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Academics’ intention to adopt online technologies for public engagement

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Eleni Dermentzi, Professor Savvas PapagiannidisORCiD



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Emerald Publishing Limited , 2018.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


Purpose: The need for universities to connect with local communities and to make research relevant to the public has been highlighted over recent years through the debate about public engagement. At the same time, the Internet and its applications have made it possible for universities and academics to engage with the public in an easier and more effective way. The objective of this study is to examine the factors that motivate academics to engage with the public online.Design/methodology/approach: The Decomposed Theory of Planned Behaviour and Uses and Gratifications Theory were used as a basis for the study's research model. An online survey was conducted and 250 valid responses were used for the data analysis (Structural Equation Modeling).Findings: The results indicate that although academics seem to use online technologies for public engagement, this use takes the form of a one-way communication as the most influential factors of attitude when it comes to engaging with the public are image and information seeking rather than networking.Originality/value: While there are some studies about the use of online technologies for teaching or for networking purposes within academia, little is known about academics' intentions to engage with the public online. The study attempts to fill this gap and help universities understand their staff’s motivation and needs, which could be useful when it comes to launching successful public engagement campaigns.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Dermentzi E, Papagiannidis S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Internet Research

Year: 2018

Volume: 28

Issue: 1

Pages: 191-212

Online publication date: 06/02/2018

Acceptance date: 16/07/2017

Date deposited: 17/07/2017

ISSN (print): 1066-2243

ISSN (electronic): 2054-5657

Publisher: Emerald Publishing Limited


DOI: 10.1108/IntR-10-2016-0302


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