by Kathleen Reed
Vancouver Island University
I’ve finally had it with ResearchGate. After what feels like the hundredth time the site emailed me to ask “Did your colleague [name] publish [article]?”, I’m through. These nagging emails are annoying, and asking me to report on my colleagues crosses a line. Beyond my annoyance with spam email, though, lies a deeper question that I’ve been pondering lately: what does a manageable, well-curated online scholarly profile look like?
You’d think I would have a good answer to this question for myself, being a librarian that leads sessions on this very question. But up to this point, my profile is a mishmash of full-text and indexed publications, across multiple profile platforms. These include my institution’s digital repository, Twitter, ORCID, Google Scholar, Research Gate, and Academia.edu. I make all my work open access, but not in one central place.
I tell myself that this scatter-shot approach has been at least partially because I demonstrate multiple sites for other researchers as part of my job, and I need to be familiar with them. And I worry that I’ll be splitting my readership stats if I publish in an OA journal, and then turn around and put my work up OA somewhere else. Mostly, though, keeping all of my profiles updated is a time-consuming task and just doesn’t happen. Thus, I have a series of half-completed and stale profiles online – not exactly the scholarly image I wish to project, and certainly not what I preach in my sessions on the subject.
During the upcoming year I’m off on leave to start a PhD, and scholarly profile seems more important than ever before. Add to that the idea of not getting annoying ResearchGate emails, and I’m finding motivation to change my online profile. Yes, I know I can opt-out of ResearchGate emails and still have a presence on the site. But the monetizing of public scholarship on private platforms bothers me. I don’t want to promote that ResearchGate and Academia.edu are acceptable places to deposit OA versions – they’re not, according to the Tri-Agencies. So I’ve decided to focus on my institution’s IR, ORCID, and Google Scholar. Three places to update seems more manageable, and I like getting away from for-profit companies at least a little. See ya, ResearchGate.
How do you manage your scholarly profile online? If you feel like you’ve got a system that works, what does that look like? Please share in the comments below.
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This article gives the views of the author and not necessarily the views the Centre for Evidence Based Library and Information Practice or the University Library, University of Saskatchewan.