Guidelines for acquiring tweets for scholarship on trends, etc.?


Suppose one wanted to write a book or paper comparing the topical focus of different groups-- say, what theological words are more common among pastors who tweeted about “Ferguson” versus the tweets of those interested in the goings on with the Houston mayor? Or what words are more common by pastors with a huge following versus those with few?

May I just “Ctrl-A, Ctrl-C” tweets directly from a web browser and then start making my own statistical analyses, say, in a spreadsheet program? I’ve already got a few hundred interesting accounts picked out from my own research. I’m just looking for a convenient (and approved :blush: ) way to acquire, say, six months’ worth of tweets for some 600 individuals.

Any tips to the guidelines or boundaries for such an activity are greatly appreciated.


Hi @pteranodo, I suggest keeping an eye on the Twitter Data Grants page and submitting an application when the next round opens. Here’s a blog about how it works


No, my friend, I meant SCHOLARLY use of Twitter data, not how to get a financial scholarship. Apologies for the poor word choice.

May I just Ctrl-A, Ctrl-C a bunch of Tweets, and then paste into a spreadsheet, and then make scholarly analysis, a review, of the data therein? Or is this only approved if I go to the trouble of using the API to harvest the tweets that I thereby store and analyze?

I’m considering a paper or book which uses Twitter data to disprove allegations people make about otters— how come ya never hear anyone say?, etc.