Academia.edu : Social Network for Researchers

Objectives

Academia.edu is a social network developed to build a network among researchers and to share their papers, create a profile and see the analytics on their profile and papers. It also helps to monitor the impact of your research via quantifiable proof and follow other researchers in your field. It was first developed with the objective of accelerating the world’s research. Academia.edu is also a participant of open access movements with the intention of instant distribution of research and provides a platform for peer-reviewing.

Principal Features

  • ·         Upload and share research papers
  • ·         Share talks, status updates, blog posts, teaching documents
  • ·         Easy to find research papers
  • ·         Analytics on your profile and papers
  • ·         Follow other people in your field (relationships are not reciprocal)
  • ·         Follow journals
  • ·         Maintain a profile
  • ·         Analytics on profile visits
  • ·         Notifications for followings
  • ·         Add research interests
  • ·         news feed is filled with the updates from the people you follow
  • ·         news feed will be filtered according to your research interest
  • ·         Message researchers
  • ·         Download and quick view research papers
  • ·         Show recent activities
  • ·         Upload a cv
  • ·         Highly ranked in Google search
  • ·         Categorize people according to their research interests
  • ·         Show all the documents related to that research interest in one place (eg: papers, journals)
  • ·         Can invite and find friend
  • ·         Can use facebook or twitter to login
  • ·         Can post about jobs
  •  


History

The Company’s CEO Richard Price identified the need of the networking among that academics and the need of having direct connection with their audiences. So he started academia.edu to let researchers to showcase their best work and track analytics on views and followers.

Academia.edu was founded by Richard Price, who raised $600,000 from Spark Ventures, Brent Hoberman, and others. It is a participant in the open science or open access movements, responding to a perceived need in science for instant distribution of research and the need for a peer-reviewsystem.

Currently Academia.edu has 2,129,655 academics, 1,664,881 papers and 637,142 research interests. It also attracts over 3.9 million unique visitors a month.

The company is backed with close to $7 million in funding from investors, including Spark Capital and True Ventures. It currently earns revenue through advertising and job listings.

How it is differentiated from other Social Network Sites

Academia.edu is targeted mainly the academics in various research fields. Their goal is to provide a news feed for all the academic activities that are going on in particular research area of your interest and build contacts via networking.

Sites like facebook only tracks social news and  there is no way of filtering research-focused feed on the latest conferences, papers, people and blog posts in a particular research area and share the information relevant specially for the academics. Academia.edu fills this gap. It is a
social network concept with aspects of academic genealogy.  But in the relationships are not reciprocal in Academia.edu like in facebook. It is same as the “following” concept which is used by twitter.

It also has competition from existing efforts like Nature Network, Epernicus, SciLink, and related networks like Labmeeting.

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Author: Harshani Nawarathna

Sri Lankan woman in Computing

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