Your Scholarly Reputation

Academic Networking

Academic Networking is the practice of cultivating relationships within academia as a whole and with others in your area of interest or study.

While similar in the networking aspect, academic networking sites are often more focused than social media sites because they cater specifically to those in academia.

Creating a profile on the remaining sites is free, though subscriptions for additional access are common. You can choose to go onto these platforms and create your own profile to begin networking with others. Google will create a profile for you through their scan of websites..

Google Scholar

Google Scholar is a free search engine that allows researchers to locate scholarly works (journal articles, conference papers, theses and dissertations, academic books, and more) across many disciplines. Scholars also have profiles that list their current affiliation, a list of published scholarly work, and a citation count. This profile is public and easily found by researchers using Google Scholar, and you can use citation tracking to watch how others are using your works.

A profile can be created in two ways - either by signing in to your Google account and claiming a profile that has been automatically created for you or creating a profile at the link below. Once you have your profile, Google will automatically enrich it with publications it deems to be yours (if you have a particularly common name, it’s a good idea to check these, and then tell Google that you want to approve any others it finds before they are added to your profile). Once Google indexes an article (or presentation, white paper, and so on) that cites your work, you’ll see those citations on your profile too. You can even set up alerts to be sent when your work is cited—or when research similar in subject matter to your own is published.


Profile Makers BEWARE!

Specialized social networks for academics exist both in the commercial and nonprofit sectors. and ResearchGate are examples of commercial ventures. Users can create profile pages, upload publications, and connect with and follow other users. Please note that while these sites are free to use, they make money by selling advertising space, ingesting user data and contacts and then selling it back to researchers and others.

While it may appear that these sites fulfill the requirements of open access, they do not.

Image adapted from work performed by the University of California, Office of Scholarly Communication

In addition to concerns about data sharing and user privacy, and ResearchGate accept papers with no checks on copyright ownership or even whether someone claiming to have written a book or article is indeed the author. BE SKEPTICAL of any materials uploaded to these sites.

Another common problem issue with these sites is the practice of spam emailing and poor web harvesting algorithms. Citation metrics are known to be inaccurate as persons with the same name are often gathered together in the results.

Ways to address these concerns include managing your privacy settings, avoiding connecting your account to a personal account, and sharing research on discipline-specific; Open Access repositories allowable under publisher copyright agreements.



In general, ResearchGate is one of the most well-known academic networking sites. To create a free profile on this site you can join using your email, or connect using your existing LinkedIn or Facebook profiles. Note that signing up using LinkedIn or Facebook will create a connection between the two sites that might not be desirable (see the Beware section above). Users can share their own research, connect with and follow colleagues and other researchers in various disciplines, and monitor metrics on the use of their research items.

I have listed this site here but suggest caution when using this site.

Users of this site can share research papers with other academics, identify the dissemination of their works using bibliometrics, and follow other scholars' research. Scholars wanting to create a free account for this site can sign up using their email, a Google user account, or their Facebook account. Signing up using another service (Google or Facebook) creates a connection between the two sites which may not be desirable (see the Warning message above).

I have listed this site for informational purposes but do not recommend its use.

Researcher Websites

Wherever you share your work and build your networks, you should have a single place you can call your online home. Departments may offer host web pages for their faculty members (and, sometimes, graduate students); however, these are often difficult to update and limited in scope. One easy solution is to use one of the many easy site builders such as WordPress, SquareSpace, or GitHub Pages.

The University of Arkansas coordinates campus WordPress sites. Check the link below to request an account.

You might also wish to consider connecting your open research data with a researcher blog available through the Open Science Framework.