Monday, March 5, 2012

How Do You Cite a Tweet?

As more and more information is passed through Twitter, Facebook, and other transient posts, an issue emerges for researchers: How are these posts cited? While there are many different styles of academic citation, all of them must keep up with the changing sources of information.

MLA released official guidelines for citing Tweets a few days ago, and although the format isn't perfect (it asks for the user's, not the poster's, date and time of Tweet, and lacks a URL) at least it is an official standard for this style. Although I searched for other styles' recommendations, the only other one I found was this blog post on the APA website, which is not an official guideline. However, other styles are sure to follow soon. There are many reasons such a post might need to be cited in a paper, and not just because the topic is social media. For instance, many pieces of news are now breaking first on Twitter, and a researcher might need to cite the first appearance.

Anyway, here's what MLA recommends!

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