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Follow a scholar?

Because we subscribe to ActiveHistory, we get active updates from site publisher and history teacher, Russel Tarr (@activehistory).

A little while back, Russel shared his list of professional Historians on Twitter.

The caused me to think about PLN building in an expanded way.

As educators, many of us follow other educators, and perhaps, the journals of our disciplines.

Over the years, I’ve had students follow authors, world leaders and politicians.

But I’ve overlooked the emergence of Twitter scholarship.

If academics are sharing on Twitter, why not share lists of those most relevant scholars with high school teachers and (AP) students and encourage them to listen in on social academic discourse?

Can we help interested teachers develop lists in their disciplines by examining the followers/followings and public Twitter lists of the best of the tweeting academics?

Will the tweets of scholars also lead learners to scholarly blogs and articles?

A 2012 study, Research Blogs and the Discussion of Scholarly Information found that

RB bloggers show a preference for papers from high-impact journals and blog mostly about research in the life and behavioral sciences. The most frequently referenced journal sources in the sample were: Science, Nature, PNAS and PLoS One. Most of the bloggers in our sample had active Twitter accounts connected with their blogs, and at least 90% of these accounts connect to at least one other RB-related Twitter account.

The study refers to, a site that aggregates posts of bloggers who write about peer-reviewed research and makes RSS feeds available for topics in the sciences and social sciences.

Another strategy for using social media to discover scholarship is searching the sharing of the research groups on Mendeley. a growing reference manager and collaborative academic social network.

The infographic below breaks down the early results of a study conducted by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  The 2011 results revealed twitter among scholars is growing.  One in every 40 scholars is on Twitter, tweeting an average of five times per week, though most of their tweets are not directly related to their research.

Shema H, Bar-Ilan J, Thelwall M (2012) Research Blogs and the Discussion of Scholarly Information. PLoS ONE 7(5): e35869. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0035869
Related post: New Tricks for Academics
Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at Rutgers University School of Information and Communication, a technology writer, speaker, blogger and learner. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza


  1. Yes, Yes and More Yes!

    Traditional educators tend to be more subject matter experts and less deep learning methodology experts.

    Proven research needs to be part of the equation.

    My website, twitter, linkedin, facebook, developed over 3 years, aggregates proven deep learning research methodology.

    Access for free.

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