All 21 entries tagged Researcher Profiles

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March 02, 2012

Who is interested in my online profile?

Writing about web page

This recent news article on Yahoo inspired me to have a little look at what I can find out about people interested in my work online: I already get e-mails from whenever someone googles me and clicks to see my profile.

I have never before explored Google's Adwords: I'm not a commercial organisation(!), but it has an interesting "Keyword tool" that you can use for free. I gave it my name as a phrase, and it told me that on average there are 22 searches per month, over the last 12 months for my name. It also came up with 2 keyword ideas: "information science" and "scholarly writing".

You can also give Google Adwords a URL, so I gave it the one for this blog: this time there were 98 keyword ideas. I think that the idea is that you could pay for your advert to appear whenever someone searches for such keywords. Which I'm not going to do, but it could also be an interesting tool for researchers who are looking for keywords to enhance their searching! They could give it the URL or title of a paper of particular interest and see what is suggested, if they are struggling to come up with ideas for themselves.

LinkedIn also tells me how many people have viewed my profile there in the last 90 days, and how many times my profile has shown up in search results. Not quite so high as the figure from Adwords, but then it's only about LinkedIn. On LinkedIn I can see the profiles of the people who viewed my profile, along with some anonymous users... there is more information for those prepared to pay for it, too. has a "stats dashboard" which tells me how many profile views and document views I've had in the last 30 days: even fewer than LinkedIn. I can also see what country the views were from and which referring site and keyword led them to find my profile/article.

Now of course, there is also Google Analytics which can tell me how many people have viewed my blog, and Twitter and Hootsuite between them can give me an idea of who is following me and how many people click on the links I share and so on and so forth... and if I had the time to track all of this then I might be able to see whether/which blog posts and tweets and activities in general are having some kind of impact... but still, I'm just happy that Google Adwords has suggested some words associated with my work interests!

January 26, 2012

Another place to put an academic profile

Follow-up to Warwick people on external profile sites from Library Research Support

There's another site that has just come to my attention:Academic Room

My first thought: nice idea but is it meant as a community resource for academics or a place where undergrads or wannabe undergrads can find lectures?

It is probably one to watch: it is in beta, I note. It is also incredibly slow in Explorer on my computer… and there are 11 people from Uni of Warwick on there, when I searched for "University of Warwick".

I'm sure that there are going to be lots more of these to watch, and I'll keep collecting them here!

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.

January 19, 2012

1,670 Warwick people on

Follow-up to A discussion of from Library Research Support

Almost a year ago, I wrote about 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, 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 and expected to see a total number on display, but it wasn't there and I wrote to 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 profile. So, I'm not sure how accurate any such figure actually is.

It is interesting to see the subject break-down at the 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 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!

November 24, 2011

Academics at Warwick with Google Scholar profiles

Writing about web page

As if our academics didn't have enough to worry about, with their Wikipedia biographies and their ResearcherID profiles and sites like LikedIn and vying for their attention, now there are Google Scholar profiles as well!

I'm glad that Brian Kelly has blogged about it already. Brian Kelly's post has a table of Russell Group Universities, showing that Warwick has 23 Authors with GScholar profiles already, one week after the launch! I clicked on the link in his post and got to see the 23: some I recognise, a few are PhD students and most are from science/medicine backgrounds. Something to keep an eye on!

November 23, 2011

Academics at Warwick listed on Wikipedia

Writing about web page

Are you/your colleagues listed on Wikipedia? Did you know that they have a section for biographies of academics at the University of Warwick? You could edit wikipedia to add an article about yourself or your favourite Warwick researcher!

October 17, 2011

Microsoft Academic Search: get another h–index calculation!

Writing about web page

Microsoft is creating “Academic Search” as a rival to Google Scholar. I’ve been meaning to investigate it properly for a while!

I see that it has listings of top authors by subject, eg:
… though as with all things citation data related, researchers need to investigate the validity of the data set on which they are calculated. I am not actually sure what they mean by "top author" on these lists, so this is one for further investigation...

Microsoft's site states that it is in beta and I'm not too sure where the data comes from except that the site says that they are using data from open access repositories, publishers and web crawling.

There are also some great features on there like the AcademicMap where you can find many Warwick Authors. It appears from the map that you can contribute (on an orange bar at the bottom), so maybe authors can make sure it picks up on their work properly. Authors' profiles appear with h-index and g-index scores, no.s of papers, no.s of citations, etc. Sometimes they even feature a photo!

October 04, 2011

Tips for researchers who blog

Here is a summary of my tips to a researcher who is just beginning to blog:

My top tip for blogging is to set up a feed from from the place where you blog regularly. You can publicise this and then you’ll know who is subscribing to your feed. Also, you can use it to create a feed for people to subscribe by e-mail, which more researchers are comfortable with than for RSS feeds.

And you can use your blog as a way to tweet, if you set up a Twitter account. Just send Twitter a feed of the headings from your blog and that way you can reach an audience of twitterers!

Then link the feed up to your LinkedIn profile via, and get busy making contacts there so that other people can find out about your work in LinkedIn, if that’s the site they like to use. You can also put a profile onto and/or and make connections on those sites.

There are so many profile sites and I like LinkedIn for being professional in the way people use it and for integrating your blog and other tools like Slideshare into one place. PhD students are very keen on Mendeley as being a useful place to store papers as well as to put information about themselves and it does seem pretty good at hosting stuff from other sites in a similar way to LinkedIn too. I guess that, as a researcher, you'd want to use the site where most of the people who you want to connect with are already present.

I also think that published authors should also get a ResearcherID off the Thomson Reuters page, if you have articles in Web of Science. You can put a badge from there onto your blog or any profile site, as an easy way of showing off your publications on your blog! I blogged about this a while ago:

Also, when you're blogging, it's a good idea to schedule entries for publication during busy times, so that you don't feel that it is a chore to always have to write something on your blog when you have other, more pressing things to do. Recycle stuff that you're writing anyway, in correspondence or as notes for youreslf and keep your blog active and attractive: your feeds on all those other sites will be refreshed and serve to regularly remind people of your excellent work!

September 12, 2011

Social media: thoughts then and now

Writing about web page

I wrote an article on the use of "web 2.0" techologies and their usefulness to libraries which was published in 2008 but which was based on work I did in 2007. Some recent correspondence has caused me to look back at what I thought would be useful then, and to reflect on whether I was looking in the right direction!

One big difference is that I was specifically investigating Web 2.0 sites and services in 2007 and I don't have the time to investigate properly these days, so if a web 2.0 or social media site is on my radar nowadays, it is because it serves a purpose to me.

I was rather focussed on Facebook in my article which is probably because I was thinking of the undergraduate population. Nowadays I hardly touch Facebook myself: we use it in the Library and for the Research Exchange, so it's not about my own profile there and I can save that for my real friends! Facebook actually support such organisational profiles these days, which they didn't back in 2007.

The feature of Facebook which I didn't write about then but which I think is significant now is the simple ability to "like" something. It's kind of like social bookmarking: we integrate buttons onto the guides on the Research Exchange site, for readers to "like" our materials, or to tweet them or e-mail them or otherwise share them. We noticed that when we promoted the Research Exchange Facebook page to new PhD students last year, a number of them "liked" us and that gave us an indication as to how many we had reached, who had come to visit us and find out more after we introduced ourselves to them. Facebook continues to be a useful tool, but in different ways than I was thinking back in 2007. My colleague Katharine Widdows also wrote about the Library's use of Facebook in 2009:

Nowadays I value LinkedIn a lot more than I did then, which is probably because LinkedIn itself has grown in both the size of its community and the functions it offers, since 2007. The people who I want to network with professionally are using LinkedIn, so it's something that I use too.

RSS feeds remain as useful and relevant as they were then, although I read fewer posts on fewer feeds myself these days and spend more time promoting the feeds available from databases as a way for researchers to keep up to date with newly indexed/published material which meets their search criteria.

I still like social bookmarking sites but I haven't really used them properly for organising my own favourites. I am like the proverbial plumber whose own house is full of leaks! I think that the "like" feature of Facebook is probably the best way to share things that you are interested in with your friends, and to be social but I still think that there are bookmarking tools/sites with a lot of potential... I'm just a bit out of date and out of practice in this arena. I probably use this blog to store and share useful sites, more than social bookmarking tools: it's an unsophiticated but effective enough tool, for me.

Intute is not being maintained any more: it closed in July this year. MyIntute never seemed to take off and it never became a social media site which was perhaps part of its downfall. The web is vast and growing all the time, but it seems that people value search engines rather than selected and catalogued collections. I wonder if/when this might change. Search engines do a great job of matching results to your search query intuitively, but they don't index the deep web and they don't select for quality. I'm following the development of Microsoft Academic Search with interest, because it might help to improve Google Scholar or indeed take over from it... but this is not really Web 2.0!

I have not visited Second Life since my investigations in 2008... I remember it fondly and I can see from lists and such like that other librarians are using it, but I said back then that the place for our Library would be to follow our students into such a space, and I think we're still waiting for such an occurrence really.

I didn't even discuss Twitter back then: I really didn't see the point of it and it was barely a year old. I have since learnt "the point" but I don't tweet properly myself: headings from this blog are sent out on Twitter and very occasionally I have tweeted at others whose tweets I have read and valued, but I know that I'm just a visitor and not a resident!

"The point" of Twitter, as I see it now, is the massive reach that it has: you just don't know what others are going to be interested in! When Yvonne Budden took over the repository from me in March 2010, she set up a twitter feed of all the latest additions to WRAP and could demonstrate that it brought visitors to those papers, and I was truly surprised. I have also learnt to explain when a presentation is not to be tweeted about because it is for attendees only!

Twitter is probably not for me. I mean, how would I put all this in 140 characters? I'm much happier blogging!

August 02, 2011

ePublishing and ePublications – social media and scholars

Writing about web page

One of our Academic Support Librarians, Emma Cragg has a great blog and she's written about a recent conference on this theme, in two blog posts. I've linked to part one, from where you can link to part two as well. Topics covered at the 5th Bloomsbury Conference on ePublishing and ePublications include the Virtual Research Environment; executable papers where you can add your own data to a paper which applies the same methodology and generates a new paper; academics who blog; libraries in this digital, connected world; PLoS online journal features; Mendeley.

Read all about it on Emma's blog!

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