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New guide: Get onboard the Twitter train

Twitterbrain, #dkforsk and tweets. If you are not already familiar with the expressions, perhaps you will be soon. Health's new Twitter guide is self-help for all those who wish to turbocharge their network and academic dialogues. Here, Christine Parsons and Asser Hedegård Thomsen explain why they spend time on the platform.

2021.01.28 | Sabina Bjerre Hansen

[Translate to English:] Ansatte på Health kan nu få hjælp til Twitter i fakultetets nye guide. I guiden er der både gode råd og udførlige vejledninger, og så deler to af fakultetets mest aktive Twitter-brugere ud af deres erfaring. Fotos: AU Health.

Now, employees at Health can get help with Twitter in the faculty's new guide. The guide includes both good advice and detailed guidelines, and two of the faculty's most active Twitter users share their experience. Photo: AU Health and Danielle MacInnes, Unsplash.

In Health's new Twitter guide, you can find help from employees at the faculty who either want to initiate or improve the activity on Twitter – a social media that is ideal for participating in academic communities. The guide has two tracks; one with basic knowledge for beginners and another for users that aim at moving up a level.

Twitter once primarily attracted journalists, politicians and opinion-makers, but now more and more researchers, both Danish and international, use Twitter to share knowledge, network and exchange experience. And according to two of Health's researchers, spending time on Twitter makes good sense.

My Twitter feed is a working tool

Christine Parsons, Photo: AU Photo”Professionally, Twitter keeps me up-to-date on research, new methods and broader perspectives within my field of study. This strengthens my professional network, and personally I enjoy seeing and celebrating good news on Twitter – for example successful colleagues who secure funding or publish new research results. Especially those colleagues I don’t see daily.”

This is what Associate Professor Christine Parsons 

from the Department of Clinical Medicine and the Interacting Minds Centre says about her presence on Twitter. She created her profile in 2009 and has around 1,000 followers, and she views her Twitter feed as a working tool rather than a distraction or form of procrastination.

Tips, tricks and detailed guidelines

The new Twitter guides contain a step-by-step guide to creating a profile on Twitter, as well as bringing together the most important facts about the platform and its various functions. In addition, the guide includes reflections on what constitutes a good tweet, a range of useful tips on how to conduct yourself in the ‘Twitter universe’ and topics such as "What can you do with a tweet?", "Who should you follow on Twitter?" and “Hashtags – where do you start?"

You won’t find the same network anywhere else

Like Christine Parsons, Medical Specialist in forensic medicine Asser Hedegård Thomsen from the Department of Forensic Medicine is enthusiastic about Twitter.

Asser Thomsen, Photo: AU Photo

"It's fun, but most importantly, it's a chance to talk about my subject. I've got a network on Twitter that I don't think I would have been able to find anywhere else. Interesting people and opinions," he says.

Asser Hedegård Thomsen created his profile in 2016 and now has approx. 5,300 followers on Twitter. He has several times found that a tweet led to media coverage, and he advocates a positive and unpretentious tone on the platform.

Take the plunge

"Relax. It’s more a case of graffiti in the school toilet than it’s a student council meeting. That being said, it's a good idea to re-read your tweet a few times before you press the button. Generally speaking, if a thought makes you laugh and can also stand the light of day, then tweet it. And remember that you’re in the public domain, so it could potentially be in the media the next day," he says, adding:

"Just try Twitter, you can always drop it again – and forget everything about how many followers you’ve got until much later."

Why is being on Twitter an obvious move?

Being on Twitter can give you the following:

  • Increased visibility that can benefit you and your work (e.g. increased attention from foundations, potential collaborations and potential new colleagues)
  • A larger professional network
  • Exchange of knowledge and experience with peers in your field of study
  • A direct line to peers, partners, politicians and foundations
  • The opportunity to help set the agenda within your field of study
  • Recognition from your network and peers
  • Exposure of potential career-promoting projects and results
  • Insight into the current media debate and political agenda

Read more in the Twitter guide on Health’s staff website and follow your colleagues on Twitter: Christine Parsons and Asser Hedegård Thomsen.


Communication Partner Sabina Bjerre Hansen
Aarhus University, HE Administrative Centre – Health Communication
Mobile: (+45) 3012 3732
Email: sbh@au.dk

Administrative, Academic staff, Health, Health, Technical / administrative staff