Engagement and Activity on the Hub

Increasing the Online Presence of Delftia acidovorans through an Interactive, Accessible, and Engaging Web Hub

Presenter: Lauren Ramilo


Online, accessible, scientific materials can be used to engage the public and improve scientific literacy. This approach to open access science is a solution to paywalled and inaccessible literature, and is needed to drive public interest, catalyze research, and develop applications. Novel or understudied topics, such microbes with unique survival strategies, can especially benefit from these practices. To measure the effectiveness of online content, the Delftia Hub was created to educate the public about Delftia acidovorans, a bacteria that biomineralizes gold. Composition tone, imagery, and layout were considered to improve interactions and public perception. To encourage scientific literacy, materials were created to guide annotations on primary literature using Hypothes.is.

The Delftia Hub reached a considerable audience and engaged users with narrative-style content and graphics. Users visited an average of 2.1 pages, indicating an interest in content. Social media platforms were also leveraged, and we found that Twitter is ideal for a larger reach, but more interaction occurs on Instagram. Annotation blog content was popular and comprised 18% of sessions but did not inspire public annotation. Annotations added by researchers glossed text, highlighted important points, and posed discussion questions to improve readability. Overall, participants were interested and engaged with content on the Delftia Hub but improvements are needed to increase participation. More accessible content that interests the public is needed to engage more participants and researchers in productive discourse.

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Cartoon saying "thank you for your interest -Lauren Ramilo"