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.