We asked readers of the blog and our Twitter followers to submit their own tips and examples for academic tweeting, to accompany the guide on using Twitter in university research, teaching and impact activities that we launched yesterday. Here are some of the best suggestions. Add your tips in the comments section.
Dr Ben O’Loughlin on networking
Posting a question and receiving useful Tweets back makes it easy to survey a field, find hard-to-locate information, or even find new possibilities for collaboration. In addition, the network effects mean the connectivity of the most followed make it possible for anyone to produce content that becomes widely disseminated very quickly.
Follow Ben @Ben_OLoughlin
Dr Jane Secker on following the right people
I was recently on sabbatical from LSE carrying out research on developing an information literacy curriculum for undergraduate students suitable for the digital age. Twitter is really been helpful for me as a researcher as a key way of keeping up with recent research and announcements in the field. Finding the right people to follow is key however and takes a little bit of trial and error. I am following a range of individuals who I have identified as ‘experts’ in the field and organisations.
Follow Jane @jsecker
Dr Ernesto Priego on the benefits for PhD students
As a PhD student one works for a long time on a single topic and document, and it is easy to fall into very low levels of confidence. “Why am I doing this?” “Who cares about it apart from me?” The responses I have received to my sharing links to my own and others’ research work, and to my academic conferences live-tweeting has been incredibly helpful for me to keep the faith that what I do matters to others. I also established contact with many of the authors and publishers whose work I was writing about, and hundreds of them replied to my online surveys in a question of minutes. An internship, presentations in conferences and invitations to write and co-author articles took place solely over Twitter.
Extract from a blog post for HASTAC
Follow Ernesto @ernestopriego
Catherine Cronin on using hashtags and Storyful in teaching
I use Storyful (online storybuilding tool) because I’ve found that this type of crowd sourcing and visual presentation has been really effective with our online students and staff. The #mscsed Storyful has been particularly helpful – instead of talking about how Twitter can be used at conferences, for sending photos, for conversations and sharing links, our facilitators have said it’s helped them to see how this works.
Follow Catherine @catherinecronin
Dr Mark Reed on tweeting for impact
For your research to have impact, people have to engage with and act upon it. With the growing use of social media platforms, it is possible for new knowledge to “go viral” in seconds… tweets I sent from a recent conference reached an audience of 21,000 and my last open access journal article reached an audience of 7,000 via Twitter.
Follow Mark @lecmsr
Matt Lingard on getting over any nerves
New users should just start tweeting, dive in and don’t worry too much. An easy way to start is highlighting news stories to others, share what you are reading with a link. If you feel uncertain initially, start by just following but until you tweet you won’t attract followers and get the real benefits. One of the best ways to extend your network is via those you are already following. Look at who they are following and who who is following them. It takes time to build up your own followers. Don’t worry, they will come if you continue to share.
Follow Matt @mattlingard
Dr Sarah-Louise Quinnell on digital research methods
Social media isn’t the future of research, it is the present and we need to embrace it. I was the first person in my department to actively engage with social media and digital research methods to conduct my PhD research. I worked with a web developer to create my own virtual research environment (VRE) which comprised of a web site which included a blog, message board / forum, and instant messaging facilities. My web site became my field site, the hub of my research. Using social media applications enabled me to interact and engage with more actors interested in my research than I would have been able to using normal methods. It also enabled me to increase the impact of my research through the different audiences I could reach through blogging and tweeting.
Extract from a blog post on the LSE Impact Blog
Follow Sarah @sarahthesheepu
Martin Hughes on collaboration
I’m forever recommending Twitter to people who aren’t already using it. Agree, argue, comment, enthuse. Your engagement can result in mini collaborations and constructive conversation with others working in your field. I’ve lost count of the number of people I have found via Twitter who I’ve subsequently met and even worked with. Twitter is worth its weight for that alone.
Follow Martin @universityboy