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One of the largest groups of people using the Twitter Developer Platform are Academic Researchers with the purpose to understand what is happening in the world’s public conversation. Twitter says that this number has only grown since the introduction of a specialized Academic Research product track earlier this year. Thus, Twitter is now taking steps to build transparency and accountability in how the Twitter Developer Platform team serves the academic community.

Twitter has launched an Academic Research advisory board which is their “first program designed to create regular and frequent dialogue between members of the academic community and the Developer Platform.” Twitter says the “board is composed of prominent members of the academic community who volunteered to offer their expertise to impact the ways Twitter supports and builds products or programs for research with the Twitter API. In addition, since this is the Developer Platform’s first external advisory board, this initial group plays an important role in helping define how this board can advance shared goals between the academic community and the Twitter Developer Platform going forward.”

Twitter’s first, Academic Research Advisory Board

Source: Twitter

What Will The Academic Research Advisory Board Do?

The advisory board model was designed for a defining role in how Twitter, and the Developer Platform invests in supporting the academic community. The board has been invited to a number of internal meetings and have been given opportunities to review the Twitter Developer Platform’s proprietary projects in planning phases.

For the first-year pilot of this program, the Academic Research advisory board will focus on:

  • Advising on the benefits, concerns, or risks around new product and program developments for academic research with public data from Twitter. 
  • Advising how Twitter can increase the diversity and number of researchers who can leverage public Twitter data in their studies. 
  • Advising on opportunities to share more knowledge across different disciplines and to amplify academic research work.

Twitter says the “inaugural board is based out of the United States, and was built to represent a range of academic disciplines and expertise, tenure, backgrounds, and locations. This program must continue to intentionally seek out diverse, inclusive perspectives, so this board will also help decide how the board nomination and selection process might work moving forward.” As their next step Twitter is hoping to open this program to more  researchers around the world who can represent and provide more global points of view.