Authors : Mikael Laakso, Juho Lindman, Cenyu Shen, Linus Nyman, Bo-Christer Björk
A recent disruption in academic publishing are Academic Social Networks (ASN), i.e. web platforms such as ResearchGate and Academia.edu that have provided new ways for researchers to disseminate, search for, and retrieve research articles.
ASNs are still a grey area in terms of implications for involved stakeholders, and research on them has so far been scarce.
In an effort to map out factors related to ASN use this article provides a multi-method case study of one business school (Hanken School of Economics, Finland) that incorporates 1) a bibliometric analysis on the full-text availability of research output on ASNs for research published 2012–2014 by Hanken affiliated authors, 2) semi-structured interviews with faculty active in publishing in order to gain insight into motivations for use and use patterns, and 3) a survey distributed to all research-active faculty and doctoral students in order to gain a wider perspective on ASN use.
ASNs have for many become the primary way to provide access to one’s research output, outpacing all other types of online locations such as personal websites and repositories.
Based on the case study findings, earlier research, and recent industry developments, the article concludes with a discussion about the implications that the current trajectory of ASN use has on major stakeholders in academic publishing.
URL : http://mikaellaakso.com/Laakso_et_al_2017_ASN.pdf
Authors : Enrique Orduna-Malea, Alberto Martin-Martin, Mike Thelwall, Emilio Delgado Lopez-Cozar
The academic social network site ResearchGate (RG) has its own indicator, RG Score, for its members. The high profile nature of the site means that the RG score may be used for recruitment, promotion and other tasks for which researchers are evaluated.
In response, this study investigates whether it is reasonable to employ the RG Score as evidence of scholarly reputation.
For this, three different author samples were investigated. An outlier sample includes 104 authors with high values. A Nobel sample comprises 73 Nobel winners from Medicine & Physiology, Chemistry, Physics and Economics (from 1975 to 2015).
A longitudinal sample includes weekly data on 4 authors with different RG Scores. The results suggest that high RG Scores are built primarily from activity related to asking and answering questions in the site.
In particular, it seems impossible to get a high RG Score solely through publications.
Within RG it is possible to distinguish between (passive) academics that interact little in the site and active platform users, who can get high RG Scores through engaging with others inside the site (questions, answers, social networks with influential researchers).
Thus, RG Scores should not be mistaken for academic reputation indicators.
URL : https://arxiv.org/abs/1705.03339
Authors : Hagit Meishar-Tal, Efrat Pieterse
Academic social-networking sites (ASNS) such as Academia.edu and ResearchGate are becoming very popular among academics. These sites allow uploading academic articles, abstracts, and links to published articles; track demand for published articles, and engage in professional interaction.
This study investigates the nature of the use and the perceived utility of the sites for academics. The study employs the Uses and Gratifications theory to analyze the use of ASNS.
A questionnaire was sent to all faculty members at three academic institutions. The findings indicate that researchers use ASNS mainly for consumption of information, slightly less for sharing of information, and very scantily for interaction with others.
As for the gratifications that motivate users to visit ASNS, four main ones were found: self-promotion and ego-bolstering, acquisition of professional knowledge, belonging to a peer community, and interaction with peers.
URL : Why Do Academics Use Academic Social Networking Sites?
DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.19173/irrodl.v18i1.2643
Authors : Hamed Alhoori, Richard Furuta, Mohammed Samaka, Edward A. Fox
As more scholarly content is being born digital or digitized, digital libraries are becoming increasingly vital to researchers leveraging scholarly big data for scientific discovery. Given the abundance of scholarly products-especially in environments created by the advent of social networking services-little is known about international scholarly information needs, information-seeking behavior, or information use.
This paper aims to address these gaps by conducting an in-depth analysis of researchers in the United States and Qatar; learn about their research attitudes, practices, tactics, strategies, and expectations; and address the obstacles faced during research endeavors.
Based on this analysis, the study identifies and describes new behavior patterns on the part of researchers as they engage in the information-seeking process. The analysis reveals that the use of academic social networks has remarkable effects on various scholarly activities.
Further, this study identifies differences between students and faculty members in regard to their use of academic social networks, and it identifies differences between researchers according to discipline.
The researchers who participated in the present study represent a range of disciplinary and cultural backgrounds. However, the study reports a number of similarities in terms of the researchers’ scholarly activities.
Finally, the study illuminates some of the implications for the design of research platforms.
URL : https://arxiv.org/abs/1612.07863
Researchers benefit from an increasing array of tools to enhance direct communication and the dissemination of their research findings. These include Open Access repositories, Open Access journals, or hybrid publishing. For some years, researchers have been using new ways to communicate and share their work by using academic social networks.
In an attempt to foster the development of Open Access in France, the French consortium COUPERIN (Unified Consortium of Higher Education and Research Organizations for Access to Numerical Publications) proposed that academic social networks could be used to convince researchers of becoming more involved in Open Access.
To test this hypothesis, a nationwide survey was launched in 2014 to explore whether and how these academic social networks are used to share content, but also how they compare to other Open Access classic tools. Within a month (20 May to 20 June), 1,898 researchers answered this 28-question survey. It was fully completed by 1,698 of them. This provides COUPERIN with considerable data for analysis. The respondents roughly reflect the composition of the French academic community in terms of gender and research fields, with a slight overrepresentation of young researchers/ PhD candidates.
This survey does not, however, cover the in-depth opinions of researchers on Open Access and academic social networks. It therefore only presents general tendencies. Nonetheless, the survey gives many indications as to how researchers apply Open Access. In addition, it shows how they feel about the usefulness of these networks compared to repositories when efficiently disseminating their work. This survey also takes the differences between disciplines into account and characterizes behaviour and opinions according to the different disciplinary communities and their research practices.
Finally, this survey allows us to define the main characteristics of a tool which could meet French researchers’ needs for scientific communication. The components of such an ideal tool dedicated to Open Science could include efficient repositories to easily disseminate work and improve visibility, a sharing network and the scientific stamp of peer-review.
URL : https://www.liberquarterly.eu/articles/10.18352/lq.10131/