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Twitter for Academics & Researchers

An intro to the basics.

Glen Wright

on 14 September 2015

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Transcript of Twitter for Academics & Researchers

Twitter is a "micro-blogging" platform

Posts of 140 characters are seen by people that follow you

300+ million users; 500 million tweets per day

Katy Perry (rubbish English pop singer) has 75 million followers (more than the population of France)
My professional account has 5k followers (the population of the village I grew up in)

Still not common amongst academics (2.5%) (Priem et. al 2012)
Twitter? #wtf?
140 characters = very short!
Links & images = 23 characters each
So really you've got 94 characters

Include images where possible - tweets with images get far more interaction

Mention someone that might be interested in whatever you are tweeting about

Include a relevant hashtag

Ask people to retweet
Tweet tweet
Some personal examples
for Academics & Researchers
Add a profile picture - your institutional profile photo is fine

Pick a name that is easily remembered - either your name or something to do with your work

Write a short bio that tells the world what you do - try to show a bit of personality!

Link back to your institutions twitter account and webssite

Pin a tweet - e.g. to your most recent paper

Keep your profile public

Getting started - your profile
The basics
: one 140-character message

(RT): sharing someone else's tweet

: Your hompage; tweets from people you follow

(@): A way to reference another user in a tweet. The Users are notified when @mentioned. Used for discussions and to attract attention.

(#): Denotes a topic of conversation. Click on a hashtag to see all the tweets that mention it in real time — even from people you don't follow.

Direct Message
(DM): Private message between two people. You can only DM a user who follows you
Follow people!
Think tanks & research institutes

Find someone interesting/infulential in your field - see who they follow

Be helpful - respond to questions

@reply to tweets with your thoughts/comments - link to a relevant paper or site

Be seen - put your twitter handle in your online profile and email signature
Building your network
Why do researchers use it?
Be active: tweet daily; check your notifications; reply to people
Use those 20 minutes that spend on facebook at about 4pm every day (I've seen you)

Find relevant hashtags: #ClimateChange, #COP21, #PhDchat, #Forests, #Renewables,

RT interesting content

Converse - don't just broadcast

Don't be boring: occasionally tweet interesting/amusing non-work stuff

Make lists

Have fun! Try following @AcademicsSay & @AcademiaObscura :-)
Getting the most out of twitter
"Hi everyone. We just released our new paper about climate change targets at COP21. It is available on our website."
"New #ClimateChange paper from @iddrilefil on #COP21 targets. cc @ClimateNGO Please retweet! bit.ly/o3o4j"
Accessing up-to-date info

Accessing unpublished data/papers

Promoting papers/IDDRI participation in events

Finding a co-author!

Arranging interviews

#ICanHazPDF: request an article that you can't access


Cham, J., PHD Comics, Why Academics REALLY Use Twitter (20 August 2014) http://www.phdcomics.com/comics/archive.php?comicid=1737

Priem, J., Piwowar, H., & Hemminger, B. (March 20 2012) Altmetrics in the wild: Using social media to explore scholarly impact. arXiv:1203.4745.

Van Noorden, R., Online collaboration: Scientists and the social network (13 August 2014) http://www.nature.com/news/online-collaboration-scientists-and-the-social-network-1.15711


Gross, A., 25 Interesting Observations About How Academics Use Twitter, http://blog.getacclaim.com/25-interesting-observations-about-how-academics-use-twitter/

Gulliver, K., 10 Commandments of Twitter for Academics (9 May 2012) http://chronicle.com/article/10-Commandments-of-Twitter-for/131813/

Mollett, A., Moran, D. & Dunleavy, P., Using Twitter in university research, teaching and impact activities: A guide for academics andresearchers (September 2011) http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/files/2011/11/Published-Twitter_Guide_Sept_2011.pdf

Scoble, J., Twitter for Academics, https://onlineacademic.wordpress.com/social-media-for-academics/twitter-for-academics/
Van Noorden (2014)
PHD Comics (2014)
Professional photo
Interesting/informative cover
Clear bio.
Use of @mentions
and #hashtags
A little humour/personalisation
Needs a bio, website, etc.
Glen Wright
(@MarinePolicy, @AcademiaObscura)
Happy tweeting!
Up-to-date info
Access to unpublished data/presentations
Promotion of our work
Promotion of publications
Access to paywalled publications
Tweet me your questions
Full transcript