Twitter Gets Some Academic Recognition

Twitter Gets Some Academic Recognition

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Academics everywhere can now cite tweets in their peer-reviewed papers.

Students everywhere, rejoice! The Modern Language Association, an organization dedicated to the study of literature and modern languages (and responsible for those pesky formatting guides used in academia the world over) has recently published information on how to properly cite a tweet in an academic paper.

This means that those who prefer avoiding doing research the old fashioned way (via reading large tomes and articles form a library archives) can opt to use Twitter for their next history paper, and still technically count it as an academic reference.

The instructions for citing a tweet are pretty straightforward, as seen here:

Begin the entry in the works-cited list with the author's real name and, in parentheses, user name, if both are known and they differ. If only the user name is known, give it alone.

Next provide the entire text of the tweet in quotation marks, without changing the capitalization. Conclude the entry with the date and time of the message and the medium of publication (Tweet). For example:

Athar, Sohaib (ReallyVirtual). "Helicopter hovering above Abbottabad at 1AM (is a rare event)." 1 May 2011, 3:58 p.m. Tweet.

Those eager to find out how they can use Twitter for academic purposes can visit the MLA's web page here for the specifics.

Source: Modern Language Association via io9

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Wait what, really?

Win for the internet, I guess...

When will Wiki get some respect?

I suspect that just because there's now a formal academic way of citing Twitter doesn't mean that it will be acknowledged by academic institutions as a valid source. Academics are critical enough of official studies as it is and Wiki articles are pretty much a no-go area[1]; Twitter will probably be thought of as the Devil's spawn.

[1] Only time I've ever used Wikipedia in an academic paper was when citing the size of Wikipedia.

Just because they've (pre-emptively) made a rule for how to do it doesn't mean it should (or will) be done, or that it will be considered legitimate. Rules for citing web-pages have been around for over 10 years and are rarely considered reliable sources (academically speaking) even today.

Then again, it's for modern language studies so I guess if a billion people are using the newest acronym or word/phrase and you're writing a paper on it, Twitter might be the source to cite.

I'm pretty sure my lecturers would laugh me out the building if I tried referencing Twitter in an essay.

WMDogma:

Athar, Sohaib (ReallyVirtual). "Helicopter hovering above Abbottabad at 1AM (is a rare event)." 1 May 2011, 3:58 p.m. Tweet.

Yeah...pretty game-changing event there. (no_sarcasm)

DVS BSTrD:
When will Wiki get some respect?

When it gets things right, and doesn't remove pages due to biased editors.

wiki:
The Escapist runs weekly with a main edition published on Tuesday;

which no longer happens - and worse, that mis-information is on Bookface as well.

The_root_of_all_evil:

WMDogma:

Athar, Sohaib (ReallyVirtual). "Helicopter hovering above Abbottabad at 1AM (is a rare event)." 1 May 2011, 3:58 p.m. Tweet.

Yeah...pretty game-changing event there. (no_sarcasm)

DVS BSTrD:
When will Wiki get some respect?

When it gets things right, and doesn't remove pages due to biased editors.

wiki:
The Escapist runs weekly with a main edition published on Tuesday;

which no longer happens - and worse, that mis-information is on Bookface as well.

But is twitter really better?
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Reeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaalllllllllllllllly?

Really? Really?

lokiduck:
Really? Really?

Pretty much all I have to say about this =|

Edit: I guess if Twitter is being brought to court, it should be cite-able then.

Twitter, the epicenter of celebrity worship and idiocy, the new learning tool?
Yeah, I don't think so, people would probably start going on twitter to pretend they're studying.
Quite frankly ridiculous if you ask me.

I see value in this. It all depends on the content of the paper being written. If you are talking about public reactions to a certain event, then twitter can be useful. Better than most other sources I get to dig through for a history class to capture the zeitgeist.
All sources are good for something, it is just a matter what that something is.
And wikipedia is already citable. It is a web page.

razer17:
I'm pretty sure my lecturers would laugh me out the building if I tried referencing Twitter in an essay.

I hope mine do too. To me Twitter is nothing more than an socially recognized way of stalking.

j0frenzy:

All sources are good for something, it is just a matter what that something is.

True that, but I won't be using Wikipedia for my articles. Still, highfive!

Sometimes when you're dealing with the top scientists in a field, a tweet from them is nearly as good as a peer reviewed statement. I found this reference guideline useful.

Smith, John ([email protected]). "Totz just pwnz zom /\/()()|3's gunaz get my Taint on now. Peace. Kony2012." 1 March 2012, 2:58 a.m. Tweet.

It has begun.

 

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