What exactly are academic social media? Academic social media are
social media networks aimed primarily at academics and researchers. In
addition to the usual functions of social media – connecting and
communicating with peers and sharing and discovering information – they
also offer the ability to document and share your publications. As such
they function as informal repositories for their members.
ResearchGate and Academia.eduThe two best known academic social media are ResearchGate and Academia.edu.
These two are also The Connected Leiden Researcher's focus for August.
While both networks offer roughly the same features, the difference
between them is one of emphasis. ResearchGate is more closely focused on
collaboration and interaction, while Academia.edu often functions more
as an academic version of LinkedIn, with an online CV a.k.a. a
bibliography in the case of academics and as a place to share your
publications. You can find a closer examination of both of these
networks in the In Depth section.
Other networksOf course there are more networks than just ResearchGate and
Academia.edu. Most of these however are more narrowly focused, for
example MyScienceWork seems to be more oriented towards the Sciences, Labroots for the Life Sciences, or BiomedExperts for the biomedical sciences. Connected Researchers offers an overview of different social networks for academics.
What is their benefit?Academic social media allow you to connect to other researchers in your
field, share your publications and datasets, get feedback on your
non-peer-reviewed work, and to stay current with news and events in your
field of interest. It gives you another place to establish your name
and research and perhaps even collaborate with others.
Academic social media and impact?Academic social media tie into altmetrics mostly indirectly, through
making your work more widely discoverable and, if you've uploaded a
copy, more easily available. They also provide an additional source for
impact data by tracking the number of views and downloads your uploaded
papers get. ResearchGate has developed its own additional metric called
the RG Score,
which isn't just based on your contributions (papers, Q&A's, data
sets, negative results), but also on your interaction with others on the
site; this means that who looks at your research is as important as how
many people look at your research. The RG Score and the other data
aren't automatically incorporated in the altmetric aggregators such as
altmetric.com and Plum Analytics.
What’s the point of academic social media? - The Connected Leiden Researcher