Online collaboration: scientists and the social network

In recent years there has been a proliferation of social networks, some of which are directly aimed at the research and scholarly community. To understand why there has been such growth in these networks, Nature carried out a survey on the awareness and use of them. The data published on their blog shows that they had a total of 3,480 respondents from across disciplines.

The research covered networks including Google Scholar, ORCID and BiomedExperts. The study showed that Google Scholar and ResearchGate were the platforms that the respondents were most aware of and visited.

However, among respondents who said that they regularly use social networking sites, it was found that Twitter is the platform they use most for:

  • Commenting on Research
  • Following Discussions
  • Posting Work
  • Discovering recommended papers and peers

This is over and above the networks ResearchGate,, Mendeley, Facebook and LinkedIn. It appears that these other networks are mainly used as place holders by this group of respondents.

The research was carried out in 2014 and even since then there has been rapid growth in other similar academics networks, such as FigShare.

Click here to see the interactive data and read more about this research, which may help you decide where you should invest your time in building your engaged and productive network.

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