How to Succeed as an Academic on YouTube

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8 Scopus citations


More and more people are turning to YouTube to expand their knowledge, develop their understanding, and learn new skills. These "casual learners"- loosely defined as individuals who are curious about a topic and are self-motivated to learn more about it - are taking advantage of the ease with which nearly anyone with an internet connection, basic video skills, and something to say, can become a YouTube "creator."However, amidst a dizzying array of videos purporting to educate or otherwise inform viewers, academic content-creators are notable by their lack of presence on the platform. Here, there are largely-untapped opportunities for academics to contribute to the richness, diversity and trustworthiness of video content available to casual learners, and to effectively mobilize their knowledge at scale. There is also a pressing need for diversity in casual learning content, including diversity in creator gender, identity, ethnicity, and perspective, and academics are uniquely positioned to address this need. Drawing on the author's experiences in developing and producing the YouTube channel Risk Bites, this perspective explores how time, resource, and even talent-limited academics can nevertheless leverage YouTube as a platform for further mobilizing their knowledge for public good.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number572181
JournalFrontiers in Communication
StatePublished - 2020


  • academic content creation
  • casual learning
  • informal online learning
  • knowledge mobilization
  • science communication
  • YouTube

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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