Twitter for Researchers

I was recently revising my Library Research Guide on Productivity Tools for Graduate Students and found myself bounding down the Twitter for Researchers’ rabbit hole once again, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to share some of my latest findings with you as well as remind you of some of my favorites.

Nature offered a nice article several years back which is still relevant for budding scientists today: Social Media as a Scientist. Nature Methods also  looked at how scientists were using Twitter this past month with their informal survey of why being active on Twitter offers measurable benefits in Tweet, Tweet.

An oldie but goody is the 2011 article Using Twitter in University Research, Teaching and
Impact activities: A guide for academics and researchers where the authors take users from creating a twitter id through hashtags and to use Twitter in research.  A more recent book chapter on Using Twitter as a Data Source is from The Ethics of Online Research. Advances in Research Ethics and Integrity (2). (Emerald, 2017, ISBN 978-1-78714-486-6)

In these days of social distancing, many are faced with converting their university lab/office to the realm of online research, but Katy Hosbein and Joi Walker were far ahead of the curve since Katy has been doing remote postdoc work for Joi since July 2019.  Read their story in  It’s a Competitive Advantage:  Scientists tout benefits of hiring remote postdocs in May 2020 Science Magazine. Katy uses Twitter to keep connected with other researchers. offers this list of 101 Twitter Accounts Every #PhD Should Follow. It is a list worth evaluating for some real gems.  I did see The Thesis Whisperer, The Research Whisperer, and PhD2Published, so there are some must follow handles in there for PhD students.

Visualizing Twitter Communities

Ever wished you could visually explore for twitter connections on topics of interest?  Enter Bluenod. Bluenod lets you see Twitter community members and their connections, key hashtags and who are the key influencers based on your topic of interest. Its not free, but a free trial is available. For 10 other Awesome Twitter Analytics and Visualization Tools,  check out the list at  While you are there, wander over to the Ultimate List of Twitter Tools; it is pretty cool.

Want to dive down your own rabbit hole?  Try the Developer site for Twitter and start exploring their resources for Academic Researchers.

What is your favorite Twitter tool?  How do you best use Twitter for your academic pursuits?

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