Social Media Citations
I know; it’s not the most exciting subject, but it’s one of those necessary evils for academics. Social media or distributed communication isn’t going away and is being used as reference material, so how do we meet the referencing requirements of educational & research institutions?
The APA says “Citing particular posts requires both reference list entries and in-text citations.” Here are examples for individual (particular) posts from both Twitter and Facebook in an APA format:
Barack Obama. (2009b, October 9). Humbled. http://my.barackobama.com/page/community/post/obamaforamerica/gGM45m [Facebook update].
Retrieved from http://www.facebook.com/posted.php? id=6815841748&share_id=154954250775&comments=1#s154954250775
BarackObama. (2009a, July 15). Launched American Graduation Initiative to help additional 5 mill. Americans graduate college by 2020:
http://bit.ly/gcTX7 [Twitter post]. Retrieved from http://twitter.com/BarackObama/status/2651151366
MLA says, “Begin the entry in the works-cited list with the author’s real name and, in parentheses, user name, if both are known and they differ. If only the user name is known, give it alone. Next provide the entire text of the tweet in quotation marks, without changing the capitalization. Conclude the entry with the date and time of the message and the medium of publication (Tweet).
@BarackObama. Web log post. Twitter.com. 7 Nov. 2009. Web. 17 Nov. 2009.
Facebook Posts and Citations – The MLA is less clear on facebook and directs authors to the MLA Rhetorical Situation section.
MLA says, “The preceding examples serve to illustrate some of the range of circumstances in which rhetorical situations can be found. But, really, rhetorical situations occur whenever one person attempts to communicate with another person. We could do the same activity with a painting, a work of fiction, a political debate, a film, a Facebook status update, a squabble between lovers, a personal journal entry, or any other act of communication.
Invariably, all situations involving communication involve at least one of each of the following:
- an author with specific purposes, attitudes, and background;
- an audience with equally specific purposes, attitudes, and background;
- a text in a particular medium, made with certain tools, and deciphered with certain tools; and
- a context in a particular time and place involving a certain community and conversation.
Understanding the factors that shape rhetorical situations make authors and audiences more aware of what goes into different acts of communication. Overall, understanding these factors helps people better understand the differing perspectives of others.“
As in many areas, the rapid adoption of social media tools for education and research is outpacing the ability of the rules and regulations. While not necessarily a bad thing, the disconnect can cause some confusion and ambiguity for authors and reviewers alike. For more information of the use of social media for scholarship visit the Social Media and Academia page at Scoop.it!
Hope that helps