Facebook for Academic Researchers

July 26, 2017

Posted: November 21, 2016, 2:37pm

One of the most important tasks of any good researcher is reading publications. Sometimes it’s exciting to read new, cutting-edge papers and sometimes it’s tedious. But the most frustrating thing can be all those missed connections. Maybe you arrive at a conference and realize that your research project is very similar to someone else presenting. What if you two had a conversation a few months prior, to avoid all this messy overlap and wasted time? Some of these problems are avoided by active networking or active perusing of pre-release acaemic archive sites such as arxiv.org or bioRxiv.org. This is all part of the job description of an academic.

But what has become increasingly popular is a social media option for researchers known as ResearchGate. It’s part paper-archive and part social networking site. Founded in 2008, it has now amassed over 1,000,000 users from around the world. Researchers can follow other researchers and even follow publications (for forthcoming dataset release, or future full publication prints). The site has some algorithm for rating a researcher’s academic prowess, called an RG Score. The score increases with every publication and citation. One of the best features of the site is the recommendations. Based on who (and what) you follow on the site, ResearchGate suggests new publications in your field for you to read.

It’s a really helpful feature, especially for those who are just starting out in a new field. What are others reading? What are the newest and most highly cited publications?

The site also had the added benefit of marketing your own research with little to no effort. For example, I had the highest read article in the department last week! Score!

Published on July 26th, 2017

Last updated on August 10th, 2017