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Conference hashtags: A case of #RTP18 – The 2018 Exercise and Sports Science Australia Conference
journal contributionposted on 02.10.2019, 00:00 by Robert StantonRobert Stanton, A Hobson-Powell, S Rosenbaum
Background: Twitter is increasingly used as a medium to communicate scholarly content and facilitate expedited knowledge translation. Academic conferences typically use event-specific hashtags to promote conferences and move conference-related conversations to the public domain. Like other health disciplines, exercise physiology and exercise science attract global interest, and Twitter used during conferences can promote conference content to a broader audience than attendees. However, despite conferences in these disciplines having previously used hashtags, no published studies have examined their use. This study examined the use of the #RTP18 during the 2018 Exercise & Sports Science Australia Research to Practice Conference. Methods: Freely accessible Twitter data were mined using twdocs. Descriptive statistics were used to report the number of original tweets and retweets. Content analysis was used to differentiate original tweets related to specific conference sessions from tweets related to the conference in general. Data are presented for each day of the conference and overall for the three days of the conference. Results: A total of 262 original tweets were identified using the hashtag #RTP18. Seventy-one percent (n = 187) of the original tweets were related to specific conference content, while n = 75 (29%) of original tweets were related to the conference in general. More than 11,500 retweets were identified across the duration of the conference. The mean retweet rate was 12.7 times and ranged from 0–73. Conclusion: Twitter appears to be a powerful tool to extend the reach of conference activities. The use of social media may enhance organizational and personal networking opportunities for conference delegates.