Top Five Academic Social Networking Sites for Scholars and Students

In all human endeavors/professions, having supportive social connections is very important. Connecting with people in terms of profession, social status, ideologies, etc. facilitates utilization of (human) resources and maximization of opportunities. For instance, having relevant connections can facilitate employment opportunities and admissions (e.g., through recommendation letters from relevant connections). In recent times, people are now more serious about building and sustaining relevant relationships and connections, be it social, academic/professional, ideological, etc. They call it “human networking”. Thanks to social networking technology, building and sustaining relevant connections are now much easier, making it extremely easy to connect with peers and colleagues, seek out new information and disseminate new ideas to the broader public.

Hagit Meishar-Tal and Efrat Pieterse in an article “Why Do Academics Use Academic Social Networking Sites?” published in International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, Volume 18, Number 1, submit that “ASNS have the potential of revolutionizing the patterns of information publication and sharing in the academic world. By offering platforms for interrelations among scholars around the world, they may influence the structure and dynamic of the research community.”

In this piece, I examine top relevant social networking sites where academics can hook up with one another, share their works and grow together.

1. Academia.edu

Academia.edu, established by Richard Price in 2008, is a networking site purely dedicated to academics. This platform allows users to create personal profiles, follow and exchange messages with relevant fellow users, upload papers, request feedback and track measure papers’ engagement/influence through analytics. Academia.edu users can connect with their colleagues from other social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc. through “import contact” feature. There is also a notification feature that alerts users through email whenever a researcher on their follow list publishes a paper.

2. ResearchGate

ResearchGate was founded in 2008 by Ijad Madisch, Horst Fickenscher, and Sören Hofmayer. It is an academic social networking where researchers network, connect and share knowledge by uploading journal articles, conference papers, posters, data and code to an online repository. Like Academia.edu, ResearchGate also has analytics feature which enables users also receive analytics on their paper including the number of times their papers have been read and cited by other users on ResearchGate.

3. Penprofile

Penprofile is an academic social networking that fosters global (social) interactions among academics/scholars, students and educational organizations with a view to causing enormous diffusion of knowledge growth and development. It is open to everyone, and it presents a variety of useful features for networking and productivity.

Penprofile uniquely blends social interactions with productive knowledge sharing and human resources development. It has robust inbuilt features/sections such as profile creation for individual and organization, a unique article/blogging platform, group creation, research reviews, academic news such as job placements, writing opportunities, call for papers, conferences, and a lot more membership opportunities. The site is available on www.penprofile.com

4. LinkedIn

LinkedIn a networking platform where individuals and companies connect for purposes of fostering working relations, employment opportunities, skills acquisition, and knowledge sharing, etc. Although LinkedIn accommodates all professions, it has proven over time to be a viable platform for academic scholars. LinkedIn was founded in 2002 and operates from the website, www.linkedin.com, and mobile app.

5. Google Scholar

Google Scholar is a search engine dedicated finding scholarly resources. It allows users to search across a wide range of academic literature drawing on information from journals, professional societies, university repositories, institutional libraries, and other scholarly websites. After creating a Scholar profile, users can save their articles in Scholar Library and also import their citations. Google Scholar has Citations feature which provides a simple way for authors to keep track of citations to their articles. It also has Metrics feature which provides an easy way for authors to quickly gauge the visibility and influence of recent articles in scholarly publications. This platform is available on https://scholar.google.com/.