We are running some sessions for postgraduate students this term on raising your online research profile. This post is a summary of some of the topics we will be discussing. (It could also have a subtitle: “How many places do I have to keep up to date?!?”)
Establishing your identity
Distinguishing yourself and your publications is vital not only so people can discover your work and give you credit for it, but also for the accuracy of bibliometrics for your work:
- ORCID has become the de-facto standard researcher identifier, adopted by many funding bodies, publishers and other organisations. We have it embedded in Swansea University systems for staff; it can also be used to set up an ImpactStory profile (see below). Sign up at ORCID.org : we have a guide (PDF) if you need one.
- Google Scholar profile: gather your publications on Google Scholar to get a neat profile page (example) and citation stats. Improves discoverability of your work – your name becomes a hyperlink to your profile in Google Scholar results. We have a guide (PDF) if you need one.
- Scopus ID: Scopus is mighty Elsevier database (login needed off campus) has a STEM focus but is expanding its coverage of other subject areas. It is the source of bibliometrics for university world rankings and other assessments. Check your papers are credited to you and you also get useful stats on your citations and profile. We have a guide (PDF) if you need one to curating your profile there.
- Researcher ID: this originated in the Web of Science database, another (rival) source of bibliometrics. See a sample profile and ensure you are credited with all your papers on Web of Science. We have a guide (PDF) if you need one.
- ImpactStory uses an ORCID to provide you with a profile page that lists your publications and mentions. An account is free. We have blogged on it here or you can take a look at a Swansea University profile.
As well as general social networking sites such as Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn, the sites with a specific academic focus can act as a “shop window” for your research and publications. Most come with their own set of pros and cons, mostly relating to how predatory and spammy the site becomes once you have set up a profile…
- Academia.edu: https://www.academia.edu/ The largest network but possibly not the most active. Encourages connections and uploading of publications. Despite the .edu domain, the site is a for-profit company.
- ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net; build a network and add your publications. Like Academia.edu, the site encourages uploading of full text – most of this does not comply with publisher copyright permissions so act with caution. The Wikipedia article highlights the main criticisms of the site, most notably the aggressive email approach it has taken to lure new members.
- Piirus: https://www.piirus.ac.uk/ Linked to the jobs.ac.uk portal, the site promotes membership to develop your networking and consultancy opportunities.
Also in this section are what Katy Jordan terms “modified academic tools”, sites which have a practical purpose but which have also developed networking facilities:
- Slideshare: upload presentations (or documents); you can also follow people, comment etc. Now owned by LinkedIn and increasingly integrated with that network. See Katy Jordan’s presentation on Academic Social Networking Sites as an example.
- Mendeley: now owned by Elsevier, the site is increasingly being promoted as a network as well as a reference management tool.
- Zotero: another reference management tool which has a “People” facility too
Getting started on social media (for researchers)
Use of social media to promote one’s research and boost impact is a huge topic of debate. The LSE Impact blog has many posts relating to different aspects of the pros and cons for engaging on platforms such as Twitter. This also relates to the use of altmetrics which we have discussed elsewhere.
Some useful starting points could be:
- The Piirus health check for your digital identity also covers most of what we have mentioned here
- LSE Impact Guide to Twitter (PDF): dates from 2011 but still useful on approach and technique.
- The University of Cape Town’s guide is 2 years old now but still an in-depth read on the topic with practical steps: “Academics Online Presence – a 4-step Guide (PDF)”
- The Online Academic’s 5 part guide to using Twitter is a useful guide to getting going on the network.
- We also have Mark Carrigan’s book “Social media for academics” in the library – log in to make a reservation if it’s on loan
We will be re-running our “7 Days of Twitter” online course for Swansea University researchers, starting 2nd December 2016.
Please share any useful articles or resources in the comments that you think we should be mentioning!