23 Things – Academia.edu and ResearchGate

23 Things’ has suggested I look at Academia.edu and ResearchGate. Conveniently, Academia.edu had already been on my radar for a month or so. A few interesting articles have been brought to my attention through the site, but I haven’t uploaded any of my own papers onto this academic network just yet.

Academia.edu touts itself as a place to share and discover research, and, by placing work on an open platform, academics are able to present material before it becomes irrelevant. The argument is that peer reviewed publications do not move fast enough, and that by the time the publication hits the library shelves the articles within them have moved on.

Cognitively, I completely understand the importance of sharing your research through open sources. I get that it’s a quick way to share ideas and move scholastic research forward. However, there is still that old fashion part of me that has conflicting worries that my work will both be mocked and stolen.

On the one hand, I worry that my work isn’t good enough if it isn’t peer reviewed; therefore I shouldn’t upload it until it’s been approved by someone ‘official’ (yes, too many years in education may have brain-washed me). On the other hand, I’m afraid that my work may be used with out credit.

In hopes of combating these ridiculous notions, I decided to check out ResearchGate. Maybe it’s because today is an ‘admin day’ and not a ‘research or writing day’ — and I resent the necessity of my ‘admin days’ — but the act of setting up another profile was nerve wracking.

ResearchGate kept uploading my picture so I was a giant face, and I couldn’t resize it. I finally found another image to upload, but I look completely punchable. I could have set-up a profile using Facebook or LinkedIn, which would have side-stepped the hassle of setting up a new profile, but I’m not a big fan of conglomerating my social media accounts, as I like to control what appears on each platform.

Once I got over my initial and irrational grumpiness of having to register, I found ResearchGate quite easy. It seems to connect you with fellow researchers through social media network, unlike Academia.edu which appears to be more about sharing papers and findings. At the moment, I feel that ResearchGate may fit more to my needs, a place to come and interact with others in my field, then – if I so desire – upload material.

I still need to add my teaching and research experience to the profile, but I think ResearchGate may be useful in helping me keep track of my career. At the moment, I update the CV on my hard drive and this blog, but items often fall through the cracks. This website may be helpful in recording my teaching, researching, awards, conferences, publications, and all the other tick box experiences needed to succeed in academia.

If you’re on ResearchGate feel free to look me up and connect.

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