Early career academic mentoring using Twitter: the case of #ECRchat
Ferguson, H & Wheat, KL 2015, 'Early career academic mentoring using Twitter: the case of #ECRchat', Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, vol. 37, no. 1, pp. 3-13.
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Early career academics around the world frequently see themselves as being in need of targeted career support to navigate the years directly following PhD graduation. The growth of discussion groups on Twitter that target these users raises questions about their potential usefulness to address career development support needs. This paper reflects on the authors’ experiences of starting a career development discussion group via Twitter for early career academics. Drawing on the group’s tweets during its first year, we explore its role as a peer-mentoring forum that provides opportunities for support and knowledge sharing. We conclude that online communities like #ECRchat can be an important source of support, but that the norms developed within them may also individualise struggles and impose additional kinds of work on participants.