Eastern Kentucky University Student Thesis Contributes to Unique Facebook Community

Elizabeth Bailey’s senior thesis Fear of Crime Through the Ears of a Murderino: The Effect of True Crime Podcasts on Fear of Crime has received over 16,000 downloads since it was published to Eastern Kentucky University’s repository last year, thanks to social media.

The majority of those downloads come from a single Facebook post, and Bailey was surprised and delighted to learn how much attention her thesis was receiving. Encompass administrators Laura Edwards, Discovery and Metadata Team Leader, and Linda Sizemore, Copyright and Scholarly Communications Librarian, saw a great opportunity when they learned about the massive download count. Edwards and Sizemore had been looking for a way to impress upon graduate students like Bailey that signing up for author readership reports “is a great way to show scholarship impact in the current competitive job market.”

When Bailey began her research for her Master thesis in Justice Studies, she knew who to turn to first: a private Facebook group devoted to the true crime podcast “My Favorite Murder.” Fans of the show are known as “Murderinos.” Bailey solicited their answers for a survey, which became the foundation for further research on perception of crime. When the thesis was complete, Bailey submitted it for publication on EKU’s Encompass repository and posted a link to the Murderinos’ Facebook group. The impressive download numbers are proof that Bailey’s research is important to a growing community of fans and listeners, and that just a single social media post can have big results.