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Manson, S., & Singh, L. (2022). Reporting and discoverability of “Tweets” quoted in published scholarship: current practice and ethical implications. SAGE Publication, 21. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1177/17470161221076948


Twitter is an increasingly common source of rich, personalized qualitative data, as millions of people daily share their thoughts on myriad topics. However, questions remain unclear concerning if and how to quote publicly available social media data ethically. In this study, focusing on 136 education manuscripts quoting 2667 Tweets, we look to investigate the ways in which Tweets are quoted, the ethical discussions forwarded and actions taken, and the extent to which quoted Tweets are “discoverable.” A concerning result is that in almost all manuscripts, and for around half of all quoted Tweets, the original author could be identified. Drawing on our findings we share some ethical dilemmas, including those that arise from an apparent lack of understanding of the technical aspects of the platform, and offer suggestions for promoting ethically-informed practice.