There’s a lot of social media stuff out there, but what about social media dedicated to academic communities? There are currently two main platforms offering services for academics and researchers: and ResearchGate. Both platforms allow for researchers to set up a profile, link to their research, engage with other researchers and follow research outputs in their areas of interest.

These platforms are often compared to Facebook which is a fairly accurate description as they are both run by for-profit organisations and this can cause complications with ownership of research if you do upload your work to their website. However, as tools to promote your work and connect with other people working in your area, both platforms have a lot of offer.

In this video, we will break down the various pros and cons of each platform to help you decide which one might be a good one for you to use.

Video transcript

We’ve also put together a handout with at-a-glance information on each platform.

Cambridge Judge Business School academic Jaideep Prabhu was interviewed for their Social Media Driving Licence podcast series about his use of ResearchGate, so check that out too.

Thing 8 activities

Explore one of the platforms we have covered in Thing 8

Blog about your experience of the platform that you chose

Compare services such these with other professional networks such as LinkedIn, plus more social networks such as Facebook. Are there similarities in what they are all trying to offer?

Thing 8 learning outcomes

You should be able to understand pros and cons of academic social networks

You should have had experience of using one academic social network

You should have reflected on Thing 8 through blogging

Image: Alan Levine