Box 1 Articles that can serve as primers for those new to FOAM and social media engagement
Weingart SD, Thoma B. The online hierarchy of needs: a beginner’s guide to medical social media and FOAM. Emerg Med Australas EMA 2015;27(1):5, doi:10.1111/1742-6723.12361.
Duque L. How academics and researchers can get more out of social media; 2016. Available at: https://hbr.org/2016/06/how-academics-and-researchers-can-get-more-out-of-social-media (accessed 9 July 2016).
Shemer A. Digital Pedagogy Lab. Beyond academic Twitter: social media and the evolution of scholarly publication; 2016. Available at: http://www.digitalpedagogylab.com/hybridped/beyond-academic-twitter/ (accessed 15 July 2016).
Thoma B, Joshi N, Trueger NS, et al. Five strategies to effectively use online resources in emergency medicine. Ann Emerg Med 2014;64(4):392-5, doi:10.1016/j.annemergmed.2014.05.029.
Melvin L, Chan T. Using Twitter in clinical education and practice. J Grad Med Educ 2014;6:581-2, doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2013-002988.3.
Choo EK, Ranney ML, Chan TM, et al. Twitter as a tool for communication and knowledge exchange in academic medicine: a guide for skeptics and novices. Med Teach 2015;37(5):411-6, doi:10.3109/0142159X.2014.993371.
Ultimately, we believe that active engagement is the most important thing to foster in the readers and writers of CJEM. So, whether you are a clinician who can help critique and discuss research, a scientist who can help work and interact with clinicians and the public, or an educator interested in helping translate another’s work, the key to increased quality of online dissemination is for everyone to participate.
Critical clinicians have been amongst us for a while. For example, the Best Evidence for Emergency Medicine (BEEM) Group has been assisting with knowledge translation by creating continuing medical education courses to teach practicing physicians about the most relevant literature for over a decade.
,19 Newer examples that started in the FOAM community include physicians like Ryan Radecki (EM Literature of Note) and Rory Spiegel (EM Nerd), who make use of blogs and podcasts to share their critical appraisals of the latest literature.
Translational teachers now exist within the online world as well. Dr. Ken Milne, a rural emergency physician, publishes The Skeptic’s Guide to Emergency Medicine
20 HOP (Hot Off the Press) series to engage directly with scientists to assist in the translation of their work.21 Similarly, the CanadiEM.org website has frequently published infographics disseminating the results of studies published in the Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine.
Interactive investigators are also becoming increasingly prevalent. Within Canada, University of Ottawa’s Emergency Medicine group is an active department that regularly features novel knowledge translation and dissemination strategies. Under the leadership of Dr. Hans Rosenberg, this group has an active online social media presence on various platforms, including their blog (http://emottawa.blogspot.ca/), Twitter (@EmergMedOttawa), and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/EmergencyMedicineOttawa/). Some scientists within that group, such as the prolific Dr. Ian Stiell (@EMO_Daddy), regularly engage with colleagues via these avenues.22
More recently, major research studies have also begun engaging physicians, recruitment centres, and readers via social media accounts. The ARISE study team (@ARISEstudy) managed a Twitter account dedicated to their multicentred randomized trial of early goal directed therapy versus usual care for patients with severe sepsis. The social media account for this study was first established to engage with physicians recruiting for the study (see figure 2) and continues to engage with other Twitter users and FOAM participants to bridge the critical steps of knowledge translation nearly two years after the publication of their primary findings.
Via this account, the research team has highlighted lectures and panels at conferences, engages with FOAM commentators, clinician colleagues, chats with clinicians at the bedside, and regularly tweets about related papers (e.g., ProMISe, as depicted in figure 3).
Figure 2. A tweet from the ARISE study Twitter account on 2014-04-02, at 20:20.
Figure 3. A tweet from the ARISE study Twitter account on 2014-09-14, at 20:25.
This account also reaches out to FOAM participants and commentators to arrange podcasts, retweet blogs about their study, and engage actively with stakeholders.
Figure 4. A tweet from the ARISE Study Twitter account on 2016-03-02, at 12:50.
The influence of these scholars on emergency medicine research
As the online world continues to play an increasingly large role in emergency medicine education, researchers will need to adjust to this reality. Critical clinicians use online platforms with increasingly frequency, and emergency medicine researchers should anticipate (and hope) that their publications will be discussed and debated on public forums. Not all scientists will be comfortable engaging with these clinicians or promoting their research. We suggest that they invite a Translational teacher to assist with their work. Collaborations with those possessing specialized skills in developing communication strategies for audience engagement, for instance, might provide scientists with insights on how to increase the reach of their research findings. Journals that foster their own translational teachers, as CJEM has done with the SGEM HOP podcasts and CanadiEM infographics, are more likely to become increasingly attractive places to publish for research groups that do not have their own talent in these areas.