Intended for healthcare professionals

Feature Medicine and the Media

Tweeting and rule breaking at conferences

BMJ 2016; 353 doi: (Published 27 June 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;353:i3556
  1. Trish Groves, director of academic outreach, BMJ
  1. tgroves{at}

You’re at a conference and you see or hear something that will interest and inform people in the wider world. It’s the easiest thing to get your phone out and tweet a quote or photo, perhaps of a slide, poster, or study abstract. But then you’re dismayed to find that the conference organisers have banned the use of Twitter.

Twitter can be a powerful academic tool, particularly when the 140 characters are used to disseminate the url of an article or other content.1 So why would an evidence loving organisation stop delegates live tweeting their meeting? And why would they block advocates from sharing the latest information with people who are unlikely to go to academic conferences or read journals, such as patients?

Protecting intellectual property—of speakers, researchers, and …

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