Open Access Week – Academic Social Networking Sites

On Monday Katy Jordan from IET gave a talk on Academic Social Networking Sites (SNS) as part of Open Access Week.  Katy is currently a postgraduate student and her provisional thesis title is Reshaping the Higher Education network? Analysis of academic social networking sites, so she was a natural choice to ask!

As the ORO manager I’m often asked how sites like ResearchGate and interact with the institutional repository, so I was a little anxious as to the implications for ORO from Katy’s research.  But Katy’s talk was actually a resounding re-affirmation of the case for the Institutional Repository.

Katy presented a diagram in her presentation where ORO sits alongside and complements both Twitter and Academic SNS.jordantriangle

  • ORO was the host of self archived research publications
  • Twitter was for discussions and building new networks
  • Academic SNS were ‘a portable business card’

Katy’s talk was both wide ranging and engaging, other themes I found particularly pertinent were:

  • Interventions by Academic SNS into publishing services such as peer review and minting DOIs appear to be a challenge to existing models of scholarly communication.
  • Academic SNS seem to replicate existing networks rather than creating new ones.
  • Academic profiles are already out there so you shouldn’t ignore them but actively curate them.
  • There is a disciplinary divide where ResearchGate is more sciences based and more Arts and Humanities.
  • Academic SNS are commercial enterprises – but revenue generation will not occur until the network is strong enough.

Katy’s presentation is available here:

Thanks again to Katy for a fascinating talk.





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