Social Media

Twitter to Get You Going: How this Bite-Sized Social Media Platform Can Take Your Research to the Right Audience

At this point in the timeline of society and culture, Twitter is a pretty big deal. Almost nothing significant happens around people with internet access that doesn’t get tweeted about. Surely, science too, in its journey forward, can only benefit from Twitter?

Absolutely, says a new study conducted by the social media network of The Annals of Thoracic Surgery journal.

In the study, the team determined whether using twitter to “promote” an article would help increase the reach of the article. They found that articles they tweeted about received 3 times as many citations as the ones that were not tweeted about. Citations, as you may know, are an indicator of how often other researchers talk about your publications in their own articles. This shows how important these findings are for them.

Of course, “citation” does not mean “quality.” A highly cited paper doesn’t automatically contain good research; the other researchers citing a paper may just as well be shutting the study down for bad research. But if you understand this distinction well, Twitter can be your tool to improve your reach too.

Twitter as an Online Discussion Platform

Word of mouth has greatly helped science to be communicated (imagine how you would know what your lab members are working on if there were no lab meetings) and helped papers gain readers. In the current pandemic, everything that can be relocated online, has been relocated, with conferences, classes, and work sessions being held through Zoom meetings. So now, Twitter can act as an extended online discussion platform where scientists can discuss and share latest research. Twitter lets you talk to a vaster and more diverse crowd than what conferences and workshops can give you. Twitter might just be that tool to bridge the communication gap between global academic circles.

And it is already doing exactly that on a smaller scale; the academic community on Twitter is thriving, with Twitter acting as a space for academics to share and discuss their research with other academics without the limitations of geography, in a sort of a modern pandemic-era take on professional networking.

Newer Content Formats on Twitter to Showcase Research

Tweeting about your work (either the original paper, or derivative works like infographics, videos, and press releases) also makes your work known to academics who are not likely to read niche journals, and researchers in unrelated fields who are open to potential collaborations. An active Twitter academia scene can also influence young people into research careers. What’s more, it’s not just individual researchers that benefit from Twitter. Data shows that having a dedicated social media platform can improve the reach of the work and activities of institutions and societies as well.

So, are you ready to kick-off your Twitter academia journey, but aren’t sure where to start? Impact Science can help you. Reach out to us at

    Anupama Prakash

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