#365papers a day in 2015: my thoughts

I often see hashtags being used by other scientists on twitter that I have no idea what they mean. For example, in December a bunch of people were posting with #op12, which meant ‘operation productivity for December’. Sometimes it takes a little while to track down the source of the hashtag and what exactly it means, but usually they’re cool ways to build a community and keep yourself accountable or be inspired by colleagues around the world. Yesterday I came across #365papers, which I quickly found an explanation for here. Basically, people are setting the goal to read one peer-reviewed paper a day in 2015, and can post the paper they read on twitter with the hashtag #365papers. This goal is actually one I had set for myself last year, which I did an OK job of sticking to. I had actually set three goals for each day: (1) read a paper; (2) write or code for 30 minutes; and (3) measure at least 2 fish pictures. I drew color-coded boxes on every day of my planner to remind myself to do those things:

planner_boxesAnd it worked pretty well! So I had already resolved to draw those boxes in my planner again this year. But I think I will also try to use the #365papers hashtag, because I really like the idea of using an online community like twitter to keep yourself accountable, and I think seeing people’s tweets every day might help remind and inspire me to stick to my goal. I won’t beat myself up if I skip a day (no one is perfect!), but it’s a good goal to have because as scientists we have to keep up with the peer-reviewed literature being published daily in our fields. Using the #365papers hashtag has the added benefit of bringing attention to cool papers I’ve read, and who knows–maybe it will even connect me with people doing cool research. Twitter has been shown to be an important networking tool for scientists, and I think this demonstrates another benefit of it.

What are your thoughts on using twitter in this sort of way? Will you be trying to read #365papers a day?



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