October 31, 2011

Thing 6: Joining Academia.edu

“What’s Academia.edu?” is a question that, until fairly recently, I was regularly asked at conferences if I brought it up in conversation. Fortunately it’s not a difficult question to answer: Academia.edu is like Facebook for academics. It’s designed in the same way, has a similar interface and you can even link it your Facebook account so you can immediately connect with any Facebook friends who use the service.

The advantages it has over Facebook are two fold. Firstly it allows you to keep your professional online identity separate from your personal online identity: it allows you to keep in touch with people through social networking that you wouldn’t necessarily want to add as friends on Facebook. Secondly all the applications are specifically designed for academics: you can post papers, your CV, research interests, ask questions, post presentations and much more. All of the content you post on it can be tagged i.e. given a key word which helps others find it.

See how Academia.edu can look:

screen shot of academi.edu

The only disadvantage to Academia.edu is that, until recently, the question “what is it?” was a fairly common one. People simply didn’t know it existed. In my experience this seems to be changing quite rapidly, though there’s still some way to go. It is important for a social networking site like this one to have a large enough population for it to take off, for participants to really get the best value from it.

Download the step by step instructions on how to set up an account on Academia.edu.

Explore online profiles further

Thing 7 is all about ePortfolios at Warwick, so have a look at those too!

Read about using Facebook as a researcher, on the ResearchExchange website.

LinkedIn is a very popular professional networking site, although it is not designed for academic researchers. Read about LinkedIn on the ResearchExchange website.

There are plenty of other profile hosting websites that you can investigate for yourself, although not all of them will have the same functions as Academia.edu. Below is a list of some other sites that you may want to explore for yourself: you could use more than one of these to link to your favourite profile site, and boost the Google ranking of your favourite online profile.

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