Research visibility

Visibility of research and social networking services

Social networking services and especially social media provide you with many possibilities to improve the visibility of your research. Social networking sites for researchers such as ResearchGate and Academia.edu not only make it possible to disseminate and share your research output, but also to exchange views on research-related issues with other researchers.

Social networking sites aimed at the general public enable communicating the results of your own research to a wider audience. This is especially useful if the research topic is of interest to the general public.

Facebook and Twitter are particularly important from the perspective of measuring the impact of research (altmetrics), because the research output shared through them is included in altmetrics counts.

If you intend to upload your article to a social networking site, remember to first check for example in the SHERPA/RoMEO database whether the publisher of the article permits this, and if they do, on what conditions. Further information about self-archiving.

Social networking services for researchers

To use the ResearchGate service you must create a user profile. After creating a profile:

  • you can share your own research and read other users' publications
  • you can keep track of how your publications are used: number of views, downloads, citations
  • you can connect and collaborate with other researchers; see for example the University of Oulu ResearchGate community.

To avoid getting an excessive number of e-mails, change your profile settings: Settings -> Privacy Settings and Notifications.

Upload your own publications to share them with others
You can upload your own research papers to ResearchGate, but always remember to first check whether you have right to do so, or does the publisher and/or funder hold the sole right to distribute the material. Further information about self-archiving.

Download other users' publications for your own use
You can download publications from ResearchGate at least for your own use. Remember that articles found ResearchGate may have restrictions on their use and third party copyright issues. You are always solely responsible for the use any downloaded material. If you download material that you also wish to share with others, check the terms of use in the original source (e.g. scientific journal) or ask for permission and/or more detailed information from the person who has uploaded the material to ResearchGate.

Search for researchers: http://www.researchgate.net/directory/profiles

Search for publications: http://www.researchgate.net/directory/publications

ResearchGate Q&A: http://www.researchgate.net/topics

 To use Academia.edu you must create a user profile. After creating a profile:
  • you can share your own research and read other users' publications
  • you can keep track of how your publications are used
  • you can connect and collaborate with other researchers; see for example the University of Oulu Academia.edu community.

When you upload your own research papers to Academia.edu always remember to first check whether you have right to do so or does the publisher and/or funder hold the sole right to distribute the material. Further information about self-archiving.

For more information go to Academia.edu help center.

Mendeley is a free desktop and web program for managing and sharing research papers, discovering research data and collaborating online.

1. Create an account: www.mendeley.com. In Mendeley Web you can:

  • edit your profile; e.g. to avoid receiving several emails, manage your Notifications and Privacy settings, both of which can be accessed through My Account
  • search papers, groups or people
  • collaborate and share papers with your peers by creating and joining groups of interest
  • save PDFs or references to your My Library
  • promote your publications; see publisher copyright polices to check if you can share your publications
  • to get readership statistics.

2. Install Mendeley Desktop in order to:

  • search papers
  • add and organize documents and references
  • make notes and highlightings with the built-in PDF viewer.

3. Install Mendeley Word Plugin, which allows you automatically insert formatted citations or generate a bibliography for your paper.

4. Save online content directly to your Mendeley account with the Web Importer bookmarklet.

Features: http://www.mendeley.com/features/
How Mendeley helps: http://www.mendeley.com/how-we-help/
Guides: https://community.mendeley.com/guides

LinkedIn is a social networking service best known as a tool for expanding your own networks. Through the service you can also receive new job offers and firms can recruit new employees for open jobs.

After registering into LinkedIn you can:

  • network and collaborate with other researchers
  • communicate your own research or idea
  • describe your expertise and know-how
  • keep track of open jobs
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Social networking services for communicating to the general public

Facebook with its over 2 billion users (summer 2017) is also a potential tool for disseminating information about research. You can either use your own personal account or create a dedicated account for your research project. Remember to follow other accounts associated with your research topic, as this will attract more followers to your own account.

Use your account to share information for example about your new publications. Remember to use pages which include persistent addresses (e.g. DOI, URN, ISBN) to ensure that the publications will be included in altmetrics data aggregation and that you will be able to monitor their online impact.

Twitter may be even better suited for communicating research than Facebook, as Twitter focuses more on following topics, whereas Facebook is based more on friend networks. There are already leading researchers from many fields who are worth following on Twitter. You can grow your number of followers by tweeting your own ideas, news and everything related to your research.

Use Twitter to share at least all your new publications. Remember to use pages which include persistent addresses (e.g. DOI, URN, ISBN) to ensure that the publications will be included in altmetrics data aggregation and that you will be able to monitor their online impact.

Blogs have become an integral part of the media field and are often used to participate in social debate. They can be hosted on university or other research communities' websites or on platforms maintained by commercial/non-commercial service providers.

For more information about researcher blogs see the University of Helsinki guide to research communication for researchers (in Finnish).

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