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Researcher Profiles, Identifiers and Engagement

This guide provides information about how to create, use and promote your online research presence.

What is Twitter

Twitter is widely used by many researchers who want to build engagement and discussion around their research interests. Twitter is an easy and quick way to engage with other researchers and participate in conversations that extend beyond your known research network.

Twitter is a form of blogging - called microblogging.  Microblogs are simply very small blog posts and are usually limited in number of characters e.g. 140 characters for Twitter. Microblogs can include small amounts of text or an image, or provide links to videos or other web pages.

Use tweets for promoting new research, conference/event participation or directing people to web pages, such as blogs.

Getting started

What is a hashtag? 

A hashtag is any word or phrase immediately preceded by the # symbol. When you click or tap on a hashtag, you'll see other Tweets containing the same keyword or topic.

Hashtags are useful for grouping keywords or phrases together eg. conference posts, event notifications, public sentiment.

For more information on using hashtags click here.

What is an @username?

The @username is unique and is used for identifying a user in twitter (eg @JCULibrary). A Username (also referred to as a handle) is used for logging in, appears in your profile and can refer to individual people, groups, scholars, institutions etc.  Other twitter users will use your @username to mention you in tweets, send you a message or link to your profile.

For more information on @usernames click here.

Can you delete tweets?

You can easily delete a tweet if you realise there was something else you wanted to say - deleting tweets is only recommended soon after you have posted it or unless there is a serious mistake - you don't want to delete tweets that others have retweeted or liked (if your tweet got this attention then it must be ok). Remember that most tweets have a very short life cycle. Remember you can always retweet your own tweet, correcting any wrong info or adding something else you want to say - this will extend the life cycle of your tweet and/or bring it back into the conversation.

For more information on deleting a tweet click here.

What is a retweet?

If you would like to share a tweet with your followers, you can either retweet (share the content exactly as it was posted) or quote retweet (allowing you to add your own comments) before sharing.  This feature can be useful as it gives you an extra 140 characters to use to further annotate the original tweet, or re-post previous tweets for alternative audiences. 

For more information on how to retweet or undo retweets click here.

What is a direct message?

The direct message function in twitter is used for private conversations between a user and one or more of their followers. The content of the messages is only shared between the individuals or nominated group members (up to 50 twitter handles can be nominated in a group conversation).   Tweet links can be shared in addition to photos, video and other media.

For more information on direct messages click here.

How do you find and follow people on twitter?

To find people, groups or institutions on twitter, type their name or username in to the search box or explore icon (magnifying glass).  Identify the person or group you are seeking and then click/tap on the follow button.  To unfollow, reclick or retap the same button to undo the follow function.

For more information on how to follow people on twitter click here.


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Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA) 4.0 International License. Content from this Guide should be attributed to James Cook University Library. This does not apply to images, third party material (seek permission from the original owner) or any logos or insignia belonging to JCU or other bodies, which remain All Rights Reserved.