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Research Visibility

How to raise the visiblity of your research and establish your name in an academic field.

Social Media for Scientists - Why

Also known as P2P scientific communication

  • Collaborate: make connections, exchange research ideas, and advance a career
  • Extract/organize information: stay current in their field, keep track of colleagues
  • Promote one's work: create an online profile
  • Visibility helps track and improve metrics
  • "social media enhances professional networking"

Keep in mind, some researchers regard blogs, wikis, and other such forms of communication as a waste of time, or even dangerous.


ResearchGate is a free social networking website touted as a “Facebook for scientists”; includes semantic searching of abstracts and external research databases, and can use an entire abstract for search terms. Allows blogs and provides automated suggestions for groups, other members, and literature based on research interests. Includes 1,100 groups and file sharing tools.


ReadCube: Although not open source, it offers storage, annotation and sharing tools specifically for scientific documents.


Mendeley allows researchers to organize their own research library, share with other researchers and discover new research and trends. It combines a citation manager with a scholarly social network to create a comprehensive research portal. Researchers with profiles can chart views and downloads of their research through the portal, join groups, and view popular articles within their fields. Mendeley has university-level research metrics and it gained particular traction in the sciences, from which most of its users hail. However, with the integration of Mendeley data into more altmetrics tools, it will likely become popular with other disciplines, too. Mendeley is free with for-cost storage upgrades, and available both online and as a download. 


VIVO is a free, downloadable semantic Web application designed to facilitate research collaboration both within and between institutions. Originally developed at Cornell, it invites institutions to upload data related to faculty profiles, which it crawls in order to draw meaningful connections between researchers. VIVO doesn’t directly support user-centered metrics, but has the potential to be a powerful tool in collecting university-level research metrics. To date, only a few large institutions have implemented VIVO, as it requires significant programming knowledge and commitment. Access:

UCLA has a plan to implement OPUS and there will be a tool which will allow faculty to create dossiers, CVs, biosketches, and other documents on the fly, providing different views of their data for different audiences.  VIVO is the intended target for this public profile information .

Social Science Research Network

SSRN is an online article repository, recently listed number one in the Web of World Repositories’ rankings for 2012. It encompasses three key features: a database of more than 400,000 abstracts, a large electronic paper collection, and 20 specialized subject networks through which registered users can promote their work and connect to free abstracts and articles. Though praised for its ability to facilitate discovery of scholarship, SSRN has also been criticized for the strictness of its policies, which some see as stifling in comparison to emerging scholarly networks. Still, its site-specific metrics for “top papers,” “top authors”and“top institutions” remain key to social science faculty. is a free online paper sharing platform that encourages academics to increase their visibility and monitor research within and across its scholarly network. With nearly 2 million profiles and 1.5 million uploaded papers, has become a popular player in the world of online repositories. Impact metrics for the site are similar to those offered by many blogs, and include profile views, document views, and country-based page traffic. In another increasing trend for scholarly networks, the site also offers features geared toward social interaction, such as user statuses and an “ask a question” tool. 


CiteULike is a web service which allows users to save and share citations to academic papers. Based on the principle of social bookmarking, the site works to promote and to develop the sharing of scientific references amongst researchers. In the same way that it is possible to catalog web pages (with Furl and delicious) or photographs (with Flickr), scientists can share citation information using CiteULike.[1][2][3] Richard Cameron developed CiteULike in November 2004 and in 2006 Oversity Ltd. was established to develop and support CiteULike.[4]

When browsing issues of research journals, small scripts stored in bookmarks (bookmarklets) allow one to import articles from repositories like PubMed, and CiteULike supports many more. Then the system attempts to determine the article metadata (title, authors, journal name, etc.) automatically. Users can organize their libraries with freely chosen tags and this produces a folksonomy of academic interests.[5]