Friday, July 15, 2016

Academic Social Network #facepalm

Over the years I've tried out almost every social network I could get my hands on. What can I say, I love tinkering and trying new things :-).  However, on source of irritation these days are networks like ResearchGate and  I like listing the few things that I co-author (or author for that matter) in a variety of places because (let's face it), most people aren't going to find you just by looking at your blog or website.  That said, when you're listing your fine work on these sites there is an option to upload the file itself - to make it easier for other members of that community to access your writing.

I don't mind putting up a pre-publication version of what I write but I do mind needlessly uploading PDF files of articles that are published in open access journals!  The whole point of publishing in open access journals is so that you don't have to upload copies elsewhere (and for people to be able to find them for free!). Yet, social networks like and ResearchGate do not allow me to provide a URL to the open access journal, or my website, where I can point people to without needing to upload one more thing :-/.  So, as a consequence I were emails telling me that some user requested a copy of my paper on xyz.  I would normally send them a kind email pointing them to the open access resource, my website, or the institutional repository I contribute to, but I don't even know if these requests are even legitimate.  After all, social networks like LinkedIn and (way back when!) said that people (former classmates or business acquaintances) were looking to connect with members, but those were actually false and meant to get more people to sign up. Hence, I look at some of these social networking emails with a bit of a skeptical eye. I don't want to upload my papers in a gated community when the open access option is perfectly viable!

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