LEVERAGING SOCIAL MEDIA AS A TOOL FOR RESEARCH BY POSTGRADUATE RESEARCHERS, UNIVERSITY OF NAIROBI
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Social media is becoming ever-present in today’s society and is a designed mechanism to promote behavior change used for social purposes. Some social media platforms (such as Facebook) have been emerging as important sources of information and , is influencing human behavior in various domains including healthy living, environmental sustainability, collective action, and other areas such as education and learning. The aim of the study was to examine leveraging of social media as tool for research by postgraduate researchers at the University of Nairobi. The objectives of the study included to: Identify the social media platforms being used by researchers at the University of Nairobi, Identify the purpose of social media practices being used by researchers at the University of Nairobi, Identify the institutions strategies in promoting the use of social media in research at the University of Nairobi, Establish the challenges faced by postgraduate researchers while using social media as a tool for research at the University of Nairobi. The study encompassed a total of 160 respondents from all the six colleges of the University of Nairobi. Respondents were selected using convenient sampling. The study adopted a descriptive survey with the use of questionnaires which had closed and open ended questions and document or desk review analysis to collect data and information. Data collected was analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences and presented in form of tables of frequencies, percentages and charts. The study established that social media platforms are mainly used for entertainment and communication rather research and learning. The study recommended implementation of social media policies, education and training, advanced internet technology and systems and proactive feedback mechanisms to aid in promoting the use of social media platforms as tools for research by postgraduate researchers of the University of Nairobi. Development of strategies for embracing social media platforms as tools of research was suggested as an area for future research.