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ERIC Number: EJ1034711
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 24
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 44
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1365-893X
The Structure and Characteristics of #PhDChat, an Emergent Online Social Network
Ford, Kasey C.; Veletsianos, George; Resta, Paul
Journal of Interactive Media in Education, Spec Iss 2014
#PhDChat is an online network of individuals that has its roots to a group of UK doctoral students who began using Twitter in 2010 to hold discussions. Since then, the network around #PhDchat has evolved and grown. In this study, we examine this network using a mixed methods analysis of the tweets that were labeled with the hashtag over a one-month period. Our goal is to understand the structure and characteristics of this network, to draw conclusions about who belongs to this network, and to explore what the network achieves for the users and as an entity of its own. We find that #PhDchat is a legitimate organizational structure situated around a core group of users that share resources, offer advice, and provide social and emotional support to each other. Core users are involved in other online networks related to higher education that use similar hashtags to congregate. #PhDchat demonstrates that (a) the network is in a continuous state of emergence and change, and (b) disparate users can come together with little central authority in order to create their own communal space.
Institute of Educational Technology, The Open University. Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA, UK. e-mail: jime@open.ac.uk; Web site: http://jime.open.ac.uk
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A