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Differences in personal and professional tweets of scholars

Timothy D Bowman (Université de Montréal, Montréal, QU, Canada)

Aslib Journal of Information Management

ISSN: 2050-3806

Article publication date: 18 May 2015

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to show that there were differences in the use of Twitter by professors at AAU schools. Affordance use differed between the personal and professional tweets of professors as categorized by turkers. Framing behaviors were described that could impact the interpretation of tweets by audience members.

Design/methodology/approach

A three phase research design was used that included surveys of professors, categorization of tweets by workers in Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, and categorization of tweets by active professors on Twitter.

Findings

There were significant differences found between professors that reported having a Twitter account, significant differences found between types of Twitter accounts (personal, professional, or both), and significant differences in the affordances used in personal and professional tweets. Framing behaviors were described that may assist altmetric researchers in distinguishing between personal and professional tweets.

Research limitations/implications

The study is limited by the sample population, survey instrument, low survey response rate, and low Cohen’s κ.

Practical implications

An overview of various affordances found in Twitter is provided and a novel use of Amazon’s Mechanical Turk for the categorization of tweets is described that can be applied to future altmetric studies.

Originality/value

This work utilizes a socio-technical framework integrating social and psychological theories to interpret results from the tweeting behavior of professors and the interpretation of tweets by workers in Amazon’s Mechanical Turk.

Keywords

Citation

Bowman, T.D. (2015), "Differences in personal and professional tweets of scholars", Aslib Journal of Information Management, Vol. 67 No. 3, pp. 356-371. https://doi.org/10.1108/AJIM-12-2014-0180

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited