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Research Profile: Academic Social Networks

Academic Social Networks

Academic Social Networks allow you to follow the work and posts of other researchers.  They also suggest other researchers and articles in which you may be interested. Examples of academic social networks include ResearchGate, Academia.edu, Mendeley, and LinkedIn.

Possible CONCERNS with the use of Academic Social Networks:

  • Many researchers post the full text of their journal articles on academic social networking sites. If you plan to do so, make sure that doing so will not violate the copyright agreement you signed with the journal publisher.
  • Note that academic social networks are not institutional/subject repositories and that posting your papers on these sites does not fulfill the requirement of the Tri-Agencies (CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC) to make your peer-reviewed articles arising from Tri-Agency funded research open access within 12 months of publication.  Here is some more information about the differences between academic social networks and institutional/subject repositories.
  • Some of these sites send invitations to your colleagues, or send you a large number of notifications.  Make sure you check your notifications settings in your account to avoid sending or receiving unwanted emails.  See for example, Academia.edu email notification settings and ResearchGate notification settings.

What is ResearchGateAccording to https://www.researchgate.net/about, ResearchGate allows users to share their publications, connect with colleagues, get statistics about who's been reading and citing their work, ask questions (of other users), and look for jobs.  In an online survey reported in 2016, respondents from the sciences, engineering, social sciences, and medicine were more likely to use ResearchGate than Academia.edu. 

Who developed it?  Ijad Madisch and Soren Hofmayer (both physicians) and Horst Fickenscher (a computer scientist) started ResearchGate in 2008.  The company is based in Berlin.  

How to set up a profile:  Check out this guide from the University of Massachusetts Lowell Library which explains how to get started, set up a profile and use the site.  

Metrics/data provided:

Can I control which parts of my profile are publicly visible?  You can choose whether your profile information will be visible to everyone, only to other ResearchGate members or only to mutual followers.  You can also choose whether or not to have your profile show up in search engine results.  Follow the instructions on this page to manage your privacy settings.

Frequently asked questions:  Answers from ResearchGate's own help center.  

Example of a ResearchGate profile:  See the profile of Ijad Madisch, the founder of ResearchGate.

 

What is Academia.edu?  According to academia.edu/about"Academia.edu is a platform for academics to share research papers. The company's mission is to accelerate the world's research.  Academics use Academia.edu to share their research, monitor deep analytics around the impact of their research, and track the research of academics they follow."  In an online survey, respondents working in the arts and humanities were more likely to use Academia.edu than ResearchGate.  

Who developed it?  Richard Pricea D.Phil. graduate in philosophy from Oxford.  The company was founded in 2008 and is based in San Francisco.  

How to set up a profile:  Check out this guide from the University of Massachusetts Lowell Library which explains how to get started, set up a profile and use the site.  

Metrics/data provided: 

Can I control which parts of my profile are publicly visible?  Most aspects of your profile are publicly visible, but you can hide your "analytics" (see "metrics/data provided" above).  "Premium" users are able to see who is reading their work, but you are able to hide your identity from them as well.

 

Frequently asked questions:  Answers from Academia.edu's own help center.

 

Example of Academia.edu profile:  See the profile of the Academia.edu founder, Richard Price.

What is Mendeley?  According to https://www.elsevier.com/solutions/mendeley, Mendeley is "a free reference manager and academic social network that can help you organize your research, collaborate with others online, and discover the latest research."

Who developed it?  Paul Fockler, Victor Henning, Jan Reichelt; all 3 were Ph.D. students in Germany.  It was launched in 2008, and is now owned by the publishing company Elsevier.  

How to set up a profile:  Check out this guide from the University of Massachusetts Lowell Library which explains how to get started, set up a profile and use the site.  

Metrics/data provided: 

  • The number of citations received by your papers (as determined by Scopus)
  • your h-index (as determined by Scopus)
  •  the number of times your papers have been downloaded from Elsevier's ScienceDirect platform
  •  the number of times other Mendeley users have added your papers to their Mendeley libraries

Can I control which parts of my profile are publicly visible?  Under "Settings and Privacy," you can make your   profile visible only to your followers, or to everyone.  You can also prevent Google and other search engines from indexing your profile page. 

Frequently asked questions:  Answers from Mendeley's own support center.  

Example of a Mendeley profile:   While Mendeley does allow you to search for people with Mendeley profiles by using the magnifying glass at the upper right and choosing "People," you will normally have to create a Mendeley profile (or log into the profile you've already created) to view someone else's profile.   

What is LinkedIn?  Its mission is to "connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful."  The main functions of the site are to allow users to list their work experience and education.

Who developed it?  Reid Hoffman, a former employee of PayPal and creator of another Internet startup called SocialNet.  It was launched in 2003.   LinkedIn is now owned by Microsoft.

How to set up a profile:  Check out this guide called "Using LinkedIn Professionally" from Boston College's Career Center.

Metrics/data provided: 

  • Number of times your profile has been viewed.

Can I control which parts of my profile are publicly visible?  While most parts of your profile are visible to logged in LinkedIn users, you can limit the visibility of certain parts of the profile and turn off your public profile (visible through search engine searches).  

​Frequently asked questions:  Answers from LinkedIn's own help page.

Example of a profile:  Most profiles are only partially visible to those who do not have LinkedIn profiles or have not logged into their profile.