A major objective of The Society for Marine Mammalogy’s Biennial conferences is to share research among members and with a wider audience. The meeting in Halifax is open to the media and offers members an opportunity to conduct public outreach about their research. Social media is a powerful tool for scientists to share their findings – and the conservation implications thereof – with the public.

Social media is a reality, but norms around its use in academic/scientific culture have not reached consensus. As a result, we have prepared a best practice guideline for using social media during the conference in Halifax.

We encourage our members to use social media from their personal accounts to broadcast the content of the conference to a public audience.

The conference hastag is #SMM2017


Conference Tweet Layout

#SMM2017 @sgero of @AarhusUni: XXX is a new finding!

Be sure to reference the presenter and their affiliation. List speaker name or handle, affiliation and conference hashtag in tweets. If presenter is not on Twitter, give their first initial and last name. Most universities are on Twitter, so find their handles.


Best Practices
  • Presenters should give out handle and affiliation in title slide/poster. If you want recognition, give tweeters the details.
  • Always ask before posting images. Do not post figures or tables with data without consent and always get permission before posting images of people.
  • Differentiate your opinion from statements by presenter. Separate your own comments/viewpoints on the presenter or their science from the presenter’s own words by using different tweets. One is their statement, follow up is your commentary. If you don’t use quotes and/or attribution, readers will assume it’s your statement.
  • Direct quotes get “quotation marks”. Other people’s words belong to other people. This isn’t just on social media, its professional ethics.
  • Be respectful. If you wouldn’t say it to their face, don’t post about it online
  • Add links often. Allow readers to dive deeper, access presenters’ publications, professional website, etc. Some Twitter tools abbreviate URLs automatically to save space. If yours does not, use tinyurl.com.
  • Live-tweets will be the public access to the conference. Remember that many twitter readers will not be attending the conference, so items you post could easily be taken out of context easily.
  • Be happy that the audience is tweeting! “Sharing is Caring”, plus studies have shown that social media coverage increases citation rates and overall numbers.
  • Please be considerate of presenters’ requests for no social media coverage. Some are presenting very fresh preliminary data, which may not be fully explored or the impacts or conclusions may not be fully developed. They may be sharing them with their scientific peers at this conference to foster discussion and feedback, but feel that the findings are not ready for wider consumption.
  • Have Fun! Social media is meant to be social, fun, and a positive experience for everyone. It’s about engaging people beyond the conference itself and positive community building within the Society.


Options for Limiting Social Media Coverage of your Presentation

Presenters should assume that their talks or posters are being covered by social media. However, we must respect the intellectual property of our presenters. For instance, speakers may be presenting preliminary data, unpublished results, collaborative figures with many authors or data donors, and may not wish to have the contents, figures, results broadcast via social media. As a result, we have created a framework to allow presenters who do not wish to have their content (poster or oral) broadcast via social media to make their preference known to the audience.

1. Request an embargo on social media until published.

If you are presenting preliminary data, etc. and doNo-Social-Media not wish the results to be broadcast, please use the following logo with your presentation to ask the audience to refrain from posting your material. It should appear on the title slide or poster, as well as all the slides you do not want posted, so that your audience recognizes your request.

(Right Click and Save or Drag This Image to Your Desktop to Copy and Use)


2. Request that instead of posting about your presentation, meet up with them to discuss the findings.

This indicates that you are happy that the audience is excited enough about your work that they want to tweet meetsha
re it – “Sharing is Caring”; but you’d like to talk to them about the work and why your reticent about social media for this particular dataset, result, figure, etc.

(Right Click and Save or Drag This Image to Your Desktop to Copy and Use)


3. Suggest a tweet using a QR code:

This option allotweet-qrws you to prepare tweets for each slide’s take home message or a single one overall for your talk/poster. For example:

To create these:

  • Use a QR generator online like this one: http://goqr.me/ (it must use plain text entry and not add http:// in front of what you enter)
  • Use “twitter://post?message=” at the start of your entry. This will send the tweet out using the native app on the audience members’ phone.
  • Then enter your desired tweet. NOTE: spaces are not allowed. In order to use a space you instead use ‘%20’, for a # hashtag use ‘%23’, and @ is '%40'. Other ASCII codes for special characters can be found here: http://www.w3schools.com/tags/ref_urlencode.asp
  • Example above is: twitter://post?message=Whales%20are%20great%20says%20%40sgero%20of%20%40DomWhale%20%23SMM2017
  • Test that the QR code works properly with your scanner. Get a scanner here: https://scan.me/download
  • Save the QR as a picture file to put into your poster or talk.
  • NOTE: This will not prevent tweets from being edited before posting.


4. Have a prepared tweet (140 characters) in small text at bottom of slide with take home message that you would like tweeted.

#SMM2017 @_person of @blankorg: New findings reveal seals like water!

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