As a scholar, it can be hard to make sure your research is available in an aggregated, easy-to-find format. There are some tools out there that can build and promote your digital academic research footprint. All are free, and most only take a few minutes of your time to set up and maintain:
Google Scholar has a citations feature that lets you create an author profile page to aggregate all your scholarly works, co-authors, and citations in one place. The profile page also has links to your website, a profile picture, and charts showing your annual citation count to easily view growth over time. It takes less than five minutes to set up, and you can choose to have it automatically update as it finds new works or you can manage it manually. Make sure to set your page status to "Public" if you want people to find your work and that all the papers Google suggests are yours (if other researchers have the same name as you, don’t trust the automatic updates).
Pro Tip: If you link to your Google Scholar page and you have more than 20 papers, add &view_op=list_works&pagesize=100 to the end of the URL to show up to 100 papers in the first click.
As its name suggests, the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) is the leading online repository for social science research. Its free service allows scholars to upload abstracts or full PDFs of their research, provides citation data, monthly rankings, and offers eJournals on a wide range of topics including entrepreneurship, economics, finance, marketing, law, and management among many others.
The Kauffman Foundation sponsors the Entrepreneurship Research & Policy Network (ERPN) on SSRN to provide an online community for entrepreneurship research from all academic disciplines and the users of that information. The Foundation encourages all entrepreneurship scholars to post working and published papers there in order to reach a broad audience.
Each month you can find the top most recent publications on ERPN on Growthology.
ORCID is a digital identifier that is unique to you as a researcher. With numerous professors out there named John Smith, your ORCID iD makes sure papers written by you the John Smith are correctly identified, and not mis-assigned to the other John Smith who also conducts research in your area.
bepress, originally known as the Berkeley Electronic Press, is similar to SSRN in that it disseminates scholarly works and allows scholars to create a bepress SelectedWorks site. Scholars can also use the tool to network with each other.
Research Papers in Economics, known as RePEc, has a similar mission to SSRN but just with economics. If your research is in economics, you may wish to create a RePEc profile.
Academia.edu and Researchgate.net are kind of social media networks for academics and their research. Academia is open to anyone wishing to follow certain researchers, while you can only join Researchgate if you show that you’re an actual researcher. Both allow you to post your research and follow the profiles of other researchers. Even though Researchgate is more of a closed platform, author pages there are discoverable through search tools.
LinkedIn is the go-to professional social media network for businesses and professionals, including academics. It offers features that let you post PDFs of or links to your work, including published papers, working papers, articles, blog posts, or even videos. You can list your current place of employment as well as your education and volunteer work, and provide links to your research on all the other services and sites listed above.
This might seem like a given, but enough academics don’t have robust or current websites, either through their universities or through a service such as Google sites or Academia.edu that it needs mentioning. Your website is the top result that shows up when someone searches for you, so it should be clean, easy to follow, and up to date. (Repeat: CURRENT!)
If your paper was forthcoming in 2012 but has since been published, make sure you check and update that at least once or twice a year. If nothing else, a basic academic site should list your contact information (including Twitter if you use it), have a link to your CV (again: current! — more to follow on that in my next post), and list any of the services you use above. A relatively recent photo is also useful for people looking to network with you after conferences.
All of these services can help people find you and your research. While this is useful in general in today’s ultra-connected world, it’s especially useful for professors seeking tenure. Additionally, if your institution uses software to track metrics, SSRN, RePEc, and ORCID directly integrate with some of these software platforms to make it easier for them to track your work (other services may as well — Google Scholar does not).
Make sure your digital academic research footprint is robust, current, and correctly represents you as a researcher. Give someone looking to hire you or know more about your work a complete picture, and make it easy to find.
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