Testing TwitterWeave: An Application of the New IDS Web Tool for Tracking Research
IDS Evidence Report 191
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Understanding how people engage with research is a key issue for researchers, donors and anyone concerned with research impact, but observing this type of engagement is not easy. However, thanks to today’s widespread use of social media, it is now possible in principle to capture some of this engagement.
To enable people to do this, a software application, ‘TwitterWeave’, was recently developed as part of the Institute of Development Studies programme on Strengthening Evidence-based Policy. This free-to-use web application allows users to track not only what is being said on Twitter about a particular topic, but also who is saying it. Many Twitter-tracking tools exist, but the innovative feature of TwitterWeave is the way it organises and displays Twitter information into visualisations of chronological threads of related tweets, retweets and replies. (The other applications that provide anything comparable are expensive social media monitoring systems, whereas TwitterWeave is completely free to all users.)