Tips and Pitfalls in Using Social Media Platforms for Survey Dissemination
Introduction Social media has become a prevalent platform for survey dissemination, despite the paucity of
literature on this topic. The purpose of this paper is to outline the benefits and drawbacks of and best practices for
social media-based surveys.
Methods We performed a scoping review of this topic and explored different strategies commonly employed for
conducting efficient health care surveys via social media platforms.
Results The main advantages of social media-based surveys are the convenience and flexibility of survey design,
their relatively low cost, the anonymity of responders, and the ability to reach a broader population of responders
across geographical boundaries. Several measures can be adopted to avoid issues inherent in this approach, such
as data disruption and response duplication, as well as to enhance ethical behaviors and consent compliance. We
discuss limitations associated with unclear distribution of survey respondents and outline survey fraud as a major
impediment to the online propagation of surveys on various social media platforms.
Discussion The use of social media to disseminate surveys on various medical specialty topics has garnered
global participation, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ethical codes of conduct emphasize the need for
professionalism and truthfulness, and disclosure of potential conflicts of interest on the part of respondents, and
high-quality survey research on the part of researchers.
Conclusion We advocate for the novel use of social media to promote large and diverse health care surveys.
Additional studies should further explore the use of emerging social media platforms for survey dissemination and
their impact on health care research.
The Société International d'Urologie (SIU), which owns and publishes the Société International d'Urologie Journal (SIUJ), does not require authors of papers published in the journal to transfer copyright. Instead, we ask authors to grant an exclusive licence that allows us to publish the article in SIUJ (and any derivative or related products or publications) and that allows us to sub-license such rights and exploit all subsidiary rights.
Authors retain the right to use their own articles for their own non-commercial purposes without seeking explicit permission from SIU.
The SIUJ publication licence expressly defines “non-commercial” as “not primarily intended for or directed towards commercial advantage or monetary compensation.” Although no activity is completely disconnected from commercial activity, the following are generally considered to be non-commercial uses:
- Reproduction of a reasonable number (no more than 100) of print copies of the published paper for personal use (e.g., sharing with colleagues, including in grant applications).
- Posting a copy of the published version of the paper on the author’s own or their institution’s website. The article must be accompanied by this statement: ‘This article has been published in the SIUJ: [full citation; link]’.
- Inclusion of the paper in a course pack, with a maximum of 100 copies to be used in the author’s institution. The copies must include the following acknowledgement: ‘This article has been published in the SIUJ: [full citation; link].’
As the distinction between commercial and non-commercial is not always clear, authors are strongly advised to seek permission from SIU for any use that may be considered to have a commercial aspect.
We ask the corresponding author to read the terms of the licence and then to grant this exclusive licence on behalf of all authors by indicating agreement to the following statement:
The corresponding author has the right to grant on behalf of all authors and does grant on behalf of all authors, an exclusive licence on a worldwide basis to the SIU and its licensees to permit this article (if accepted) to be published in the SIUJ and any other SIU products and publications and to exploit all subsidiary rights, as set out in our licence agreement.
Review and Decision
Most submissions will be reviewed by a senior editor within 2 weeks. Many manuscripts will be rejected at this point for a variety of reasons, including subject matter outside the scope of the SIUJ, flawed design, discredited or outdated methodology, poor organization or presentation, failure to conform to ethical requirements, and apparent plagiarism.The remaining manuscripts will be sent for peer review. The SIUJ uses a single-blind process: reviewers know the identity of the authors, but the authors are not told who has reviewed their manuscript, and SIUJ ensures that potentially identifying information is removed from comments sent to them. Reviewers are asked to make their recommendations within 10 days, after which a senior/specialist editor will consider their comments and recommend provisional acceptance dependent on satisfactory revision, acceptance without revision, or rejection. Authors should receive a final decision within 4 to 6 weeks of submission.