Twitter in sport psychology: Exploring the use of Twitter by researchers in the field


Twitter has proven to be an effective platform for researchers hoping to disseminate their work. This is particularly relevant to sport psychology, as Twitter provides an opportunity for researchers to share knowledge with sport stakeholders and the public. Despite this, the use of Twitter by sport psychology researchers has yet to be investigated. As such, this study aims to determine how sport psychology researchers are connected to one another on Twitter and the ways in which they use hashtags on the platform. To do this, a sample of researchers (n = 263) was collected from the publicly available editorial boards of major sport psychology journals. Within this sample, 138 researchers (52%) had an active Twitter account. Twitter's Academic Researcher Product Track was used in combination with a third-party data collection software to pull author metrics and Tweets for analysis. Findings suggest that sport psychology researchers in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom most frequently posted on Twitter in comparison to other countries. Additionally, there seems to be no pattern regarding who researchers choose to "follow". In terms of platform use, researchers chose to use the hashtag functionality on Twitter in 14,593 of 80,853 (18%) of original Tweets. Employing this feature resulted in higher rates of Tweet engagement. These findings demonstrate the utility of Twitter as a means of connecting researchers around the world. It is hoped these results will provide a deeper understanding into how Twitter is used currently so recommendations for optimal use can be created.

Acknowledgments: This work was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC Grant # 435-2020-0094).