You know all those things you wish your CV was smart enough to do – embed your papers, automatically give you readership statistics, and so on? Academia.edu and ResearchGate (which we’ll cover tomorrow) are two academic social networks that allow you to do these things, and then some.
Perhaps more importantly, they’re places where your colleagues are spending a lot of their time. Actively participating on one or both networks will give you ample opportunity to have greater reach with other researchers. And getting your publications and presentations onto these sites will make it easier for others to encounter your work.
They do this not only through the social network they help you build, but also by improving the search engine optimisation (SEO) of your research, making you much more “googleable”.
Both platforms allow you to do the following:
- Create a profile that summarises your research
- Upload your publications, so others can find them
- Find and follow other researchers, so you can receive automatic updates on their new publications
- Find and read others’ publications
- See platform-specific metrics that indicate the readership and reach you have on those sites
In today’s challenge, let’s dig into the basics of setting up a profile and uploading your work on Academia.edu.
Log on to Academia.edu. If you’re a firm believer in keeping your professional online presence separate from your personal one, you’ll likely want to sign up using your university email address. Otherwise, you can sign up using your Facebook or Google profile.
From here, you’ll be directed through the basic signup process.
First up: posting a publication or two. How do you choose what to share? If you’re an established researcher, this will be easy: just choose your most “famous” (read: highly cited) paper. If you’re a junior researcher or a student, choosing might be tougher. A peer-reviewed paper is always a good bet, as-is a preprint or a presentation that’s closely related to your most current topic of research.
Got a paper in mind? Now comes the not-as-fun-but-incredibly-necessary part: making sure you’ve got the rights to post it. Most academics don’t realize that they generally sign away their copyright when publishing an article with a traditional publisher. And that means you may not have the rights to post the publisher’s version of your article on Academia.edu. (If you negotiated to keep your copyright or published with an authors’ rights-respecting journal, you can skip the following paragraph.)
If you don’t have copyright for your paper, all hope is not lost! You likely have the right to post your version of the article. This is often referred to as the ‘Author Final Manuscript’ or ‘Post Print.’ It is the version after peer-review but before publication. It will generally be your Word document and will not include publisher formatting or logos. Head over to Sherpa/Romeo and look up the journal you published in. You’ll see any and all restrictions that the publisher has placed on how you can share your article. If you don’t see the journal you published in on Sherpa/Romeo or if you have more questions on copyright, contact the NOVA team (UON’s digital repository) at nova.newcastle.edu.au or UON Senior Librarian Intellectual Property & Promotions Catherine Moffat at email@example.com.
If you can post your article, upload it to Academia.edu. Click the green “Upload a paper” button and, on your computer, find the publication you want to upload. Click “Open” and watch as Academia.edu begins to upload your paper.
Once it’s uploaded, the title of your publication will be automatically extracted. Make any corrections necessary to the title, and then click in the “Find a Research Interest” box below the title. Add some keywords that will help others find your publication. Click save.
Now it’s time to add your affiliation and interests to your profile. Adding an affiliation is important because it will add you to a subdomain of
Academia.edu built for your university, and that will allow you to more easily find your colleagues. The site will try to guess your affiliation based on your email address or IP address; make any corrections needed and add your department information and title. Click “Save & Continue.”
Then, add your research interests on the following page. These are also important; they’ll help others find you and your work.
Now let’s connect with your colleagues who are already on Academia.edu. You can either connect your Facebook account or an email account to Academia.edu, which will search your contacts and suggest connections.
Congrats, you’ve now got an Academia.edu profile! You can continue to spruce it up by adding more publications, your professional-looking profile image and keyword optimised bio, and connecting your Academia profile to other services like Twitter and LinkedIn, if you’re already on them. (If not, don’t worry – we’ll cover that soon.)
Important note: on all your web and social media profiles, you should add a hyperlink to your UON web profile. This is important for the Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) of your profile, as hyperlinks point Google and other search engines to your page, making you more easily found. They also direct people on your social networks to more information about you and your research.
Add a hyperlink to your Academia.edu profile by going to your profile homepage, selecting ‘Edit’ then ‘Social Profiles’, ‘Add Social Profile’, selecting ‘Homepage’ from the dropdown menu and entering your URL e.g. http://www.newcastle.edu.au/profile/jessie-reid
Now that you have a profile, set aside half an hour to explore three important uses of Academia.edu:
- Exploring “research interests” in order to discover other researchers and publications;
- Getting more of your most important publications online; and
- Using the Analytics feature to discover who’s following you, how often others are reading and downloading your work, and in which countries your work is most popular.
Research interests: click on the research interests in your profile. For the search results that appear, take some time to explore the profiles of others who share your interest(s) and follow anyone that looks interesting. Click on the Documents tab of the search results and explore relevant papers and presentations; I’m willing to bet you’ll find many that you weren’t aware of before. You can also use the Academia.edu search to look for research interests outside of the ones you’ve got listed in your profile, and explore those search results, too.
Upload more papers & presentations: click the “Upload papers” tab at the top right corner of your screen and upload at least two more papers or presentations that you think are worthy of attention. Remember to abide by any copyright restrictions that might exist, and also be sure to add as much descriptive information as possible, adding the complete title, co-authors, and research interests for your paper, all of which will make it easier for others to find.
Analytics: click the “Analytics” tab at the top of your screen and poke around a bit. Because you just created your profile, it’s possible you won’t yet have any metrics. But in as little as a few days, you’ll begin to see download and page view statistics for your profile and your publications, along with other interesting information like maps. All of this data can help you better understand how often your peers are looking at your work and where they are located.
So – you’ve claimed your professional presence on one of academia’s biggest social networks, and learned how to use it to find other researchers and publications. More importantly, you’ve optimised your profile so others can find you and your research much more easily.
See you tomorrow for our Day 5 challenge: mastering ResearchGate!