Finding the right Twitter hashtag to engage with academics and professionals may be challenging and time consuming, thus, to help researchers, we founded the SciHashtag Project – a free open collection of Twitter hashtags about science communication in and out the academic world.
Twitter is becoming an integral part of researchers’ daily activities. On Twitter, academics can discuss scientific topics from different points of view, with different audiences, and in different contexts, thus extending public science communication. They can share their findings, discuss and challenge emerging research, crowdsource new ideas, and improve their career. Furthermore, researchers can use Twitter as a resource at scientific conferences to engage both attendees and people who follow it online, and to strengthen the academic community.
Hashtags — those keywords preceded by the hash symbol (#) — are integral to the way we communicate on Twitter. By turning a word or group of words into a searchable link, hashtags are an awesome medium for finding great content on Twitter. Nevertheless, it can be very difficult to find the right hashtags to search for tweets related to the same topic, to reach target audiences, or to categorize messages for later searching or sharing. For example, hashtags such as #STEM #scicomm (which stands for science communication) #scienceoutreach, and #scienceisawesome, may be missed by searching a generic keyword on Twitter.