All entries for Monday 23 January 2012

January 23, 2012

Warwick people on external profile sites

Follow-up to 1,670 Warwick people on from Library Research Support

Since discovering 1,670 Warwick people ostensibly on 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 on those sites.


Not especially for academic use or for researchers but a lively enough place to be and aims to be professional at least. I used the Advanced search, looking for "University of warwick" in the company field and selected "current" only: 2,705 results. (NB, with the filter set to "current or past" I got 4,042 results.) People I'm connected to came up first, including a former colleague who has left, so "current" only means what people are declaring as current, of course! Most of the people I'm connected to are other support workers at the University, so I didn't get a feel for researchers using the space: I'd need to upgrade my account to see all 2,705 results, it seems. I tried changing the "sort" mechanism for my results, to get a different flavour, and I did find professors, students and lecturers but essentially this number of results requires a little bit more work than I have time or budget for, to analyse properly.


A search for people using "university of warwick" found me 58 results. These are not neatly arranged by departments, and a glance through the results tells me that most are PhD students and there is a dominance of science disciplines. One is a former library colleague who has since left the University of Warwick, so again, I cannot be sure that these people are current or active users of the site. A few seem to have nothing at all to do with the University of Warwick. This site does allow for profile information to be uploaded, and papers etc, but it is intended as a reference management tool, and more.

This only seems to allow me to search for scientists within so many miles of a particular location. I tried "coventry" and "warwick" with the default distance of within 10 miles and got 0 results on either. I changed it to within 3000 miles of "warwick" and only got 85 results... there were 0 results for within 3000 miles of "london", so I think I'm going to give up on this site.


I searched on this site for "university of warwick" and came up with 313 Researchers in the results. It also picked up on 7 conferences and over 10,000 publications. Many of the 313 researchers were those with the University of Warwick on their CV, so are former members, it seems. It was pretty difficult to tell which departments or disciplines they were from by scanning through the names, but of those who declared a department at all, it seemed to me that there was a general science/maths/engineering emphasis.

I had a (very) quick look at the conferences and the publications but I'm not sure yet, how this site might work for researchers. It does seem to me to be based around fostering networking and sharing activities online. The publications included lots of stuff by people with the surname "Warwick" and an obituary for someone with that surname, so I doubt that it is going to be great as a source of academic publications... although i ought to explore their searching options in more detail before judging, really. I spotted one paper from one of our authors, and it was a record only, uploaded by her colleague at the Uni of Bristol, who has a profile.


I searched for 'warwick' in the institution field on ResearcherID and got 30 results. 'university of warwick' yielded 193 results. Added together, these two sets make 223. I didn't tick the box to include past institutions in either instance. Glancing through the keywords entered by our researchers, (though fewer than half of them have entered keywords) I'd estimate that most are scientists and there are a handful of social scientists on there. Which makes sense to me, given the subject coverage strengths of Web of Science.

Google Scholar

Brian Kelly of UKOLN blogged about these profiles in November last year: he found 23 profiles for Warwick. I just found 59. To see what can be found, you need to click on "My Citations" on the top right of Google Scholar, and then you can search for people with public profiles. You can also choose whether to make your own profile public or not from here. It's pretty simple to create a profile, especially if you already have a Google account. Probably a space to be watched, especially as academics start getting more and more interested in citation reports...

H-Net Humanities Net: I did a quick search in the e-mail address field of people on this network, for "" and got 20 results. This site interests me as it seems to match real world connections and to meet very specific needs.

Nature Networks

A quick search for "warwick" in the affiliation field of the People area of this site identified 17 people. This is a site I'd love to have time to explore a bit more... and I rather suspect that most publishers will have similar authors' sites.

I should just say at this point that I don't consider either Twitter or Facebook to be academic profile sites. I am primarily interested in sites which attempt to raise researchers' profiles with other researchers. I don't have time to investigate all sites of interest right now, but some others which might be worth keeping an eye on include:

COS Scholar Universe (Related to Refworks reference management tool)

Authors registered with RePEc (Economics papers site)

SSRN - Social Science Research Network (A repository really, but has authors' details as authors create profiles in order to upload papers and their descriptions. Aims to connect researchers with each other. Appears not possible to search for authors by institution. Law and Business school bias?)

I was interested in Labmeeting for a while, but I notice from TechCrunch that it has entered their Deadpool!

The proliferation of social networking sites for researchers is hard to keep track of. Lots of these sites go way beyond hosting profile information. I can't see any particularly popular uptake at the University of Warwick, unless you count LinkedIn, which is not attempting to be a specialist site.

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