and sources for data.

Other nice examples are John Tennant's presentations on "Social media for academics" and "Blogging for academics" using Prezi.  Posting these online also allow easy sharing through social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and email.  Most sites provide the ability to leave comments, likes, and favorites - which are good metrics to keep track of along with the number of views and downloads.

University libraries are great resources, such as the open.michigan site at the University of Michigan.  As they say, "Share with the World".  They link to Slideshare and Scribd on their site as recommended places to post presentations.  University libraries are experts about how (and where) to share scholarship like many already do around open access portals/publishing and scholarly repositories.  Posting your presentations makes you and your work more visible online and helps to increase your scholarly impact.

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