Disclaimer: the aforementioned hashtags list isn’t entitled to be exhaustive at first glanceyet to be improved over time.

Whether it is for disseminating or seeking information, empowering communities, overcoming barriers or funnelling engagement, academics and scientific professionals are turning more and more to social media platforms to listen and engage.

To successfully reach a targeted audience and raise further interest, messages sent on digital networks have been, ever since the creation of Twitter, embedded with hashtags, those particular keywords preceded by the hash symbol (#) are filtering relevant conversations, thus defining the overall framework of how digital communication operates.

Aiming to brush up on the Twitter language, here are listed below some categories of hashtags and their explanationsfor scientists evolving around academia, along with additional databases to expand possibilities.

#ICanHazPDF is a hashtag used to request access to peer-review academic journal articles which are neither accessible in open access on the publisher’s website nor easily downloadable elsewhere. Using DOI, title or any other useful linked information, the abovementioned tag and a method of return messaging, someone with access can provide scientific publications of interest. It is important noticing that, due to the borderline copyright infringement of said practice, the primary user shall delete the original tweet after the request has been granted. On the other hand, #OA and #OpenScience are hashtags more likely to be used to discuss ‘open science’ in a larger context.

#scicomm (i.e. science communication)which is extremely popular#scienceoutreach, and #scienceisawesome, are terms used to disseminate scientific discoveries across audiences, further sharing your excitement for science altogether.

#womeninscience or #womeninacademia empower women who work in science, eventually calling out patriarchy. 

#academicmama connects women as they juggle science and motherhood.

#AcademicTwitter, #AcademicLife, #MyDayInHE (i.e. My Day in Higher Education) and more commonly used #PhDchat and #PhDlife hashtags are often being used to discuss life moments—good and bad—respectively throughout an academic journey, or more specifically during a PhD.

#AmWriting, #AmReading, #AmEditing, #AcWri (i.e. Academic Writing), #ShutUpAndWrite, #WriteThatPhDand #GetYourManuscriptOut, are sparking conversations around the different stages of the manuscript writing process, warning people to leave you undisturbed or even allow you sharing frustrations across the digital sphere.

#reviewer2 allows freeing your anger online about everything that’s simply wrong with the peer-review system.

#withaPhD, #BeyondProf, #PostAc and #altac (i.e. Alternative Academy) are very trending hashtags for those discussing and seeking professional career opportunities outside the academia.

Additional resources:

  • Hashtagify.me gives a quick overview of all related hashtags about a specific topic; 
  • TagDef explains the meaning of different hashtags; 
  • RiteTag suggests the most relevant hashtags for your topic;