A lot of people have asked me “who should I follow, and which hashtags should I follow for academic content consumption”. Like any summary, there will be obviously biases, and perhaps someone overlooked, but these are some of the curators of social media hashtags for academics I follow.
#PhDChat (@NSRiazat) Nasima Riazat
The first time I saw a scholarly discussion of issues related to PhD life (and life as a graduate student) was over at #PhDChat. During the first few months, I joined the weekly hashtag moderation that was led by (soon-to-be Dr.) Nasima Riazat. Currently, #PhDChat functions both synchronously (weekly on Wednesdays I think) but also asynchronously. Any time someone wants to provide a piece of advice to PhD students (or just discuss PhD life), they do so over on the #PhDChat hashtag. Thanks to Nasima for always curating the feed, often retweeting very useful advice.
#PhDAdvice (@Nadine_Muller) Nadine Muller
The second time I saw someone actually make a concerted effort to provide PhD students with advice was Dr. Nadine Muller, who is a Lecturer in English Literature at Liverpool John Moores University. She actually created a website, The New Academic, to help not only PhD students, but also early career scholars. While #PhDAdvice has taken off as well as an asynchronous hashtag and not a weekly, curated discussion, I have found enormous value in the hashtag and I would strongly recommend following it.
#ScholarSunday (@RaulPacheco) Raul Pacheco-Vega
Ok, so this is a bit self-serving if you want, but I do curate a social media hashtag, Scholar Sunday (I used to curate #MyResearch as well, but it got a bit overwhelming and contaminated with spam). Scholar Sunday was born because was bored to tears with ridiculously long lists of Twitter IDs with the #FollowFriday hashtag attached (or #FF). Frankly, my idea was to help build scholarly communities, so I decided to create #ScholarSunday to encourage people who follow scholars/academics/intellectuals to share who they follow, but more importantly, WHY they do. I’ll fully confess to being adamant on the use so as to avoid it becoming yet another #FF (Follow Friday). While I curate the hashtag, I’m thrilled that even without me prompting them, a lot of people already jump on the bandwagon. If you want to follow some smart people, try looking through the #ScholarSunday hashtag.
#SaturdaySchool (@ProfRagsdale) Rhonda Ragsdale
This is a much more curated hashtag as it’s a weekly undertaking by (soon-to-be-Dr.) Rhonda Ragsdale, who is an Associate Professor of History at Lone Star College – North Harris, and a PhD Candidate at Rice University. Rhonda curates a weekly teach-in (as she calls it, a protest against misinformation). These occur on Saturdays, every week, with a different topic/theme. I’ve guest co-hosted previous #SaturdaySchool teach-ins on water, and I’d do it again, because it’s a great exercise in learning about a topic you may have never talked about.
#AdjunctChat (@JeffreyKeefer) Jeffrey Keefer
Dr. Jeffrey Keefer, who works as a Learning and Development Project Manager (Clinical Education) and Adjunct Professor at New York University and Pace University in New York City has taken on the challenging task of providing a forum for those professors who are not on a tenure-track stream (or tenured). Given the current dismal conditions of non-tenure-track faculty, serious conversations around this topic are much needed and I’m grateful to Jeffrey for curating the hashtag and hosting the weekly chat. #AdjunctChat provides a great forum to discuss issues that should be relevant to everybody in higher education.
#ECRChat (@KL_Wheat and @SnarkyPhD) Katie Wheat and Hazel Ferguson
While there was a couple of hashtags for PhD students (#PhDAdvice and #PhDChat, with #PhDForum a third that comes to mind right now), there wasn’t an actual chat for those of us who already got the PhD but aren’t senior scholars. Enter Hazel Ferguson and Katie Wheat, who co-host and co-organize the weekly chat for Early Career Scholars, #ECRChat. I know how hard it is to host a weekly Twitter chat, so I’m glad they do this on a fortnight (e.g. one week yes, one week no). If I had to host every week I’d be completely wiped (I tried to guest host a couple of times, but I couldn’t because I was overwhelmed with work). Of course, #ECRChat is also asynchronous and anybody who has (or wants) some advice will do it.
#AcWri (@DrATarrant and @DrJeremySegrott) Anna Tarrant and Jeremy Segrott
Given how often I use the hashtag, you would probably be right that if I might have forgotten #AcWri it would have been a sin. But no, I didn’t. The intellectual child of Dr. Anna Tarrant and Dr. Jeremy Segrott, #AcWri has become a virtual online forum where we academics (of all extractions, be it PhD students, Masters, or early career scholars, or senior professors) can discuss issues associated with academic writing. I love #AcWri, and while it is also a synchronous weekly chat, I often use it asynchronously.
Of course, you could argue that I missed #SocPhD, #PhDForum, etc. But this list was already long as I was writing it, so I’m sure someone else will take on the idea and run with it. I just thought I should summarize them for your perusal.