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/