How do you look in profile?
Being visible in your academic or research is essential to your long term career. It also affects how widely your work will be read and disseminated. Search engines like Google will care about who you are and how connected your writing is.
So how do you ensure that you look your best in your online academic profile?
There are many ways to raise your academic profile. Some take lots of time and effort, while others are low hanging fruit. Social networking sites like ResearchGate and Academia.edu offer authors the opportunity to create their own page and link to their affiliations as well as all their published work. Google Scholar, while different from these other two sites, offers the same opportunity for authors to claim their page. A more distant relative is LinkedIn, which offers some of the same features but has other purposes as well. There are other sites that aim to do the same, but have lower profile audience or are more specialty-based.
When you claim your page on these sites (and I am mostly talking about ResearchGate, Academia.edu, and Google Scholar), I hope you will make full use of them. Use a good quality photo of yourself (the same one at all the sites). Link to your current institution, specifically the page about you. Add your background, or post your CV.
Then list every publication you have been involved with (whether it is 2 or 200). Provide the whole bibliographic entry and doi, as well as link to the publication online. Each site offers other options, such as research interest, etc. Take the time to fill them all out as completely as you can. Once set up, they require little effort other than the occasion update.
With over committed schedules, this sounds like SO much work, and toward what purpose? However, this (relatively) small and easy effort can have a snowball-like effect as the years go on regarding you, your career, and your writing.
First, it eliminates any doubt as to who you are and what you wrote. If there are variants of the names you’ve used (John Bond, John H. Bond, John Henry Bond) then search engines may not connect them all. If you have used a married and maiden name, or there are multiple English spellings of your name (Muhammad, Mohammed, Mohammad, Mouhamad, etc.) complete profiles on these sites will help clarify who you are.
Second, it becomes your definitive list of what you’ve published.
Third, potential collaborators or co-authors see you as someone who has their act together.
Finally, and most important, the search engines (likely) give you a little boast or bump in ranking your papers and writing. The search engines say (can they talk to themselves?), “this person is someone! A mover and shaker. They have their act together, so this writing must be worthwhile.”
Take the effort seriously. Set aside 20 minutes a day for a week to set up one site, and then the others are simply copy and paste. They will be done in no time. I guarantee it is well worth it. And then share your profile in the comments below.
John Bond is a publishing consultant at Riverwinds Consulting. He works with individuals on publishing and writing projects. Schedule an initial complimentary phone call at Publishing Fundamentals. In his career, he has directed the publishing of over 500 book titles and 20,000 journal articles. He is the host of the YouTube channel “Publishing Defined.” Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.