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Max Forte's List: Twitter for Education

    • Nov  21  2011 


      As scholars undertake a great migration to online publishing, altmetrics stands to provide an academic measurement of twitter and other online activity

    • The internet seems to have transformed all industries except one: scholarly communication. Jason Priem has studied academics’ use of Twitter and charts terrific interest among academics in the social media tool as an aid to discuss literature, for teaching and to enrich conferences among his results.
    • In 1990, Tim Berners-Lee created the Web as a tool for scholarly communication at CERN. In the two decades since, his creation has gone on to transform practically every enterprise imaginable, except somehow, scholarly communication.  Here, instead, we lurch ponderously through the time-sanctified dance of dissemination, 17th-century style. The article reigns. Scholars continue to wad the vibrant, diverse results of their creativity and expertise – figures, datasets, programs, abstracts, annotations, claims, reviews, comments, collections, workflows, discussions, arguments and programs – into publishers’ slow moulds to be cast into articles: static, leaden information ingots.


      Growing numbers of scholars, though, are realizing that this approach is no longer the best we can do. We’re defrosting our digital libraries, moving over a million personal reference collections online to services like Zotero and Mendeley (and in the process making the open reference list a new kind of publication). Scholars are flocking to scholarly blogs to post ideas, collaborate with colleagues, and discuss literature, often creating a sort of peer-review after publication. Emboldened by national mandates and notable successes, we’re beginning to publish reusable datasets as first-class citizens in the scholarly conversation. We’re sharing our software as publications and on the Web. The journal was the first revolution in scholarly communication; we’re on the brink of a second, driven by the new diversity, speed, and accessibility of the Web.

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    • Jan  9  2012 


      The role of peer review journals cannot be replaced by Twitter, blogs, or anything else (and I really believe in blogs!)

    • A few weeks back, the LSE Impact of Social Sciences blog published a piece on the use of twitter by academics, written by Jason Priem, that suggested peer review journals might become a thing of the past. Austin Frakt and I wrote a brief post noting that as much as we love the microblog service, the role of peer review journals cannot be replaced by Twitter, blogs, or anything else (and we really believe in blogs!). We need the slow deliberative process that emphasizes trying to get it right, as opposed to doing it quickly. We concluded:


      We absolutely need the slow, peer review system as the foundation of thoughtful, careful scholarship. Twitter and other social media are important additions that can give scholarly content “reach” and “relevancy”. However, it’s a both/and, not an either/or proposition. Traditional peer review journals should remain the bedrock of the research evidence that can be brought to bear on health policy.

    • However, I think the peer review process often is too slow and could be sped up without losing precision. In addition, I think there is too much secrecy in the process and a bit more disclosure would likely be good (though there are likely plusses and minuses).


      Following are a few personal thoughts about changes I would like to see in the peer review process used by journals that are based on my personal experience and preferences (I have published 70 peer review papers and reviewed dozens of manuscripts for journals). Others will likely have different thoughts, and I would be interested to know them. This is not meant to be a definitive word, just my personal thoughts.

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    • Oct  5  2011 


      Academic tweeting: using Twitter for research projects

        Posted on by Blog Admin
    • Tweet about each new publication, website update or new blog that the project completes. To gauge feedback, you could send a tweet that links to your research blog and ask your followers for their feedback and comments.


      For tweeting to work well, always make sure that an open-web full version or summary of every publication, conference presentation or talk at an event is available online. Summarize every article published in closed-web journal on a blog, or lodge an extended summary on your university’s online research depository. In addition, sites like are useful for depositing open web versions.


      Tweet about new developments of interest from the project’s point of view, for instance, relevant government policy changes, think tank reports, or journal articles.

    • Use hashtags (#) to make your materials more visible – e.g. #phdchat. Don’t be afraid to start your own.


      Use your tweets to cover developments at other related research sites, retweeting interesting new material that they produce. This may appear to some as ‘helping the competition’, but in most research areas the key problem is to get more attention for the area as a whole. Building up a Twitter network of reciprocating research projects can help everyone to keep up to date more easily, improve the standard and pace of debate, and so attract more attention (and funding) into the research area.

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    • Sep  29  2011 


      Available now: a guide to using Twitter in university research, teaching, and impact activities

      • Following on from the lists of academic tweeters published earlier this month, we have put together a short guide to using Twitter in university research, teaching, and impact activities, available to download as a PDF or view on Issuu.


        How can Twitter, which limits users to 140 characters per tweet, have any relevance to universities and academia, where journal articles are 3,000 to 8,000 words long, and where books contain 80,000 words? Can anything of academic value ever be said in just 140 characters?


        We have put together a short guide answering these questions, showing new users how to get started on Twitter and hone their tweeting style, as well as offering advice to more experienced users on how to use Twitter for research projects, alongside blogging, and for use in teaching.


        Download the PDF for more on:

        • Building your following and managing your profile
        • Using Twitter to maximise the impact of your research project
        • Making the most of Twitter alongside your own blog
        • Using course accounts with students
        • A step by step guide to adding a Twitter feed to Moodle
        • Extra resources and links to blog posts and articles on academic blogging and impact
  • Jan 16, 12

    Very telling instructions, that amount to using social media to generate "metrics" and thus voluntarily putting yourself under surveillance, as well as instructions on "watch what you say," tantamount to instilling fear and encouraging self-censorship. 

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