Academics' online presence: Assessing and shaping your online visibility_26oct2012


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In our digital world, if you use the web, you have an online presence. And academics are no exception. Universities have webpages profiling their staff. Academic networks, like LinkedIn, and more, are used by researchers around the globe to keep in contact with colleagues and collaborators. And social media are everywhere you turn.
As an academic, you want your research outputs to be found and read. Making a difference and having an influence is almost a job requirement. Nowadays, the expectation is that you can be found online. So, what can you do to be aware of how you appear online? And, what can you do to increase your visibility? This presentation was part of a session for academics wanting to find out how they can review their existing digital footprints and shadows, make decisions about what kind of online presence they would like and plan how they can achieve it.
Several different possible ways of increasing their visibility as well as the visibility of their research and their outputs are discussed.

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  • Why IDC Report: The 2011 Digital Universe Study: Extracting Value from Chaos, June 2011
  • Adatpted from Alfred Hermida The Networked Scholar University of British Columbia, Worldviews Conference, Toronto, June 16 2011
  • Sarah Goodier photo July 2012 The amount of information that individuals create themselves (digital footprint) is far less than the amount being generated about them (digital shadow)
  • Magnifying glass image (top left) by Tall Chris available at under CC BY 2.0 ( Academic image (2 nd from the top right) by Tim Ellis available at: under CC BY-NC 2.0 (
  • As of 2 August 2012, LinkedIn had 175m + professionals from around the world, 44m + of these members from Europe, Middle East and Africa (as of February 17, 2012; ) As of the end of June 2012, Facebook had 955 million monthly active users. Approximately 81% of these users are from outside the USA and Canada ( ). As of 31 August 2012, had 1,794,003 academics have signed up to their service ( ).
  • Decide if this is valuable. Wikipedia.PeerIndex is a London-based company providing social media analytics based on footprints from use of major social media services (currently Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Quora). Part of an emerging group of Social Media Analytics providers[2], PeerIndex helps social media contributors assess and score their influence and benefit from the social capital they have built up. PeerIndex currently tracks ca. 45 million Twitter profiles, making the company one of the leaders in its sector. PeerIndex was founded in 2009 by Azeem Azhar, a former journalist and Reuters executive, Ditlev Schwanenflügel, a former McKinsey consultant and Bill Emmott (the former Editor-in-chief of The Economist) backed by a number of internet investors.
  • Thanks to Sam Gross’ New Yorker cartoon
  • Jason Priem, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (@jasonpriem) Dario Taraborelli, Wikimedia Foundation (@readermeter) Paul Groth, VU University Amsterdam (@pgroth) Cameron Neylon, Science and Technology Facilities Council (@cameronneylon) 26 October 2010
  • Academics need their work to be available and read in order to make this impact, read and citations are the measure of this
  • As of December 2011, Vimeo attracts 65 million unique visitors per month and more than 8 million registered users.[8] Fifteen percent of Vimeo’s traffic comes from mobile devices
  • Mendeley is not just a reference management tool, its also an academic social network. Similar to CiteUlike, in that you can manage your papers and citations online, Mendeley goes a step further with its desktop software. You can organise your research papers on your computer by dragging and dropping them into Mendeley Desktop, which will extract all the relevant citation information automatically, and you can sync this library with Mendeley online so you can access it anywhere. In Mendeley you can annotate and highlight points of interest in your pdfs. You can also collaborate with others online, through groups (public or private), and discover new research. Mendeley even has an iPhone app, so you can access and read your papers anywhere.
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  • Academics' online presence: Assessing and shaping your online visibility_26oct2012

    1. 1. Academics online presence: Assessing and shaping your online visibility Sarah Goodier 26 October 2012
    2. 2. IDC Report: The 2011 Digital Universe Study: Extracting Value from Chaos, June 2011 Slide from Laura Czerniewicz’s presentation ‘Academics online presence - assessing & shaping visibility 2012’:
    3. 3. Why should you care?• 7 out of 10 people who use the internet have searched for information about other people (Pew study results available at: (From: Google y la reputación en línea del usuario; available at:
    4. 4. Why should you care?• Scholarship is increasingly ‘going digital’ – Universities staff profiles – Academic networks connect researchers around the globe – Journal articles online – Social media• The expectation is that you can be found online
    5. 5. Slide from Laura Czerniewicz’s presentation ‘Academics online presence - assessing & shaping visibility 2012’: Building Blocks PRESENCE Extent to which of the Networked you as the scholar are visible to others SHARING online CONNECTIONS ScholarExtent to which The relevance • The honeycomb of you allow users and appeal of building blocks can beto exchange and your work to used to assess your level of distribute your others online connectivity as a information IDENTITY scholar. The extent to • They are not exclusive and which others can neither need all be identify you present. online as a scholarCONVERSATIONS REPUTATION • They are constructs that allow us to make sense ofExtent to which Your online different aspects of a others engage standing and the networked scholar.with you and you extent to which ADAPTED FROM with others you influence GROUPS others Social media? Get serious! Understanding the functional The extent of building blocks of social media your engagement Jan H. Kietzmann, Kristopher with Hermkens, Ian P. McCarthy, communities Bruno S. Silvestre Business Horizons (2011) 54, 241—251 Read the article here*
    6. 6. Do you know how you appear online? ?
    7. 7. What is your digital footprint? The content you create The content created about you What is your digital shadow?Photo by: Sarah Goodier
    8. 8. What can you do?• Know what information (both footprint and shadow) is out there• Take control! – Control your footprint Am I making an – Minimise your shadow impact? Can I be found online?
    9. 9. The process
    10. 10. Consider• What do you want your digital footprint to look like?• What kind of online presence do you want? What do I want?• What do you have time to What can I realistically achieve? manage effectively?
    11. 11. Assess & monitor your general online presence ASSESS
    12. 12. How?• Regular Google searches• On-going Google alerts of your name• Measure your digital footprint
    13. 13. Analyse the results• How many of the results are relevant?• What types of results come up? – Are all of them from your institutions? – Publications? – Online profiles? – Facebook photos?• If the results are obviously nothing to do with you, would that be obvious to someone else looking for you?• Consider what you would like to appear
    14. 14. Your profile as an individual• Profiles – – Facebook(?) Personal Professional – Your institution – Google Scholar – etc.• Update, improve and maintain it; Decide on a main profile - link the others to it• Separate professional and personal online presence• Be consistent!
    15. 15. Profiling Academics Online: Online Profiling Toolkit Improve your profileVan Schailkwyk, F Profiling academics online
    16. 16. - analytics
    17. 17. Social media analytics
    18. 18. Facebook analysis personal-analytics-for-facebook/
    19. 19. My question is “Am I making an impact?” Thanks to Sam Gross
    20. 20. Broaden impact
    21. 21. Maximise the visibility of your workGET YOUR OUTPUTS OUTTHERE
    22. 22. CC-BY
    23. 23. Improving the availability of your outputs• Put journal articles you can online – Check out Sherpa Romeo for publisher archiving policies ( Is my research making an impact? Can it be found online?
    24. 24. Check out Sherpa Romeo for publisher archiving policies (
    25. 25. Improving the availability of your outputs• Archive! – in repositories – In subject portals Is my research making an impact? Can it be found online?
    26. 26. Archive in open access repositories
    27. 27. Use discipline-specific archives
    28. 28. Improving the availability of your outputs• Publish in open access journals Is my research making an impact? Can it be found online?
    29. 29. Publish in open access journals (as of 25 Oct 2012)
    30. 30. Open advantage! • Open access publishing increases visibility, opportunity for use and possible impact • Increase in citations arising from open access: – Of the 35 studies surveyed, 27 have shown a citations advantage (the % increase ranges from 45% increase to as high as 600%), 4 showing no advantageSwan A (2010) The Open Access Citation Advantage: Studies and Results to Date. Available at
    31. 31. Improving the availability of your outputs• Open everything – all scholarly output possible (teaching, popular, etc.) Is my research making an impact? Can it be found online?
    32. 32. Upload videos & podcasts
    33. 33. Upload presentations
    34. 34. Maximise your discoverabilityTake metadata seriously “Well said! "metadata is a love note to the future" from @textfiles talk via @nypl_labs & @kissane
    36. 36. Communicating & connecting• Social bookmarking – Share links relevant to your subject (blogs, news articles, research sites, etc) – Bookmark papers and share useful references
    37. 37. Share links via Delicious
    38. 38. CiteUlike
    39. 39. Mendeley
    40. 40. Mendeley analytics
    41. 41. Communicating & connecting• Microblogging – Twitter – Many academics & researchers tweet
    42. 42. Start tweeting
    43. 43. Some Twitter guidelines • Get into a routine • It is legit to retweet your tweets especially if rephrased • Provide updates from special events • Use hashtags • Follow others / reciprocate • Promote your Twitter profile through your email signature, business card, blog posts etc. • Being careful with Twitter • Tweet about each new publication, website update or new blog that the project completes. • Ask for feedback • Link to a URL of publication, presentation, podcast etc • Tweet about new developments of interest • Retweet interesting material • Use Twitter for ‘crowd sourcing’ research activitiesMollet, A; Moran, D and Dunleavy, P (2011) Using Twitter in university research, teaching and impact activities, LSE Research Online
    44. 44. Communicating & connecting• Blogging as a scholarly activity – Create and write a blog for colleagues, community and/or students
    45. 45. Communicating & connecting• ‘The verdict: is blogging or tweeting about research papers worth it?’ (http ://• Publicising the research made a big impact on access and downloads: ‘The papers that were tweeted and blogged had at least more than 11 times the number of downloads than their sibling paper which was left to its own devices in the institutional repository.’
    46. 46. Communicating & connecting• Start commenting and join in discussions on e.g. Mendeley,, etc.
    47. 47. Excluding images, screenshots and logos and/or unless otherwise indicated on content Thank you @OpenExpl• For more resources, please see the OpenUCT Delicious bookmarks tagged ‘onlinepresence’:• All screenshots used purely for illustrative purposes• Some slides used and/or adapted from: Laura Czerniewicz’s presentation ‘Academics online presence - assessing & shaping visibility 2012’:,