A social way to experience a scientific event: Twitter use at the 7th European Public Health Conference.

Research paper by Fabrizio F Bert, Dineke D Zeegers Paget, Giacomo G Scaioli

Indexed on: 30 Oct '15Published on: 30 Oct '15Published in: Scandinavian journal of public health


Many studies have analysed Twitter's use by attendees of scientific meetings and the characteristics of conference-related messages and most active attendees. Despite these previous reports, to date no studies have described the use of Twitter during Public Health conferences. For this reason, we decided to perform an analysis of Twitter's use during the 7th European Public Health (EPH) Conference (Glasgow, November 2014).All the tweets published from 21 July to 2 December 2014 and including the hashtag #ephglasgow were retrieved and much information (author, date, retweets, favourites, mentions, presence of pictures and/or external links, content type and topics) was analysed.A total of 1066 tweets with the hashtag #ephglasgow were retrieved; 86.3% of these were tweeted during the conference. A total of 209 single accounts tweeted, pictures were present in 29.7% tweets while external links were published in 13.8%. Conference speakers were mentioned in around 30% of tweets. Almost 60% of the tweets had a session-related content. Considering only the session-related tweets, one-third had as the main topic 'Health inequalities and migrant and ethnic minority health', while 20% were 'Health policy and health economics' oriented.The results of this study have demonstrated a massive use of Twitter by conference attendees during the 7th EPH conference, and that conference attendees are willing to share quotes and impressions particularly about conference-related topics. It is mandatory for conference organisers to promote online discussion and knowledge dissemination during conferences, especially in the public health field.