January 19, 2012

1,670 Warwick people on Academia.edu?

Follow-up to A discussion of academia.edu from Library Research Support

Almost a year ago, I wrote about Academia.edu on this blog (8 Feb 2011). Back then, I found 762 people from the University of Warwick on there. This population had grown since the summer of 2010 when there were 276 profiles of University of Warwick people. So there appears to be a steady-ish growth of profiles on academia.edu, but nothing exponential seems to be happening. I've always thought that the success of profile sites like this is dependent on communities of users growing. I'm still watching to see where and how researchers might be connecting online.

Note that I'm not sure how I calculated the number of people on previous occasions. Yesterday, I went to this address http://warwick.academia.edu/ and expected to see a total number on display, but it wasn't there and I wrote to Academia.edu to ask how it might be calculated. To get the figure this year, I simply typed into the search box "University of Warwick" but did not hit enter, and the number of results for this phrase was 1,670. I suspect that I didn't do that last year, but I can't be sure...

Also, although the number appears to have grown, I have no way of knowing whether these profiles are current and I rather suspect that some have been abandoned: I know of one individual who has left Warwick and not changed his Academia.edu profile. So, I'm not sure how accurate any such figure actually is.

It is interesting to see the subject break-down at the http://warwick.academia.edu/ page, which tells me numbers of people for each department, and also numbers of papers. This gives me an idea as to which departments appear to be more active in their use of the site. I propose that where people are uploading information about their papers, it is an indicator that they are taking more trouble over their profiles and so are more active on the site in some way (though it could be that the people on the site are not yet authors... and all sorts of other factors!).

The department with the most papers on Academia.edu is our Politics and International Studies department: 268 papers. They are also the department with the most people, 77. The Warwick Business School is not far behind with 68 people but only 125 papers. Sociology, Philosophy, History, Economics and Law all have over 40 people. The department with a decent number of people and the best ratio of papers to people seems to me to be Computer science, at a glance.

So it seems to me that there is some interest amongst the social sciences at Warwick, although whether this has come from a community of use around this subject area or because of something which might have happened in our Faculty of Social Science to promote this site or profiles on the Internet in general, I am not sure...

I'll keep watching these spaces and investigating!


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  1. Warwick people on external profile sites

    Since discovering 1,670 Warwick people ostensibly on Academia.edu last week, with a predominance of those coming from social science subjects, I have been looking at some of the other "profile" sites, and the number of University of Warwick people I can find…

    Library Research Support - 23 Jan 2012, 10:00

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