Academic networking

There are plenty of places where academics can tell the world about their interests and expertise, and generally show off their publication records, ‘h’ indices and all the rest. Blogs, like this one, are an example. Then there are services like ResearcherID, ResearchGate, and so on. These often have a networking function to allow people to get in touch and develop collaborations. Some also have space to store open access papers, in much the same way that university-based digital repositories (like Cardiff University’s ORCA) do.

Yesterday I published my Google Scholar profile. This may be just another way of promoting and networking, but I’ve also spotted a button titled, ‘My updates’. Here it is, pointed to with a big red arrow:

And, here’s a description from the Google Scholar blog of what this new(ish) function does:

We analyze your articles (as identified in your Scholar profile), scan the entire web looking for new articles relevant to your research, and then show you the most relevant articles when you visit Scholar. We determine relevance using a statistical model that incorporates what your work is about, the citation graph between articles, the fact that interests can change over time, and the authors you work with and cite. You don’t need to configure updates or enter any queries. We’ll notify you about new updates by displaying a preview on the homepage and highlighting a bell icon on search results pages.

This service looks very useful, not least because it appears to actually work. When I’m logged into Scholar and click on the ‘My updates’ link today I get interesting references to crisis resolution and home treatment research, continuity of mental health care and interprofessional community mental health work (amongst others). All very much up my street.


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