Tag Archives: Social Media

Twitter tools for researchers


We recently ran a session on Twitter for Swansea University’s Postgraduate Research programme. Part of this was looking at extra tools that can help improve the experience of using Twitter and help to use it more effectively.

Developing tools to enhance Twitter is big business – the free tools come and go (anyone remember Twapperkeeper?) so be aware they can vanish or stop working, perhaps with little notice. They can also be very persistent in suggesting you upgrade to a paid-for premium account for extra features. We used Storify to put a hand-picked list together, based on personal recommendation. Most have enjoyed some longevity and reputation:


This covers the following areas:

  • Apps for viewing Twitter – for a more sophisticated Twitter experience than Twitter.com / the Twitter app
  • Twitter stats – monitor your progress on Twitter (including a look at options for altmetrics)
  • Scheduling tweets
  • Analysing your followers and using Lists
  • Archiving tweets
  • Multimedia on Twitter
  • Legal issues – a collection of articles

Let us know in the comments if you have any suggestions to add!

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“Wild writing” or “Global Common Room”? 6 perspectives on academic blogging


Many academics have taken up blogging with enthusiasm as a way of sharing and promoting their research online or as a more reflective way of working. For others, the idea of blogging is an addition to a heavy workload and comes with anxiety about public scrutiny and plagiarism. There have been several interesting articles this year which focus on different reasons – and justifications – for blogging:

1. Mark Corrigan discusses the concept of a “thriving academic blogosphere” which opens up “a distinctive space between academic research and journalism” – read more on the LSE Impact blog.

2. Pat Thompson reports on a small study of academic bloggers which found that blogging (and commenting) functions as a “global common room”  – read more from the Guardian’s Higher Education Network.

3. The idea of blogging as a “vehicle for intellectual exploration” is discussed by Mark Corrigan and also echoed in a discussion of academic writing on the patter blog which quotes Gerald Raunig’s “Factories of Knowledge, Industries of Creativity” on the restrictions of academic writing:

“Wild and transversal writing is tamed and fed into the creativity-destroying apparatuses of disciplining institutions”

4. Sasley and Sucharov discuss blogging as a place for “moral activism” within the context of social engagement and a way of expressing one’s non-scholarly identity – read more on the LSE Impact Blog.

5. Is blogging what policy makers want to read i.e. more easily digestible content than full reports or academic articles? This study of US policy-makers explores this potentially impact-boosting benefit of blogging.

6. This article from the Guardian on the current emphasis on demonstrating impact from research focusses on blogging and highlighted our very own Katharina Hall’s successful “Mrs Peabody” blog in connection with REF 2014.


(If you are interested in starting a blog there’s a recent “top 10 tips for academic blogging” article from the Guardian or this article by Mary Hunt has excellent advice on style and approach. The LSE Impact of Social Sciences blog is also a great ongoing source of articles on all aspects of engagement and social media.)

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Research Impact: Tools for Success (5th Dec 2013)


Our Research Impact one-day workshop took place in the library on Thursday – the event was run by ISS in conjunction with DRI, APECS, SURF and was sponsored by a grant from the Welsh Government. For those who attended – and for those who were unable to make it – here are links and materials from the day where available:

We hope to repeat some or all of these sessions – please get in touch if you would like more information on the above or to request future sessions: library@swansea.ac.uk 

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Social Media for Postgraduate Researchers

Are you a Postgraduate? Don’t miss out on this training session held on Wednesday 23rd Nov 10-12 in PC room 3.

We’ll be looking at 3 tools in this session:

Netvibes (great for organising your online research)
Google Docs (great for collaborating with other students)
Twitter (great for networking and promoting your own research)

Led by Social Media enthusiasts this will be a hands-on training session with lots of opportunity to try out the tools and get expert advice on how these tools can help you in your studies.

This session is being run as part of the Postgraduate Research Programme – to book your place please contact skillstraining@swansea.ac.uk

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