Twitter in academia:How to use Twitter to further your research career

Long-term readers here would recognise that I am on the fence for Twitter; specifically for “collaborating” on the issues of science. Using Twitter for research would be naïve. Your exposure online depends on the algorithm and it is next to inconceivable to foresee how your feed becomes noticeable.

Blogging, instead, allows you to express yourself. For example, this article that appeared in the nature and gets more positive intonation than my cynical view of the social media:

Perhaps the most obvious, and most important, aspect of Twitter is that the platform facilitates a closer, more informal connection between scientists. It can be difficult to see the true nature and personality of authors through the mountains of academic papers they produce. Getting a more human perspective on the big shots we look up to can be refreshing; we can learn about both their science and their wider views, hobbies and the like. By having a more personal line of communication with each other, rather than relying on e-mail correspondence, scientists can connect and form fruitful relationships more easily.

How to use Twitter to further your research career

I am not convinced about this line of thought. Everyone needs the “exposure” to papers, and especially in the biological sciences, pre-prints have now become routine. However, those are not without “wrangling” because it favors vocal members of the community to shout down ideas that are unpopular to assert their gatekeeping. Funding is limited now as the developed nations scale down their commitments. Thus, it is easier to shoot the message, and Twitter only amplifies those voices.

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