Friday, December 23, 2016

Conflict of interest?

I was thinking about this the other day...  I was reading the requirements for setting up review committees for my dissertation proposal and for my ultimate dissertation defense. One of the forms that people on committees need to fill out is a statement on conflict of interest.  This isn't unusual since I see it on the peer review side of things, be it in peer review journals, or (more recently) being on a conference program committee.

Normally I wouldn't have spend more time thinking about this, but I've been more active on social media as compared to some of my cohortmates.  Over the years I've met academics in my area on twitter, on google+, and even though I make it a point not to 'friend' people on facebook unless they are actually my friend (or family), I've added some academics on there who seem to be more active on facebook than other social media platforms.  And, of course, when I see something of interests on there I try to engage with them.  The same holds true for vConnecting.  I like going onto vConnecting because it's a way to see people I normally tweet to, but it's an opportunity to meet new folks and engage with them.  So, I started pondering this point.  If people get to know me better through social media before I reach the point of forming a committee, does this make my potential committee member pool smaller due to potential conflicts of interest?

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