Twitter for Research?

Twitter_logo_blueIf all you’ve heard about Twitter is that it’s an online place where users discuss the contents of their lunch bags, give it another look.

Since it’s founding in 2006 Twitter quickly became a source of news & research shared nearly in real time.  News media in every form tweet out headlines 24/7. Every professional association and scholarly journal use Twitter to bring traffic to their website. And can also be a valuable way to keep up on what’s going on.

By 2008 a paper was presented at an international conference on e Learning and Software for Education entitled Can we use Twitter for educational activities   

A major medical journal now includes a “tweetable abstract” of research studies encouraging authors to summarize the paper’s thesis, in 144 characters or less of course.

As with any information source Twitter has to be read with a critical eye   Be aware that some twitter feeds, just like websites are marketing devices; doesn’t make them worthless, but be aware of what you’re reading.

Following favorite authors is a good way to learn more about them and their work.