@mymom I’m back on Twitter!

After a four year hiatus I am returning to Twitter (@tweetapril) and quickly realizing that I have really missed out. As a participant in a MOOC, Introduction to Learning Technologies, I was prompted to connect via their hashtag (#ilt_usask) on Twitter (in 140 characters or less at a time).

For anyone new to Twitter, course instructors pointed us to the very sweet and useful Mom This is How Twitter Works. It has some quick tips if you are a little rusty as well. For example, if you start a tweet with a username like @mymom it will limit who gets to see it, versus putting a period or other characters in front of it.

We were also directed to 10 Commandments of Twitter for Academics from The Chronicle for Higher Education, with some sage advice on using Twitter in your personal and professional lives. I will of course recommend that you follow McGill Library (@McGillLib) but please do not stop there. I’m following a lot of Montreal- sci-tech- library-oriented people and discovering new things everyday.

Here is one that I will leave you with: British Library’s #ShareMyThesis competition. First prize for this worldwide competition is a 15-inch MacBook pro. Take a look at how past and present PhD students have been sharing why their project is important #ShareMyThesis and consider contributing.

Try this: Altmetric it

Last year I posted on Altmetric for Scopus where you can find metrics, like tweets, blogs, and saves to citation managers, that are alternatives to the traditional citation counts. Altmetric now has a tool to allow you to see these metrics for articles that you are viewing in your browser. I installed this Altmetric bookmarklet to my bookmarks bar. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Altmetric for Scopus


The next time that you find an article of interest in the Scopus database, click on the title and look for this Altmetric for Scopus box. The article will get a score, based on how much attention or buzz it is getting online. For example, this article was mentioned by 18 tweeters and was saved by seven individuals to their Mendeley references. You can read the tweets and see how many of them are coming from the general public, versus scientists, practitioners, or journalists and bloggers. The app will also tell you how the article ranks and if the Altmetric score is good compared to other articles that came out around the same time and from the same journal. Alternative metrics like these are great for going beyond the standard citation count, h-index, or journal impact factor, and can provide some realtime feedback.