Academia

Academia.edu is a platform for academics to share research papers. The company’s mission is to accelerate the world’s research.

Academics use Academia.edu to share their research, monitor deep analytics around the impact of their research, and track the research of academics they follow. Over 129 million academics have signed up to Academia.edu, adding 25 million papers. Academia.edu attracts over 63 million unique visitors a month.

Guided by a mission to accelerate the world’s research, Academia.edu aims to make every academic paper ever published available for free online and accessible by anyone in the world.  Academia.edu was founded in 2008 in San Francisco by Richard Price who recognized the need for open access of scholarly work while he was a doctoral candidate in philosophy at Oxford University.

Visit academia.edu at https://www.academia.edu/

Follow Academia.edu on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter

Academia’s new mobile app represents a significant breakthrough in ensuring that scholarly research reaches beyond the Ivory Tower and into the real world where its true impact can be harnessed, all through the convenience and accessibility of a simple smartphone.

Mobile app users will be able to read millions of academic papers on over two million research interests, all for free. An Android version of the mobile app will be released in the coming months.

Academia.edu announced its acquisition of peer review platform Plasmyd, with the intention of proving that the two academic startups do indeed intend to generate an industry-wide shakeup.

Plasmyd is itself a peer-review platform, that has handled thousands of scientific papers and provided a space for scientists to discuss and critique each other’s work. Plasmyd sees itself as binding its scientific search engine platform with Academia.edu’s user base (which just hit 5 million yesterday). The two companies view this as a way to begin promoting new online academic platforms. “[Academia.edu has] built the largest online community of scientists while we’ve been working on building the next generation tools of peer review,” said Plasmyd’s co-founder Adnan Akil.

Research sharing platform Academia.edu is adding an analytics dashboard in order to allow measurement of the reach of academic papers shared on the site.

The new dashboard enables researchers to see who is accessing their research and how it is being referenced, both by academics and by non-academics. This information becomes invaluable when academics need to defend the merit of new research by noting, for example, that an individual’s research is being cited in Congressional hearings, public interest press releases, journal articles and news briefs.

The dashboard is now fully available for members after previously being available in a beta form.

Metrics available for members to browse include:

  • Total profile and research views for each member’s material;
  • Information on which search engines have driven traffic to a profile page;
  • Details on specific keywords that drive traffic; and
  • Breakdowns on which countries’ citizens are viewing specific research.

One of the things that might help such profile sites as Academia.edu grow is the presence of other researchers with whom you can network and whose work you can follow, as they maintain their profiles. Communities based around particular disciplines or research groups might well form around different sites like this one. I have chosen to “follow” a couple of my colleagues on Academia.edu and it works a bit like Facebook or LinkedIn or lots of other “Web 2.0” or social networking sites in the sense that my home page tells me about the activity of the people I have chosen to follow.

Apart from networking opportunities which are reliant upon community use, researchers could use this site as a place to promote their publications and their research expertise/interests. I uploaded my papers when I set up the profile and it was interesting to see recently that someone had viewed my profile after searching for keywords that are key to the topic of one of my papers. My own papers are of niche interest to librarians, so I won’t have a lot of activity to keep track of(!), but for researchers who are keen to monitor and to be able to demonstrate impact of their research, they could do worse than to see how often people are finding out about their work and which keywords are bringing people to their profile.

I do recommend that researchers put listings of their publications on lots of sites, but rather than uploading the full text of papers to external sites like this one, I think it best to put reference details up here and link back to the WRAP repository for the full text. I recommend this because it will boost the search engine ranking of a page if there are lots of links to it from an external domain, so you can use profile sites like this one to help the ranking of your paper at the web location you prefer most. Also, it makes sense if you want to collate statistics about those who read the full text of your work if you are always referring people to one source.