BSHS Social Media Policy
The British Society for the History of Science (BSHS) strives to be a community that welcomes and supports people of all backgrounds and identities. This includes, but is not limited to members of any race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, colour, immigration status, social and economic class, educational level, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, age, size, family status, political belief, religion, and mental and physical ability. We are committed to providing a welcoming and inspiring community for all.
We want every BSHS Annual Meeting to be a safe and productive environment for delegates. We expect all participants—attendees, speakers, sponsors and volunteers—to demonstrate appropriate behaviour at BSHS conferences, including BSHS-related social events and in related online communities and social media.
The BSHS often uses social media as a complementary channel for conference communication. Ideally, this encourages and perpetuates the intellectual exchange inspired by keynotes, guest speakers and conference delegates. It facilitates virtual attendance to BSHS events and helps resolve the dilemma of wanting to attend more than one panel at the same time. In order to ensure that conference social media use is a positive and affirmative experience for all users and non-users who are quoted and referenced throughout a BSHS event, we request that social media users adhere to the following guidelines:
- First and foremost, think before you tweet. Use common sense and courtesy when tweeting. The ‘Golden Rule’ is: tweet unto others as you would have them tweet unto you. Remember, we are a community of professionals and we should conduct ourselves professionally.
- Be generous with compliments and feel free to share interesting links to projects and materials, highlighting a colleague’s research in a positive way. The tone of tweets should always be polite and respectful, as if you were speaking to the presenter directly.
- Questions, comments and constructive feedback should be made on social media in a courteous manner. When quoting or citing others’ work, we ask users of social media to uphold our scholarly values of intellectual collegiality and accuracy, and to respect context at all times to avoid misrepresentation and appropriation.
- Please be prudent about tweeting unpublished research results. Respect the presenter’s wishes: If a presenter says they would not like their paper to be tweeted, then this should be adhered to. If a presenter is OK with tweeting of comments but asks you to refrain from tweeting pictures of their slides, please adhere to this as well.
- If a presenter has a Twitter handle, mention it in the first of your tweets from the panel. Also include the conference hashtag (e.g. #BSHS2017) so others may find tweets relating to the conference and their work quickly. In some cases, it may be sensible to include information on the panel (e.g. panel #d4) as well. When quoting directly, always include the name of the scholar or their Twitter handle.
- Questions and comments should always relate to the presenter’s research and ideas only – not to their person or their mode of presentation. The strength of our community comes from its diversity.
According to our archival policy, we archive all tweets using the conference hashtag. We make them available via the BSHS website and they are deposited digitally in the BSHS archive.
These guidelines reflect our common understanding and goal of a collaborative, shared environment. We expect it to be followed in spirit as much as in the letter. In the case of inappropriate social media use, please inform a member of the BSHS Council and please do not engage at all with tweets that may be in breach of these guidelines.
(Guidelines adapted with permission from SHARP)