For decades now, we’ve watched as the digital, networked environment of the internet has changed the nature of academic research. Scholars have at their fingertips a wealth of tools for creating and distributing research. An international study conducted last year suggests that as many as a third of researchers use at least one online social network for the collaborative creation of scientific knowledge.
If we look specifically at Twitter, one of the most popular social tools, a separate 2010 study found that over a third of university professors, instructors, and administrators in higher education use or have used twitter within the context of their work. Reasons included staying up to date with news in the field and communicating with students, but the most common reason to use Twitter? Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/matthamm/3383916444/sizes/o/in/photostream/
“to share information with peers”.
LinkedIn is another popular network and while not primarily for academics, users within the higher ed industry make up its largest user group (18.6%, according to Zoomshpere, a company that tracks social networking trends.) Most of these are probably students…
… but a search for faculty currently affiliated with USC produces over 2,100  results. If we extend that search to current faculty and previously affiliated faculty, I found almost 4500 individuals [4,464] and 120 USC-themed networking groups, most organized by field of study or school.
Blogging networks have also become increasingly popular in the last 10 years. ScienceBlogs.com is a collection over 120 individual blogs covering topics from neuroscience to the role of science in the arts. PEASoup, a philosophy blog, currently has over 50 contributors dedicated to blogging about ethics, philosophy, and academia. PEASoup not only provides original content, it also gives scholars information about CFPs and upcoming conferences. But the behemoth of all blog networks is a Chinese hub dedicated to computer and information science. Csdn.net is a network of over 14,000 blogs and seven million registered users. Most Csdn bloggers are young scientists and IT professionals. It started back in 2001 and is now that largest scientific blog community specializing in computer and information sciences.
A recent study identified about 1200  bloggers who serve as the backbone of the network and what you see here represents an analysis of the hyperlinked data among in that network. Now, Csdn is a mix of professional scholars and amateur enthusiasts, but this image here serves as a visualization of scholarly communication in action. And more importantly, it show us that scholarly communication online can be tracked and analyzed.
The thing about social media is, it attracts all the players in the scholarly communication process: the creators, the distributors, the content…
… and brings them into a single space. Forcing the players to interact in new ways, to form new connections, and destroy old workflows. Most notably, in digital environments, much of this work of communicating is publicized.
In the 1960s, academics starting talking about “the invisible college” : the network of personal and often private pathways that existed between scholars and ran all through the research process, from start to publication. It was physically manifest in the connections made a conferences, in the department hallways, in the pub: all of these spaces connected scholars and ideas in unseen ways and ultimately led to collaboration and publication. With digital media and its ability to codify communication through status updates, email, wall postings, hyperlinks and tweets, the web is making the invisible college…
... visible. All this to say, scholarly communication is changing and we need to look to some of these emerging networks to get an idea of the where we’re headed and, more importantly, where librarians can play a role.
Mendeley is primarily used as a reference manager that allows users to cite, store, read, annotate, and organize documents, but it also a way for scholars to distribute their work. Users can set up profiles and join groups based on their research interests. Groups divided by academic subjects and further by sub-disciplines. It’s a small community, only about 70-75 users associated with USC, but the sharing functionality of Mendeley is robust. The is a single page for each article. In addition to linking to related content, Mendeley also shows you a demographic analysis of other scholars who have includedthat paper in their library. It’s a way for scholars to find other scholars interested in their work.Paper Critic: a Mendeley add-on that allows you to comment on articles and publicly share that information. Allows users to rate articles on references, originality, argumentation, and readability.(me: importance of Mendeley: social demographics and interests connect scholars to research and provides a model of open review via PaperCritic)
Academia.eduallows users to upload their published papers, blog posts, CVs, and bibliographies. Members can follow other academics, post status updates, ask questions to groups. Honestly, these seems like a quiet place to me, but the platform is lovely and mimics many of the features of Facebook. It isn’t as much a social network as a way to keep up with research in your field: follow individuals, topics, and journal feeds. There are approximately 2,000 USC-affiliated members. Curious to see who in your department is on here? Go to http://usc.academia.edu/
As far as I can tell, ResearchGate is the most active community for USC faculty, though only in the science. There are 705 USC-affiliated members. It has a similar interface and functionality to what we saw in Academia.edu but what I especially like about ResearchGate is that it pulls data from Web of Science to calculate impact factors for individual articles and authors. It lists each user’s publications, connected co-authors, and all the journals he/she’s published in, including a graph of keywords. It also combines this data to create “impact factors” for institutions and individual departments.But most notably, ResearchGate allows users can create private project groups for sharing files, creating polls, and working collaboratively.
HASTAC is centered around the group. Any user can create a group in addition the ones already set up for specific research interests. Groups can set up news feeds, collaborative calendars, share documents, and interact through forums, wikis, and polls. It is the most casual of the networks I’ve shown today, but it many ways it more closely mimics the Blackboard-like experience that many younger scholars are familiar with.
This is GoingOn, which was recently highlighted in the Chronicle of Higher Education: It takes a cue from Facebook and centers its platform around the idea of an “academic identity” in that allows students and faculty to construct an online identity that’s separate from their other Web presences. There are drag-and-drop tools that allow students to create their own communities for courses, study groups, and other interests. The Chronicle called it a “virtual campus.“ There are about 20 campuses using GoingOn right now, including Arizona State, the University of Pennsylvania, and Virginia State.
The DIY culture of social media disintermediates the library out of the research process and libraries risk being overlooked if they are not active partners in these digital communities. A recent survey of academics that published in the journal Portal found that libraries are “an afterthought” in the changing landscape of scholarly communication.The consolidation of commercial publishers, the rising cost of journals, and the impact of the economy on library budgets all push toward a change in the scholarly communication process. Just look at the statement recently released by the Harvard Faculty Council. We need to rethink scholarly communication and begin looking toward a future that promises an easily accessible, interconnected and international digital network of quality research. And we can’t sit back and let the digital dust settle. We have to make our presence felt.
Thus, my recommendation that we transform the work of librarians to become enablers and participants in these new scholarly networks.According to an ITHAKA report, a key factor that impacts the success of the changes in scholarly communication programs is collaboration; bringing diverse groups together was highlighted as an important skill for libraries that hope to have a role in future SC practices. Across highered, there is a considerable interest in cross-institutional collaboration. Libraries can be the third party 'glue' needed to make that happen.As an institution:Begin thinking of ourselves as a platform, as one experience among many. While libraries provide essential resources in the service of scholarly communication, we aren’t the only players in town. There are others who do our work for us and some do it better. But have the history and institutional knowledge to be able to provide a unique experience.Educate faculty about the library’s role in these networks. Facilitate digital collaboration. And advocate for open access.As individuals: Be connected. And most of the time.Get into the mix: facebook, twitter, Blackboard, all the networks mentioned today.Develop an pro-activist mindset: Mention slam the boards as an example.
Final Thought: There is the academic way of doing research and then there is the web way. Scholarly communication is at a crux, where most of the online academic work still mimics traditional publishing methods and pathways. But that will change.In 2006, our previous dean Jerry Campbell said “Considering the extraordinary pace with which knowledge is moving to the Web, [it is] difficult to imagine what an academic library will be and do in another decade.” Well, it’s 2012 and the we aren’t any closer to knowing. But I am sure of one thing: if we aren’t in the mix then we won’t be a part of the process when the future arrives. We have to make a place for ourselves in these online communities. We can look at what's happening there and plan for the future based on the expectations of scholarship that they create. If we can find a place for ourselves, then perhaps we’ll be able to strategically maneuver into positions of influence when the future gets here.
Format text and highlight underlined words. All of these issues will be addressed in “platforms” and “librarians” section.A recent Research Information Network report (RIN, 2007) defines the scholarly communications process as: “a range of closely-linked activities that contribute to fulfilling seven broad purposes or objectives which flow roughly in sequence” Certain aspects of the scholarly communication will still hold fast. For example, the double-blind review is still a gold standard for peer review, but new and emerging community-based informal reviews, both in the pre-publication and post-publication stage, are considered to be much more reliable than single-blind or open review processes, according to a 2011 study of research in the EU.
How do you measure the scholarly of influence of a work?Well, we have impact factor, but that only measures impact of the journal, not the individuals work.How do you measure the scholarly of influence of a work when it is discussed on TwitterAt the 2009 convention of the Modern Language Association, the most popular topic of conversation was a paper by a scholar who did not even attend the conference. The conversation started on Twitter and quickly moved to the convention floor. Dr. Amanda French of the Center for History and New Media, George Mason University: "Let me put it this way: Brian's paper was big news only on Twitter and in the blogosphere. Which, however, means that it was big news. Period.“enter, altmetrics.Measures the downstream use of scholarship, how often research is tweeted, blogged about, or bookmarked."Wont replace impact factor, but it needs to be known and viewed alongside traditional ways of measuring scholarly influence. Buzz does not replace scholarly value.
- PLoS One, an open-access journal, as well as the Public Library of Science community, uses a variety of [article-level metrics](http://article-level-metrics.plos.org/) - each article has a "Metrics" tab that shows how many times the article was viewed, how many times it was shared on Facebook and bookmarking cites like citeulike, lists any Twitter chatter abour the article, and links to Google blog search results [use this or similar as example](http://www.plosone.org/article/metrics/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0031918)
Beyond FacebookNiche Social Networking for AcademicResearch
34%Use of Twitter inscholarly communication
Tweet!“To share information with peers.”
Higher Education 18.7% IT Services 13.9% Financial Services 11.8% Retail 10.9% Computer Software 8.9% Marketing/Ad 8.4% Health Care 8.2% Insurance 6.6%Telecommunication 6.6% Oil and Energy 6.0%LinkedIn
“usc” AND “faculty OR professorOR instructor”
PEA SoupBlog Networks
PUBLISHERS DATABASE SERVICESREVIEWERS AUTHORS SEARCH ENGINES EDITORS PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS BLOGS ONLINE FORUMS SCHOLARLY HUBS DIGITAL REPOSITORIES SOCIAL NETWORKING SITESMULTIMEDIA POSTERS ARTICLES PRE-PRINTS CODE PROCEEDINGS DATA WHITE PAPERS MONOGRAPHS
DATA REVIEWERSASSOCIATIONS PROFESSIONAL POSTERSSEARCH ENGINESDIGITAL REPOSITORIES PRE-PRINTS PROCEEDINGS SCHOLARLY HUBS MONOGRAPHS PUBLISHERS ONLINE FORUMS ARTICLES WHITE PAPERS BLOGS DATABASE SERVICES MULTIMEDIA SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES AUTHORS EDITORS CODE
DATA REVIEWERSASSOCIATIONS PROFESSIONAL POSTERSSEARCH ENGINESDIGITAL REPOSITORIES PRE-PRINTS PROCEEDINGS SCHOLARLY HUBS MONOGRAPHS PUBLISHERS ONLINE FORUMS ARTICLES WHITE PAPERS BLOGS DATABASE SERVICES MULTIMEDIA SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES AUTHORS EDITORS CODEInvisible college
DATA REVIEWERSASSOCIATIONS PROFESSIONAL POSTERSSEARCH ENGINESDIGITAL REPOSITORIES PRE-PRINTS PROCEEDINGS SCHOLARLY HUBS MONOGRAPHS PUBLISHERS ONLINE FORUMS ARTICLES WHITE PAPERS BLOGS DATABASE SERVICES MULTIMEDIA SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES AUTHORS EDITORS CODEIn visible college