Collection Development: Twitter, Tweets and Bibliography

Collection Development: Twitter, Tweets and Bibliography

Twitter presents a bibliographic challenge for Librarians since the volume of tweets (and other social media) is immense and any archive represents only a sliver of the total content. of course, collection development is rarely about collecting everything on a subject, but rather the best or most useful resources.

Every day (c.2017) some 500 million tweets are sent. In the face of this torrent of tweets, each of which is a tiny primary document, even the Library of Congress has backed away from trying to archive them all. Tweets are omnipresent and often revealing. Our approach to harvesting tweets is necessarily selective and closely connected with other collective development processes, whether covering periodical literature, government documents or special documentation projects.

We have three kinds of fulltext records for tweets (with the shortest format being the most numerous):

(1) single tweets (which includes a series of tweets expressing a single thought);

(2) a clusters of tweets on a single subject; and

(3) entire twitter feeds for short-lived accounts.