The vast and varied world of academic Twitter accounts provides much to the community: a quick laugh, a source of information and/or procrastination (sometimes both simultaneously) and often rich networking and learning opportunities. Of course, you should already be following University Affairs and our bloggers from The Black Hole, Speculative Diction, From PhD to Life and Careers Café, but we assume you have that covered.
While it’s impossible to create a definitive short list of the best accounts to follow for academic news and research, insightful commentary and some of the best memes on the internet, here are a few of our favourites. Let us know of other great academic Twitter accounts you follow in the comments. Please note that number of tweets and followers per user were as of the publication date of this article. They will change.
1. Bonnie Stewart
@bonstewart 66.6K tweets, 9,992 followers
Who? Dr. Stewart is an adult teaching coordinator at the University of Prince Edward Island as well an online teacher. She describes herself as an educator, writer and social media fortune teller.
Why follow? An online teaching pioneer, Dr. Stewart offers insight into course methodology, as well as best practices for other online profs.
want to explore/unpack the “violence inherent in the (grading) system” WITH my students, who are also teachers. https://t.co/x2q4Sa4Jm0
— Bonnie Stewart (@bonstewart) June 2, 2016
2. Raul Pacheco-Vega
@raulpacheco 142K tweets, 12.5K followers
Who? Dr. Pacheco-Vega is an assistant professor in the public administration division of the Centre for Economic Teaching and Research (Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas, CIDE) in Aguascalientes, Mexico.
Why follow? He founded #ScholarSunday on Twitter and examines public policy and environmental policy.
Teaching students to write stuff that will get them hired, not just essays
— Dr Raul Pacheco-Vega (@raulpacheco) July 13, 2016
3. Malinda S. Smith
@MalindaSmith 7,426 tweets, 1,265 followers
Who? Dr. Smith is a political science professor at the University of Alberta.
Why follow? A scholar engaged in equity and social justice causes, she regularly calls attention to (and calls out) bias, diversity failures and civil rights issues.
“Men get the research money” by @jilltxt https://t.co/3o9UybADA0 pic.twitter.com/pgxP8qE2rc
— Malinda S. Smith (@MalindaSmith) July 13, 2016
Higher education policy
4. Alex Usher
@AlexUsherHESA 34K tweets, 4,081 followers
Who? Alex Usher is president of Higher Education Strategy Associates in Toronto.
Why follow? Blunt talk about Canadian higher ed policies, as well as daily insight on the sector in his One Thought blog (currently on hiatus until mid-August).
Cdn govt seems to think “innovation” is synonym for “groovy tech/science-y things”. Hope they sort this out before releasing a policy on it
— Alex Usher (@AlexUsherHESA) July 13, 2016
5. Daniel Munro
@dk_munro 10.2K tweets, 1,747 followers
Who? Dr. Munro is a principal research associate in public policy at the Conference Board of Canada as well as a faculty member at the University of Ottawa.
Why follow? Insight into Conference Board reports, as well as science and innovation policy issues.
Proposed rule: Only those who read pp29-31 of CSLS study allowed to tweet this article. https://t.co/GbNxl9raD4 https://t.co/92BbGnY4YX
— Daniel Munro (@dk_munro) July 13, 2016
Science and research
6. Retraction Watch
@RetractionWatch 3,159 tweets, 13.7K followers
Who? A blog providing open access to information about corrections to and retractions of journal articles, and scholarly publications.
Why follow? Mea culpas and noteworthy items about scientific publishing, plus a daily newsletter.
Researcher who sued to stop retractions earns his 7th
— Retraction Watch (@RetractionWatch) July 13, 2016
@sciencepolicy 6,345 tweets, 6,721 followers
Who? Canadian Science Policy Conference (CSPC)
Why follow? Video interviews with key figures in Canada’s scientific community, and useful news and events about science, innovation, and policy.
“Canada and Russia could build on decades of cooperation in the Arctic and focus on their shared challenges” https://t.co/MK9f7MB6bW
— SciencePolicy (CSPC) (@sciencepolicy) July 11, 2016
8. Dr. Inger Mewburn
@thesiswhisperer 56.1K tweets, 27.3K followers
Who? Dr. Mewburn is managing editor of the Thesis Whisperer blog and director of research training at Australian National University.
Why follow? “What font should I choose for my thesis?” “Is a PhD really like a child?” Answers to these and more…
How can you get more people to read your papers? Jonathon Downie does an experiment or two to find out… https://t.co/E1EjdHHkkm #acwri
— Dr Inger Mewburn (@thesiswhisperer) July 13, 2016
9. Academic Pain
@academicpain 3,365 tweets, 13.4K followers
Who? GIFs to sustain you as you procrastinate your way through graduate school
Why follow? Share your pain and visual representation will appear because laughing gives a cover for all those tears.
Successful thesis defence #phdchat pic.twitter.com/R6jHXYVW7M
— Academic Pain (@AcademicPain) July 13, 2016
10. Dr. Academic Batgirl
@AcademicBatgirl 536 tweets, 9,063 followers
Who? “Spreading scholarly peace, academic love, and writing fun. Associate Superhero and Overall Badass.”
Why follow? Memes, motivation and retweets to help you get your manuscript out.
The difference an hour can make after receiving a revise and resubmit. pic.twitter.com/EzSlY32S3V
— Dr Academic Batgirl (@AcademicBatgirl) July 11, 2016
11. Sh*t My Reviewers Say
@YourPaperSucks 776 tweets, 20.2K followers
Who? Real reviewers. Real sh*t they say – as submitted on Tumblr
Why follow? Everybody hurts, sometimes.
‘There is a very interesting story to be conveyed in this paper, but it is hidden behind layers of mud, obscured by poor writing’
— ShitMyReviewersSay (@YourPaperSucks) June 27, 2016
12. Academia Obscura
@AcademiaObscura 1,726 tweets, 36.2K followers
Who? “Silly, not stupid.”
Why follow? Jokes and memes that take you through the ivory tower’s lesser known, more amusing qualities. And who doesn’t love a caption contest?
Reviewer 3, as portrayed by a dog.
— Academia Obscura (@AcademiaObscura) July 13, 2016
13. Santa J. Ono
@ubcprez 606 tweets, 4,973 followers
Who? The incoming president of the University of British Columbia
Why follow? Named one of “10 college presidents on Twitter who are doing it right,” Dr. Ono had an amazing 74,000 followers for his @PrezOno account while president of the University of Cincinnati. Rather than take that account with him to UBC, Dr. Ono decided to start fresh with a new account.
First 6 UBC students to tweet me photos of themselves in bowties will be invited to dinner at President’s house RT https://t.co/L6VUDdlhcH
— Santa J. Ono (@ubcprez) June 15, 2016
Sad to see no mention of Canadian scientist and activist Dr Ghoussoub here. This is his twitter; check it out for yourself: https://twitter.com/NGhoussoub
Many missed, including Dr. Ghoussoub (UBC) and most of the US academics with twitter accounts. It may be worth compiling a new list based on the hashtags “academic” or “professor”, you will be surprised at how many of us are out there in the twitter wild lands.
To the previous commenter Mercedes Fernandez Duran – this is obviously just the recommendations of one person. We know there are many other excellent Twitterati out there. The obes suggested here are just a springboard. If you are so concerned then compile a list yourself and put it up.