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Book part
Publication date: 12 June 2015

Anamika Megwalu

Academic social networking (ASN) sites are becoming a popular communication medium among scholars. This case study was designed to explore communication behaviors of…

Abstract

Academic social networking (ASN) sites are becoming a popular communication medium among scholars. This case study was designed to explore communication behaviors of physicists, linguists, and sociologists on an ASN site called Academia.edu, their motivations for using it, and the perceived impact of their use of the site on their professional activities. Results from this study are valuable for designing computer-mediated and web-based communication media for scholars and also for adding richness to the literature related to scholarly communication. For the purpose of this study, data was collected using three different instruments: Server log, survey, and interview. Data used for analyses included a total of 20,309 server log data, 267 survey responses, and 28 interviews from scholars of Physics, Sociology, and Linguistics who use Academia.edu. Results from the study showed that the use of Academia.edu is dependent on the discipline scholars are affiliated with, their professional status, and the time of the year. Unlike physicists, linguists and sociologists are more inclined to using Academia.edu and other ASN sites. Although linguists and sociologists actively use Academia.edu, their motivations to use the site are different. These differences in user-motivations and user-activities across the disciplines are influenced by variations in the social and cultural practices of the disciplines. This study used Whitley’s (2000) theory of degrees of mutual dependence and task uncertainty to explain the differences in the adoption and use of Academia.edu across the three disciplines.

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Current Issues in Libraries, Information Science and Related Fields
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-637-9

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Article
Publication date: 7 November 2018

Ann E. Williams

This paper aims to analyze the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the academic social networking, Academia.edu.

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370

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to analyze the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the academic social networking, Academia.edu.

Design/methodology/approach

SWOT analysis is performed to evaluate the platform.

Findings

Academia.edu provides resources that enable scholars to heighten the impact and reach of their research within a digitally networked environment.

Originality/value

This is one of the first studies to evaluate the scholarly merits of Academia.edu.

Details

Information and Learning Science, vol. 119 no. 11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-5348

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Article
Publication date: 8 May 2017

Raj Kumar Bhardwaj

The purpose of this paper is to compare four popular academic social networking sites (ASNSs), namely, ResearchGate, Academia.edu, Mendeley and Zotero.

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2196

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to compare four popular academic social networking sites (ASNSs), namely, ResearchGate, Academia.edu, Mendeley and Zotero.

Design/methodology/approach

Evaluation method has been used with the help of checklist covering various features of ASNSs. A structured checklist has been prepared to compare four popular ASNSs, comprising 198 dichotomous questions divided into 12 broad categories.

Findings

The study found that performance of ASNSs using the latest features and services is not up to the mark, and none of the site is rated as “Excellent”. The sites lack in incorporation of session filters; output features; privacy settings and text display; and search and browsing fields. Availability of bibilographic features and general features is poor in these sites. Further, altmetrics and analytics features are not incorporated properly. User interface of the sites need to improve to draw researchers to use them. The study report reveals that ResearchGate scored the highest, 61.1 per cent points, and was ranked “above average”, followed by Academia.edu with 48.0 per cent and Mendeley with 43.9 per cent are ranked “average”. However, the Zotero (38.9 per cent) was ranked “below average”.

Practical implications

Accreditation agencies can identify suitable sites in the evaluation of institutions’ research output. Further, students and faculty members can choose the site suiting their needs. Library and information science professionals can use the checklist to impart training to the academic community which can help fostering research and development activities.

Originality/value

The study identifies features that ought to be available in a model ASNS. These features are categorized into 12 broad categories. The findings can also be used by developers of the sites to enhance functionalities. Institutions can choose suitable sites while collaborating with other institutions.

Details

Information and Learning Science, vol. 118 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-5348

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Article
Publication date: 9 October 2017

José Luis Ortega

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the distribution of profiles from academic social networking sites according to disciplines, academic statuses and gender, and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the distribution of profiles from academic social networking sites according to disciplines, academic statuses and gender, and detect possible biases with regard to the real staff distribution. In this way, it intends to know whether these academic places tend to become specialized sites or, on the contrary, there is a homogenization process.

Design/methodology/approach

To this purpose, the evolution of profiles of one organization (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas) in three major academic social sites (Academia.edu, Google Scholar Citations and ResearchGate) through six quarterly samples since April 2014 to September 2015 are tracked.

Findings

Longitudinal results show important disciplinary biases but with strong increase of new profiles form different areas. They also suggest that these virtual spaces are gaining more stability and they tend toward a equilibrate environment.

Originality/value

This is the first longitudinal study of profiles from three major academic social networking sites and it allows to shed light on the future of these platforms’ populations.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 41 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

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Article
Publication date: 14 May 2018

Ebikabowei Emmanuel Baro, Eriye Chris Tralagba and Ebiere Joyce Ebiagbe

The purpose of the study is to investigate the extent to which academic librarians in African universities know and use self-archiving options to make their papers visible…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the study is to investigate the extent to which academic librarians in African universities know and use self-archiving options to make their papers visible globally.

Design/methodology/approach

An online survey was designed using SurveyMonkey software to collect data from 455 academic librarians working in 52 universities in Africa.

Findings

The study revealed that the academic librarians in Africa are aware of ResearchGate, institutional repository, personal website/server, kudos and Mendeley and they actually upload papers to self-archiving platforms such as institutional repository, ResearchGate, academia.edu and personal websites/servers. Factors such as increased exposure of one’s previously published work, provides exposure for works not previously published (e.g. seminar papers), broadens the dissemination of academic research generally and increases one’s institutions’ visibility were among the options the academic librarians rated as very important factors that motivate them to submit their scholarly output to the self-archiving options. It was also found that majority of the academic librarians in Africa checked the publishers’ website for copyright policy compliance before submitting their papers to the platform.

Practical implications

The study called for academic librarians in developing countries to voluntarily sign-up to register with self-archiving options such as ResearchGate, kudos, Mendeley.com, academia.edu and others to enable them self-archive their published papers for access globally by students, researchers, etc.

Originality/value

The findings of this study will add to the body of knowledge by bringing to light the extent of awareness and use of self-archiving options by academic librarians in universities in Africa.

Details

Information and Learning Science, vol. 119 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-5348

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Article
Publication date: 7 February 2018

Nowsheeba Ashraf Asmi and Madhusudhan Margam

This paper aims to explore the usage of academic social networking sites (ASNSs) among the research scholars in Central Universities of Delhi, India.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the usage of academic social networking sites (ASNSs) among the research scholars in Central Universities of Delhi, India.

Design/methodology/approach

A structured questionnaire was designed and personally distributed among 200 research scholars in Central Universities in Delhi in May 2016. Of this, 180 filled-in questionnaires were personally collected by the investigator, eliciting a response rate of 90 per cent.

Findings

Findings of the study reveals that research scholars have knowledge of ASNSs. ResearchGate and Academia are the most used ASNSs among research scholars. ResearchGate is used the most for connecting to other research scholars, and Academia is used for sharing and following research. Additionally, ASNSs help research scholars in research and learning and to share research ideas and experience. Finally, research scholars find ASNSs time-consuming and have cited data security as main concern for using academic social networks.

Research limitations/implications

The findings of the study show that potential uses of ASNSs in Indian libraries are slow compared to the libraries of developed countries and some of the developing countries. It is suggested that universities under study may realize the benefits of ASNSs and incorporate these tools in their websites to enhance faster transfer and retrieval of information.

Practical implications

The results also stress upon the responsibility of research supervisors to accord knowledge of ASNSs among research scholars and encourage them to join and use ASNSs efficiently and effectively for building professional connections and collaborations in their research area.

Social implications

The study is significant because it represents one of the earliest works to shed the light on the current level of use of SNSs and ASNSs by research scholars in Central Universities in Delhi, which are in primitive nature. They provide space for self-expression, research updates, expert advice, connecting with fellow scholars, creating and joining events and discussions, presenting their views on a particular topic, finding collaboration on projects, finding jobs and much more.

Originality/value

ASNSs have further promoted the open source movement. The paper apprises the academic stakeholders about the unique features, adoption, acceptability and usage of ASNSs for research work, exchange of information and collaborations, so that more productive and quality research is produced. The findings will also guide research scholars to find popular ASNSs, so that they can build more academic connections.

Details

Global Knowledge, Memory and Communication, vol. 67 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

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Article
Publication date: 5 December 2018

Clement Chukwuma Okeji, Monica Eberechukwu Eze and Nneka Maureen Chibueze

The purpose of this study was to investigate the extent to which academic librarians in Nigerian universities use self-archiving options to make their research papers…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to investigate the extent to which academic librarians in Nigerian universities use self-archiving options to make their research papers visible globally.

Design/methodology/approach

An online survey was designed using SurveyMonkey software to collect data from 394 academic librarians in Nigerian Universities.

Findings

The study revealed that the academic librarians in Nigerian universities know and actually use self-archiving options such as ResearchGate, institutional repository and Academia.edu to self-archive their publications. While other promotional tools such as kudos, Mendeley.com and personal websites/servers are not popularly used by the academic librarians. Increased exposure of previously published work, broadens the dissemination of academic research generally, and increases institutions’ visibility were among the factors the academic librarians indicated as very important that motivate them to contribute their scholarly output to self-archiving options.

Research limitations/implications

One major challenge to the study is that many academic librarians in Nigeria do not check their e-mails regularly to enable them to respond to a request to participate in an online survey; some of them do not have stable internet facilities, whereas others are reluctant to respond to an online questionnaire. These reasons led to a low response rate which makes it difficult to generalize findings.

Practical implications

Findings from the study will create awareness for academic librarians in developing countries to see the need to self-archive their pre-print and accepted version of their papers in different self-archiving platforms.

Originality/value

Self-archiving of papers by authors will lead to an increased visibility of the author and possible citation of the work and chances of collaboration with international colleagues for research projects.

Details

Global Knowledge, Memory and Communication, vol. 68 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2514-9342

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Article
Publication date: 6 November 2018

Monica Eberechukwu Eze, Clement Chukwuma Okeji and Gabriel Ejiobi Bosah

The purpose of the study is to investigate the extent to which academic librarians in Nigerian universities utilize self-archiving options to make their research papers…

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280

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the study is to investigate the extent to which academic librarians in Nigerian universities utilize self-archiving options to make their research papers visible globally.

Design/methodology/approach

An online survey was designed using SurveyMonkey software to collect data from 394 academic librarians in Nigerian universities.

Findings

The study revealed that the academic librarians in Nigerian universities know and actually use self-archiving options such as ResearchGate, institutional repository and academia.edu to self-archive their publications. While, self-archiving platforms like Kudos, Mendeley.com and personal websites/servers are not popularly used by the academic librarians. Factors such as increased exposure to previously published work broadens the dissemination of academic research generally, which increases institutions’ visibility, were among the options the academic librarians indicated as very important factors that motivate them to contribute their scholarly output to self-archiving options.

Practical implications

The study called for academic librarians in developing countries to voluntarily sign-up to register with self-archiving options such as ResearchGate, Kudos, Mendeley.com, Academia.edu and others to enable them to self-archive their published papers for access globally by students, researchers.

Originality/value

Self-archiving of papers by authors will lead to an increased visibility of the author and possible citation of the work and chances of collaboration with international colleagues for research projects.

Details

Library Hi Tech News, vol. 36 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0741-9058

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Article
Publication date: 8 January 2018

Elke Greifeneder, Sheila Pontis, Ann Blandford, Hesham Attalla, David Neal and Kirsten Schlebbe

The purpose of this paper is to better understand why many researchers do not have a profile on social networking sites (SNS), and whether this is the result of conscious…

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3022

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to better understand why many researchers do not have a profile on social networking sites (SNS), and whether this is the result of conscious decisions.

Design/methodology/approach

Thematic analysis was conducted on a large qualitative data set from researchers across three levels of seniority, four countries and four disciplines to explore their attitudes toward and experiences with SNS.

Findings

The study found much greater scepticism toward adopting SNS than previously reported. Reasons behind researchers’ scepticism range from SNS being unimportant for their work to not belonging to their culture or habits. Some even felt that a profile presented people negatively and might harm their career. These concerns were mostly expressed by junior and midlevel researchers, showing that the largest opponents to SNS may unexpectedly be younger researchers.

Research limitations/implications

A limitation of this study was that the authors did not conduct the interviews, and therefore reframing or adding questions to specifically unpack comments related to attitudes, feelings or the use of SNS in academia was not possible.

Originality/value

By studying implicit attitudes and experiences, this study shows that instead of being ignorant of SNS profiles, some researchers actively opt for a non-use of profiles on SNS.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 74 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 5 September 2017

Henryk Rybinski, Lukasz Skonieczny, Jakub Koperwas, Waclaw Struk, Jolanta Stepniak and Weronika Kubrak

The purpose of this paper is to present a solution for building an institutional information system (IIS) for the university, so that it combines the functionality of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a solution for building an institutional information system (IIS) for the university, so that it combines the functionality of institutional repository (IR) with the functionality of current research information system (CRIS). The paper presents functionality of a system that has been implemented at Warsaw University of Technology (WUT), which solves the requirements of both system types. In addition, applied AI technologies aiming at providing features attractive for the system beneficiaries are presented.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors have reviewed various approaches to IIS, analyzed the problems observed by researchers in combining CRIS with IR, and have shown how the problems can be solved within a system that integrates various functionalities. Based on this analysis, the authors have implemented software Ω-ΨR (OMEGA-PSIR) for an academic IIS, which integrates requirements of both system types, and then deployed it at WUT.

Findings

It is shown that although a classical repository is an important part of the CRIS/IR system, the essential value of the solution is in providing analytical tools for “research management.” Based on the example of OMEGA-PSIR, the authors have also presented how the researcher-centric approach influences the acceptance rate of the academic community. It is also shown how the researcher-centric approach can take advantage from integrating the conflicting functionalities of IR and CRIS.

Practical implications

The paper bridges the gap between theory and practice in the area of IIS for academic institutions. It constructively discusses the role of institutional IR and it provides guides how to develop a system combining functionalities of CRIS and IR, as well as how to make IIS more attractive for the users by making the system researcher centric.

Originality/value

The survey of various approaches to IIS is unique. The research-centric approach and its implementation within OMEGA-PSIR system are original. Lessons learned from deploying the software at the WUT are of great value for institutions planning to install IR/CRIS solutions. A survey research concerning the system usability is provided, showing practical usefulness of the proposed approach.

Details

Program, vol. 51 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0033-0337

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