The European Commission has published a new guide on the use of social media in Horizon 2020 projects. What does this mean for our researchers and their projects?
Horizon 2020 projects should have a dissemination and comms* plans included in the proposal, which can include a social media strategy. The new EU guide explains how to set up specific social media accounts for Horizon 2020 projects eg @metaspace2020 on twitter. It also includes background information about different social media channels, useful accounts to follow and hashtags to use, and some advice on building your strategy and account management.
Perhaps most important is the “rules” section on pages 5-6 of the guide that focuses on acknowledging EU funding. Specifically, all communications relating to a project must display the EU emblem and include specific text. For social media accounts where this isn’t possible, the guidance recommends the following as a profile bio or displayed as a pinned tweet/post at the top of the accounts page:
`This project receives funding from the @EU_H2020 Research and Innovation Programme. Any related tweets reflect only the views of the project owner.’
But what about if you’re communicating and disseminating* from your personal or lab account? Especially as there are often different grants that are used to fund related pieces of research.
The most important thing to remember is to use your common sense. If you want to acknowledge the funding in your social post, one option would be to tag the funding bodies in your post or use a suitable hashtag. For example, if you are sharing a paper on twitter you could use #EUfunded @EU_H2020 and perhaps add @MSCActions if an EIPOD was involved. Alternatively, reply to your original tweet with the information about the funding sources as a separate tweet that is linked to the first. This could be useful if the funding is more complex. If your project has a hashtag or social media account, remember to tag that too, especially as it will help with reporting later on.
And remember, tag EMBL if you’d like us to share what you’re doing. And let us know if you should be included on the EMBLers on twitter list.
* For the EU funded projects, the terms communication and dissemination are not interchangeable. Communication starts at the beginning of the project and is about informing and engaging with society. Dissemination covers sharing the project results with specialist audiences who, it’s hoped, will take up and use the results of the project.