In a world where science has often become an ‘opinion’ by self-proclaimed “experts” and where the essence of journalism is sliding for sensationalism, scientific communities are strengthening their pillar community role as the guardian of truth.

Oh boy, that’s a cheesy—and unnecessary—sentence to begin with…

Long gone are the days discussions took place in a Greek agora forum.

While harnessing social media, people are now putting on their virtual shining armour to bring the conversation online—still hoping to bring the spotlight on them. Businesses eager to extend their customer base or talent pool have smoothly understood the importance of developing their narrative journey by investing in digital marketing strategy.

Albeit praiseworthy, those objectives require strategy, focus and consistency. And, one shall never stop experimenting on online platforms.

Being an active user of social media platformsLinkedIn mostlyI am surely keen to re-share scientific content others create, or curate themselves.

But, what makes a successful scientific post I could re-share?

Let’s take this question backwards…

Here are 6+ reasons why I don’t feel like re-sharing scientific content on social media

01. I Have To Pay For Accessing the Content

Scientists are proud when they succeed in being published in a high-impact factor, peer-review journal. 

While the debate on overall fairness in the publishing industry remains up in the air, one should understand that access to scientific publications is not always free. I can get lucky if the material is in open-access, available on alternative platforms like ResearchGate, or falling under one of my journal subscriptions—I have none of the latest by the way. The latest recourse being asking the author for a freebie, it’s not what I had in mind when stumbling upon your raw article. 

Even though, my primary expectation would have been reading scientific information already crunched, investigation journalism-style. 

But, once again, not every platform out there is freely accessible—quality information ain’t free. And, if by any chance, I have the newspaper subscription or I can hack my way around, it would be a mistake to assume that my community does it. 

And, do you know that an astonishing 56% of people (re-)share information online without actually reading the content? How stupid is that? 

Every time I share something online, my reputation is on the line. I don’t want it to be tarnished in the long run. As a good foodie, I prefer quality over quantity.

02. I Feel That My Audience Is Not In Synch With Yours

Following point 1 above, there is an important concept regarding content curation that is often under-evaluated: making the difference between what I want others to read and what others actually want to read. 

Defining the scope of the targeted audience, therefore, becomes highly crucial as you can’t please everyone.

When currently trying to build a heterogeneous audience (which is by definition much harder than homogeneous), I assume that my niche does not bear all the scientific prerequisitesmyself included sometimesto fully understand the core message of someone’s content. 

Therefore, why would I give others such a hard time also? 

03. I Can't Understand The Language You're Using

Aiming to reach the attention of a potential client, journalist, investor or even a hiring manager, one should use his/her language to make sure the message has been transmitted. 

Believe it or not, I come from a country having 3 different official languages and none of them is English… 

Due to the intended international and local scope of my community, I rather tend to spread messages in English, and on some very rare occasions, in Frenchmy native language. 

Want to go global? Use English. Want to go local? Use your local language. But, be mindful to find the right balance, or risk losing interest from segments of your audience in the process.

04. I Can’t Find Any Relevant References In It

Hint: That’s a major red flag to me.

Giving the reader the ability to judge content consistency and accuracy by disclosing relevant sources is key to professional transparency and long-term fidelity.

I don’t know how to say it differently. 

But, if you start throwing around factual statements laced with precise stats and numbers, you better back this up with relevant references so I can retrieve and vet the original data. If not, my first thoughts will be; “How that author came up with those numbers? They might as well create those from thin air just to fit the story.”

Assume that people are curious; feed them accordingly or leave a trail of ignorance behind…

05. I Can’t Read It Properly On My Smartphone

Mobile devices such as tablets and mobiles have dramatically disrupted the paper publishing industry these last few years. For many, killing time during commute transport, before meetings or between two TV advertisement cuts has triggered a compounding Pavlov’s reflex of switching attention to the small blue screen. 

Historically, online platforms have been designed to be broadcasted on laptops, and not their modern, mobile, counterparts. While the transition is already undergoing for some time now, not all platforms bear responsive designs. 

In the latter case, a poor user experience is awaiting…

The same applies to video content that bears no subtitled captions.

06. I... Whatever...

Not well structured, too long, too short, not consistent enough, not actionable, too promotional, not ethical, too many advertisement popups, not scientifically accurate; you name it!

I’ve got plenty of other reasons to swipe down to the next content without sharing yours.

Even when most points on my checklist are—well—checked, there is one remaining that’s crucial: being sure that it does not impede my current employer policy. Be aware that social media in the life science industry is highly regulated, at least in Europe.