How can Twitter, which limits users to 140 characters per tweet, have any relevance to universities and academia, where journal articles are between 3,000-8,000 words long? Can anything of academic value ever be said in just 140 characters?
A new Twitter guide published by the LSE Public Policy Group and the LSE Impact of Social Sciences blog seeks to answer this question, and show academics and researchers how to get the most out of the micro-blogging site. The Guide is designed to lead the novice through the basics of Twitter but also provide tips on how it can aid the teaching and research of the more experienced academic tweeter.
Suggestions for tweeting academics include, adopting different styles – from 'substantive' to 'conversational' – to match the content and intended audience; crowd-sourcing research activities, such as getting followers to gather information or analyse data, and setting up different feeds to provide targeted guidance and feedback for each taught class.
Professor Patrick Dunleavy, Chair of the LSE Public Policy group and co-author of the Guide said:
“I know that some people in academia will think that going on Twitter is not for them. But I hope that this new Guide may help many other colleagues who are interested in this new development but don’t know how it works to get started themselves on Twitter. They can then see if it is useful for expanding their access to people, networks and up to date materials. And for those who are already far more experienced and expert in Twitter than us, we would be grateful for any ideas for improvements to the Guide”.
To download the guide, see: Using Twitter in university research, teaching and impact activities [PDF]|
For more information about the report and the LSE Public Policy Group please contact Amy Mollett on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 7955 6731.
The LSE Public Policy Group (PPG) undertakes pure and applied research, policy evaluation and consultancy for government bodies, international organizations and major corporations active in the fields of public sector innovation and productivity, citizen redress, policy evaluation, public engagement, budgeting and audit, and e-government, survey and focus group research, public opinion, and the design of election systems.
3 October 2011