All entries for Thursday 04 November 2010
November 04, 2010
The slides from the session I attended last week are now available online at: http://wok.mimas.ac.uk/support/documentation/#presentations
Writing about web page http://www.linkedin.com/
There are so many social networking sites out there, purporting to support the academic community as a whole or in one discipline or another. We've been investigating them at Warwick, in terms of the engagement we can see from other researchers but also in terms of the features on offer. LinkedIn is more of a generic networking tool than an academic specific one, and I think that's a part of its strength because there is a huge community of users out there. It can be very effective as a networking tool because of the large number of users.
Researchers do network, and the kinds of things they want to know about each other and to share with each other are not all supported by LinkedIn, so that's presumably why other sites have seen an opportunity. LinkedIn now has the facility to list your publications on your profile, as well as information about your certificates and skills and even to list your patents. I created a couple of records for my articles to add onto my LinkedIn profile, in order to test the facility. It's a very simple input form which has the bonus of making it quick to create a record, but the draw-back of not guiding people to create records for all different kinds of publications in consistent ways. Which is fine, considering that it's not aiming to be a publications database of any kind, which some of the other academic profile/networking sites seem to be creating.
It would be better if there were a standard format for my publications data to be stored on one specialist service (eg my institutional repository), from where LinkedIn could harvest my records, or I could at least export and import, rather than me having to create new listings of my publications on numerous profile sites. I am only messing around with two articles but it would be quite a chore for the well published author to add all of his/her publications onto LinkedIn.... and onto any other site which looks to be a potentially valuable route of spreading the word about your research to others who might review or cite your articles or be good research partners for a future grant application.
Is LinkedIn a good tool for researchers to network and find other researchers' work? It's not useful if you're looking for publications in particular: stick to proper publications databases. But if you already have the name of someone whose research you're interested in and you want to find a route to an introduction then LinkedIn could be a useful tool. Is LinkedIn a good way for a researcher to promote his/her own research work? I don't think it will hurt to have information in as many places as possible about your past career and publications, excepting hat it might be a waste of your time creating the records. LinkedIn's display of your publications probably won't do them justice so although I think wise to have a presence there, I'd recommend linking to a listing of publications elsewhere.