Where can you create researcher profiles for reference and networking?

Many researcher profile platforms emerged over the past 20 years, such as ORCID, Google Scholar Citation Profile, Academia, etc. This article by Linda Leger aims to give you an overview of the most popular researcher profile tools.

Establishing an online presence and making your research visible is vital in the current world of academia. Researcher profiles show who you are, where you work and what your research is about. Some platforms provide additional functionalities such as metrics, alerts, or forums, and allow you to create networks of collaboration. For the purpose of this article, we have divided the platforms used to create researcher profiles in 3 categories depending on their characteristics:

  • Persistent Digital Identifiers (PDIs)
  • Academic Networking
  • Other Author Profile Pages

More categories could be added that we do not address here, including generic networking platforms (Twitter, LinkedIn, …) and tools for reference and citation management (Mendeley, …).

Persistent Digital Identifier (PDIs)

These platforms provide a univocal way to identify a researcher. You should create a persistent digital identifier mainly to avoid confusion of names between homonyms or to ensure continuity in the event of a name change or variations in the ways your name is mentioned. Besides providing with this unique identifier, these platforms help you to manage your publication list, giving an overview of who you are and what your research is about.

This category can be divided in commercial and noncommercial persistent identifiers.

Academic Networking Platforms

The main purposes of these platforms is to connect researchers with common interests and let them share information. These platforms allow you to:

  • create a profile that summarizes your research
  • reference your publications so the others can find them 
  • find and follow other researchers so you can receive the automatic updates of their new publications
  • see platform-specific metrics that indicates the reach you have on those sites.

The most known and used platforms of this kind are ResearchGate and Academia.edu, which are both commercial. They should be used to build your network, but not to be the main host for your research papers.

Other Author Profile Pages

In this category we find mainly databases or subject repositories where you can create an author profile webpage. The databases of this category differ from the Academic Social Networks because they do not offer social functionalities such as the discussion board and network-building.

The most famous is the Google Scholar Citation Profile. Since Google Scholar is the starting point for most scholars’ research, you can use this to showcase for your publications. You can also keep track of your citations with a graph over time and receive notifications when new publications by another researcher you are interested in are added on Google Scholar. 

Subject repositories such as Social Sciences Research Network (SSRN) and Research Papers for Economics (REPEC) also let you create an author profile page. This would help you to make your papers accessible through three channels: the SSRN e-library, which is well-known in the fields of economics and law; Google, which indexes this repository; and alerts sent to users. As in the case of Google Scholar Citation Profile, these databases provide metrics to follow the interest others have in your research.

Google Scholar is owned by Alphabet, and SSRN by Elsevier/RELX since 2016. REPEC is a collaborative project maintained by volunteers. 

In conclusion

Researcher profiles can be a good way to promote your research and to create networks of collaboration, and you should not restrict yourself to a single platform.

You will find more information about these researcher profile platforms on our dedicated libguide. If you have any further question on the subject, you can contact Isabelle Vuillemin-Raval and Linda Leger.

Still looking for information on how to share and preserve your publications durably? Read for more on open access repositories such as the Graduate Institute’s.

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