Keywords

Medialab, altmetrics, digital culture, digital society, social impact, Twitter, social media, innovation

Abstract

Social laboratories, defined as experimental spaces for co-creation, have currently become the main centres of innovation. Medialabs are experimental laboratories of technologies and communication media which have co-evolved along with the digital society into becoming mediation laboratories of citizen experimentation, observing a confluence of both models. In the last years, these centres have expanded within the higher education context, generating new forms of innovation and posing the issue on how to measure the impact of such open spaces. This paper analyzes the origin and development of social laboratories in Spain. It first reviews their historical development since its antecedents in the 19th Century until the most recent initiatives. It focuses specifically on initiatives launched within the university context, highlighting their role as motors of innovation. Then, it presents the case of Medialab UGR, a co-creation and digital culture centre of social collaboration framed in the digital context. Finally, it offers a first approach towards the assessment of its social impact by using the Twitter and analyzes its capacity to mobilize and reach non-academic audiences. The findings show the plurality of actors involved in this type of networks as well as the difficulty and complexity of the task on the development of indicators that can comprise both, academic and social interests.

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Technical information

Received: 03-10-2016

Revised: 16-11-2016

Accepted: 05-12-2016

OnlineFirst: 15-02-2017

Publication date: 01-04-2017

Article revision time: 44 days | Average time revision issue 51: 52 days

Article acceptance time: 63 days | Average time of acceptance issue 51: 121 days

Preprint editing time: 135 days | Average editing time preprint issue 51: 193 days

Article editing time: 180 days | Average editing time issue 51: 238 days

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Romero-Frías, E., & Robinson-García, N. (2017). Social labs in universities: Innovation and impact in medialab UGR. [Laboratorios sociales en universidades: Innovación e impacto en Medialab UGR]. Comunicar, 51, 29-38. https://doi.org/10.3916/C51-2017-03

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