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November 8, 2015

Proceedings of the Natural Institute of Science | Volume 2 | SCI-NEWS 23

Department chair would like to remind faculty that tweets do not count as publications for annual review

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – It’s that time of year again when faculty prepare their annual review—a list of professional accomplishments such as publications, grants received and academic service during the past year. However, the annual reviews of some faculty at Boston University might be noticeably thinner this year as a stern email has been circulating reminding them that tweets should not be listed as “Publications”.

The email came from Tina Northup, chair of the Psychology Department at Boston University. She states that the impetus behind the email was an attempt by some faculty to bulk up their annual review by listing some tweets as publications. “Last year, we had faculty claiming publications in the Journal of Twitter, Proceedings of the Twitter Society, and Twittersphere. None of these are peer-reviewed scientific journals, although we concede that these tweets most likely received more views than all of our other actual publications from faculty combined,” wrote Northup in the email.

Some faculty defended their decision to list tweets as publications. “Technically, it’s published,” said Raphe Vantrella (or @coolbostonprof), associate professor at Boston University. “It’s also reviewed by the people at Twitter, I assume, and they seem like they could be my friends, so it’s also peer reviewed.”

Other faculty were also disappointed at the decision. “Well, I was planning on listing 1,345 publications this year,” decried Sasha Olsenheimer (or @butweetyprof). “But now, because of this, I have to trim down that list by 1,343 entries.”

“Oh, and I guess this means that re-tweets of my tweets don’t count towards my h-index anymore,” added Olsenheimer. “That’s just great. Hashtag allthatworkfornothing. Hashtag fml.”


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