Twitter tweet
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Twitter is a key platform for journalists when it comes to sourcing stories and leads, and an important tool for news distribution. According to a Pew Research Center study, half of Twitter's American users get their news on the site.

Following last week's look at the most popular Facebook stories of the year, here are ten of the most shared articles on Twitter in 2014.

We looked at 11 UK publishers*, using data from social media analytics platform NewsWhip which counted the number of times a story's URL was shared on Twitter.

The list is dominated by hard news stories, particularly from the BBC, and the big story of the year on the social network was Scotland's independence referendum.

Three pages of the BBC liveblog feature in the top 10, shared over 100,000 times in total.

Here are the 10 most popular stories on Twitter in 2014:

1. Mail Online: Paw-fect recipes for your pet's plate: The cooking show that teaches dog owners how to prepare homemade treats for their four-legged friends

Twitter shares: 57,633

2.  BBC: Scotland Decides (Scottish independence referendum - Results) - liveblog

Twitter shares: 57,146

3. Mail Online: Jack the Ripper unmasked: How amateur sleuth used DNA breakthrough to identify Britain's most notorious criminal 126 years after string of terrible murders

Twitter shares: 37,076

4. BBC: Peaches Geldof: Writer and TV presenter dies aged 25

Twitter shares: 36,017

5. BBC: Robin Williams, actor and comedian, found dead at 63

Twitter shares: 32,038

6. BBC: Scottish Independence Referendum - Scotland votes No and Alex Salmond resigns (liveblog)

Twitter shares: 26,314

7. BBC: Venezuela student protest ends in deadly violence

Twitter shares: 24,373

8. BBC: Scottish Referendum: Scotland votes No - as it happened (liveblog)

Twitter shares: 23,951

9. Mail Online: 'Joint lit. Happy days!' One Direction's Zayn Malik and Louis Tomlinson smoke roll-up in Peru and joke about drugs in shocking video that exposes dark side of squeaky clean boy band

Twitter shares: 23,801

10. The Telegraph: Revealed: the Palestinian children killed by Israeli forces

Twitter shares: 23,710

* The 11 outlets were the Guardian, Mail Online, the BBC, The Times, The Express, The Telegraph, The Independent, The Sun, The Mirror, Channel 4 News and ITV News.

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