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Researcher Identifiers, Profiles and Social Networks: Twitter

What is Twitter

Twitter is a social media tool used by millions of people world-wide. Twitter is an easy and quick way to engage and share ideas, thoughts and information to other researchers beyond your close networks. It’s also a great way to promote your research, share a link to your new publication or advertise any upcoming conferences/events in your field. 

Twitter is a form of microblogging, each post has a limit of 280 characters and the use of hashtags can group and link concepts and ideas easily. Twitter has inbuilt features which allows a post to include images, (photos, gifs, emojis, etc), videos, and links to material along with your post. 

Why use Twitter?

Twitter is a quick and easy way to share and promote your research to the research network worldwide. It can be accessed via PC or can be downloaded as an app on your smartphone which makes it a platform that is easy to connect to when you are away from your desk. By following other researchers in your field from other institutions or in the private sector you can keep up to date with the latest developments in research, events or publications. It’s a fun way to connect with others and receive the latest news and media updates. 

Twitter is also included in alternative metrics provider Altmetric. Altmetric tracks the attention that research outputs receive online including:

  • social media mentions (Twitter and Facebook)
  • traditional media outlets (newspapers)
  • blogs of organisations as well as individual researchers. 


How to Twitter

  1. Go to Twitter and select 'Sign up'.
  2. While creating an account you will need to create a unique username. A username or handle is used to log in, appears in your profile and helps other users identify you. Other Twitter users can mention you in tweets, share posts and send your direct messages using your username. For more information on usernames click here .

  • To find people, groups or institutions on Twitter, type their name or username into the search box. Identify the person or group you are seeking and then tap on the follow button. To unfollow, retap the same button to undo the follow function.

  1. If you would like to share a tweet with your followers, you can either retweet (share the content exactly as it was posted) or quote retweet (allowing you to add your own comments) before sharing.
  2. Once you have found a post you would like to share click on the retweet button and select ‘Retweet’ or ‘Quote Tweet’.
  3. For more information on how to retweet or undo retweets click here.

  • A hashtag is any word or phrase immediately preceded by the # symbol.
  • When you click or tap on a hashtag, you'll see other Tweets containing the same keyword or topic.
  • Hashtags are useful for grouping keywords or phrases together e.g., conference posts, event notifications, public sentiment.
  • Hashtags can be included anywhere in a tweet.
  • Popular hashtags can often be found in the trending topics page.
  • Do not add spaces or punctuation in a hashtag.
  • It’s best to use hashtags that already exist and are searchable. To find an existing hashtag type the term into the search bar to discover content.