The #WhyWeDoResearch campaign was established in December 2014 by Claire Whitehouse (nee Gibbs) (@ClaireW_UK), Lead Nurse for Research at The James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (JPUH). The aim is to raise research awareness and opportunities to staff, patients and the public, and to start a conversation about research between all involved.
Within five months of launching #WhyWeDoResearch it had reached 14 countries and gained 2,364 participants. #WhyWeDoResearch now has over 400 million impressions, is used by over 45,000 Twitter accounts and has a reach of 23 countries.
Through the Past Chair, Hazel A Smith, the Irish Research Nurses & Midwives (IRNM) is the first Irish collaborator for #WhyWeDoResearch.
Each year to mark International Clinical Trials Day #WhyWeDoResearch hosts a tweetfest.
A tweetfest is a festival of tweets! It is a week, or more, full of #WhyWeDoResearch tweetchats covering all sorts of areas in healthcare.
The first tweetfest was held in 2016: http://whywedoresearch.weebly.com/tweetfest-16th—20th-may-2016.html
And was also held in 2017 (http://whywedoresearch.weebly.com/tweetfest2017.html#), 2018 (http://whywedoresearch.weebly.com/tweetfest-2018.html#) and 2019 (http://whywedoresearch.weebly.com/tweetfest-2019.html)
Support During COVID-19
Each year, to coincide with International Clinical Trials Day, #WhyWeDoResearch hosts a Tweetfest. In 2020, we decided to replace the Tweetfest with weekly Tweetchats around research & support during COVID-19. The weekly #WhyWeDoResearch Tweetchat were on Tuesdays, between 20:00-21:00 (GMT). The majority of these weekly #WhyWeDoResearch Tweetchats were written up as blogs (please see below).
Yhnell et al (2019) #WhyWeDoResearch: Raising research awareness and opportunities for patients, public and staff through Twitter Research for All, 3(1), 7-17
Whitehourse, CL (13 May 2019) #WhyWeDoResearch—raising research awareness and opportunities for patients, public, and staff BMJ Opinion
Whitehouse, CL. and Smith, HA. (2018) The Whitehouse Report. The Florence Nightingale Foundation
Gibbs CL. Greaves, A. Keeling, M. Gaw, A. and O’Neill, F. (2015). Clinical Research Benefits go Viral via Twitter. Nursing Times. 111(19), 16-17.