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Academia.edu – social networking for scholars

image: Academic.edu logo

At last week’s New Media Consortium leader’s meeting in Austin, there was some buzz and activity around Academia.edu. This is a social networking platform designed for scholars and researchers at the graduate level and beyond. It works like any other online social network — set up a profile, add your own research interests from a vast taxonomy of user-generated topics, follow people who share your interests, find people you know and follow people they follow, and so on.

There are currently 1,278 people with the research interest  “Digital Humanities.”  More focused interests have smaller groups. “Library as Place,” for example, currently has 83 members.

Positive features of academia.edu include
– structure that reflects institutional affiliation as well as research interests. This makes it useful for finding potential collaborators in your own department, in other departments on your own campus, or worldwide
– highly international and diverse representation
– strong participation by grad students and post-docs
– ability to post a CV and copies of your publications
– high visibility in Google, with e-mail alerts when someone searches and finds your profile.

The main disadvantage is that it’s one more social network.  How many can we handle, anyway?

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