The American Ornithological Society and the Importance of Social Media

As part of our communications strategy, the American Ornithological Society (AOS) uses many forms of social media. We are on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram via the handle (aka username) “@AmOrnith.” These three platforms allow us to share facts, stories, news, pictures, and more about the society with our members and the entire world.

Social media allows us to disseminate more constant and consistent communication to keep our members abreast of the newest bird science and society updates. These platforms also allow for conversation and camaraderie, giving us the opportunity to engage with our followers and for ornithologists to interact with each other. If you are not on social media, or even if you are, the AOS collates ornithological news every week that appears on social media, so you’ll never miss out. You can view this online or even sign up for email updates via the website to get this news delivered right to your inbox. You don’t need to have an account to see any of our posts, just click on our social media links at American Ornithology.

These days social media is an important method of communication and one that can really benefit you as a researcher. Whether used to help increase a manuscript’s exposure and citation rates, for outreach, or on the broader impacts section of a grant, social media is a dynamic tool at our disposal. Articles promoted on social media get higher citations rates and scores from other metrics, such as Altmetric, which tracks a researcher’s broader impact (Amar 2015, Dudley 2015, Watson 2016).

Want to broaden your impact? Join us at the AOS-SCO 2017 meeting in Michigan to learn the ins and outs of social media. If you are new to social media or are one of our dedicated followers, we encourage you to take advantage of this half-day symposium. Some of the best communications and social media experts in ornithology today will be on hand to share tips on how to make the most of social media to promote your research and stay informed. Among the speakers, Steve Dudley of the British Ornithologists’ Union (BOU), will be giving a talk on Altmetric and how this information can help your manuscript and your CV. Auriel Fournier will discuss how to share your research directly from the field  and provide tips on how to be successful at connecting people to it. Jordan Rutter, AOS’s web communications specialist, will share tips on how to utilize social media at a conference for maximum networking and to reach a broader audience. Please join us on Wednesday August 2 at 10:30AM for “#TheTweetingBird: Using Science Communication via social media to benefit your research and career.” A preview of the abstracts for this symposium can be found here on our website




Amar, A. 2015. Using Twitter to promote your research and drive your papers’ Altmetrics. Conference round table presentation at EOU2015, Badajoz, Spain. BOU website. (accessed 1 August 2016).

Dudley, S. 2015. Social media use in ornithology. Conference round table presentation at EOU2015, Badajoz, Spain. BOU website. (accessed 1 August 2016).

Watson, R. 2016. The importance of altmetrics: a primer. Wiley exchanges blog (accessed 1 August 2016).