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Article
Publication date: 11 September 2017

Nicole Muscanell and Sonja Utz

The purpose of this paper is to examine the usage and utility of ResearchGate (RG), which is a social networking site where scientists disseminate their work and build…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the usage and utility of ResearchGate (RG), which is a social networking site where scientists disseminate their work and build their reputations. In a sample consisting largely of American and European academics, the authors analyzed the ways they use the site, what they thought about the site’s utility, and the effects of usage on career outcomes.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors employed an online survey approach to target scientists who have an active RG account. Scientists who were not users were also recruited in order to get a better idea of the reasons for their nonuse.

Findings

Most academics who have an RG account did not use it very heavily. Users did not perceive many benefits from using the site, and RG use was not related to career satisfaction or informational benefits, but was related to productivity and stress.

Research limitations/implications

Systematic research is needed to explore positive and negative consequences of using professional social media in academia, especially productivity and stress. Findings also suggest that RG needs to increase user engagement.

Originality/value

This study is one of the first to closely examine how and why people in academia use professional social media sites and whether usage leads to perceived benefits and effects on more general career outcomes.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 41 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

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Article
Publication date: 4 August 2020

Małgorzata Kowalska-Chrzanowska and Przemysław Krysiński

This paper aims to answer the question of how the Polish representatives of social communication and media sciences communicate the most recent scientific findings in the…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to answer the question of how the Polish representatives of social communication and media sciences communicate the most recent scientific findings in the media space, i.e. what types of publications are shared, what activities do they exemplify (sharing information about their own publications, leading discussions, formulating opinions), what is the form of the scientific communication created by them (publication of reference lists' descriptions, full papers, preprints and post prints) and what is the audience reception (number of downloads, displays, comments).

Design/methodology/approach

The authors present the results of analysis conducted on the presence of the most recent (2017–2019) publications by the Polish representatives of the widely understood social communication and media sciences in three selected social networking services for scientists: ResearchGate, Google Scholar and Academia.edu. The analyses covered 100 selected representatives of the scientific environment (selected in interval sampling), assigned, according to the OECD classification “Field of Science”, in the “Ludzie nauki” (Men of Science) database to the “media and communication” discipline.

Findings

The conducted analyses prove a low usage level of the potential of three analysed services for scientists by the Polish representatives of social communication and media sciences. Although 60% of them feature profiles in at least one of the services, the rest are not present there at all. From the total of 113 identified scientists' profiles, as little as 65 feature publications from 2017 to 2019. Small number of alternative metrics established in them, implies, in turn, that if these metrics were to play an important role in evaluation of the value and influence of scientific publications, then this evaluation for the researched Polish representatives of social communication and media sciences would be unfavourable.

Originality/value

The small presence of the Polish representatives of the communication and media sciences in three analysed services shows that these services may be – for the time being – only support the processes of managing own scientific output. Maybe this quite a pessimistic image of scientists' activities in the analysed services is conditioned by a simple lack of the need to be present in electronic channels of scientific communication or the lack of trust to the analysed services, which, in turn, should be linked to their shortcomings and flaws. However, unequivocal confirmation of these hypotheses might be brought by explorations covering a larger group of scientists, and complemented with survey studies. Thus, this research may constitute merely a starting point for further explorations, including elaboration of good practices with respect to usage of social media by scientists.

Details

Global Knowledge, Memory and Communication, vol. 69 no. 8/9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2514-9342

Keywords

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