"I do not distribute material on social media for my own personal gain. It is not a question of what I may gain from it but what I give to society. I believe that academics are obligated to share."
This is the opinion of Inga Minelgaité, professor at the University of Iceland's Faculty of Business Administration. She is known for sharing material on Linkedin and other known web media platforms associated with her prolific academic work.
Linkedin is one of the most interesting social media platforms in the world for career networking as over 774 million users are registered on it in over two hundred countries. One of the emphasis in the new Strategy of the University of Iceland is to increase faith in science and make its impact better known to the public, especially by increasing the ways academics can speak directly among themselves and to our community.
Inga has certainly found an interesting way to communicate her work by sharing it on social media, drawing attention to her research and projects in the field of teaching and collaboration with industry on a broad spectrum. Inga has specialised in leadership ability, leadership and project management in academic work and teaching, as well as women in business. She has repeatedly shared material connected to all of this on Linkedin.
"One of our main goals as research scientists is to make a difference with our research among our fellow scientists and support them in their studies. Jón Atli Benediktsson, rector of the University of Iceland, is clearly a role model in this respect as the most influential scientists in his field. Studies must be acknowledged by the scientific community and by prestigious academic journals to be published. Research has, almost always, both practical and societal value. By sharing scientific material on social media I can have a conversation about my research results and the findings of others. This can also be useful in industry. By sharing in this manner the chances of citations increases for me and this applies in general for all research scientists," says Inga.
She says that sharing also creates networking with other interested parties. "We can thus have a wider impact. I also receive a lot of useful information from the my networking at Linkedin. This helps me to map out who is doing what in my discipline and the labour market and how we could potentially work together."
Inga says that Linkedin could potentially become a platform to find collaborators and she says it is an asset to be a representative from the University of Iceland on social media belonging to this internationally ackowledged educational institute.
It is important to be seen
"It is important to us to be seen and that our projects receive attention," says Inga. "It is by no means enough just to do things. We have to let others know. In this age of overflow of information it is almost naive to think that those who are interested will seek and find information affiliated with certain projects or studies. People may find the information but why not simplify things for those who might be interested?"
Inga says that by sharing their findings to a global audience scientists enhance the reputation of both their universities and their countries.
"I recently taught MBA students from the University of Wharton in the United States. Their MBA programme has repeatedly been considered to be the best in the world, eg by Forbes magazine. The MBA students who came to Iceland on a field trip had to learn about the business environment in Iceland prior to their trip. And what do you think they read? They read a book on leadership in Iceland I wrote with my amazing colleagues Árelía Guðmundsdóttir, associate professor, and Svala Guðmundsdóttir, professor of business administration at the University of Iceland. The book is called Demystifying Leadership in Iceland: An Inquiry In Cultural, Societal, and Entrepreneurial Uniqueness. We all promoted the book especially in Washington, Hong Kong, Peking, Vilnius and elsewhere. We also shared many posts on the book on Linkedin. This clearly paid off."
However, Inga says she does not share all her articles that are published in academic journals. "I sometimes share interesting research from other academics in my field; I take on various roles sharing material," says Inga and laughs.
"For instance sharing posts for gender equality in Lithuania proved particularly successful on Linkedin, especially from a project management point of view but also media coverage. This initiative was inspired by Icelandic methods and I am very proud to have shed light on these issues in my homeland."
Research has, almost always, both practical and societal value. By sharing scientific material on social media I can have a conversation about my research results and the findings of others. This can also be useful in industry. By sharing in this manner the chances of citations increases for me and this applies in general for all research scientists," says Inga. image/kristinn ingvarsson
Posts with over 40 thousand impressions
Inga says that some of her posts have received over 40 thousand impressions on Linkedin. This is visible to her target group which is made up of research scientists and people from industry. "Linkedin is, however, not the only important channel for academic distribution," says Inga. „The platforms Researchgate and Academia are also very important. I was very surprised when Academia sent me a special message stating that my material was among the top 4% of the most read material in a particular month. This is extremely satisfying especially considering that there are 80 million users registered on Academia."
Inga says that communicating results is increasingly a designated and important part of research projects. She is working these days on projects with Ralf Müller, professor at the BI Norwegian Business School and is one of the best known academic in the field of project management. This project defines specifically how to share material. In another project in the field of leadership studies, one of the largest ones in the field, there is a clear policy regarding communication, in particular via acknowledged social media. This study is called GLOBE and Inga is working with Ingi Rúnar Eðvarðsson, professor of business administration and Svala Guðmundsdóttir.
Emphasis on diversity and sustainability in the new University Strategy
Inga specialises in sustainable leadership, but sustainability is one of the four main priorities in the new University strategy. The strategy involves sustainability as a foundation in all university operations.Diversity is also a one of University pillars and the strategy places special emphasis on a diverse university community.
Inga is born and raised in Lithuania. She completed her PhD from the University of Iceland in 2016, and subsequently began teaching at the Faculty of Business Administration where she was mentored by Margrét Sigrún Sigurðardóttir, associate professor at the faculty. Inga says that Ingi Rúnar Eðvarðsson also encouraged her to pursue a career in academia after her studies.
"It was and is great to feel the support for diversity and I have been encouraged both by colleagues and my faculty. I believe I am the only tenured lecturer of foreign origin at the Faculty of Business Administration," says Inga who worked in the private sector for a decade prior to her doctoral studies and career at the University.
Inga says she enjoys teaching in higher education. "It is fantastic to teach students who understand the value of tackling complex challenges and projects. I especially enjoy supervising students in their master theses. That is both a longer process and more personal and very rewarding to see how people grow during this time.