Today we take a look at Academia.edu and ResearchGate, two popular social networks for academics. Each has millions of members. The two platforms are similar in many ways, and if you use one and which one you choose will likely depend on your personal preferences and the preferences of other researchers in your discipline.
Academia.edu and ResearchGate are very similar in terms of functionality. With both sites, you can create a profile and upload your publications. Note that it is important to be aware of agreements you have with publishers regarding your publications, to avoid violations of copyright. If you choose to make your profile public, then other members of the Academia.edu or ResearchGate community will be able to view your profile and your publications. The platform will provide you with data indicating how many times your profile and publications have been viewed.
These sites are intended to make research more social. You can use them to find your peers and discover researchers working in your discipline, to help other researchers find you, and to access articles that interests you. You can also use them to engage in conversation with other researchers and expand your professional network.
While Academia.edu and ResearchGate can be great for sharing your work with other members of these communities, you may also want to consider depositing your publications in an open access repository like the Dartmouth Academic Commons (DAC), to ensure that they are available to anyone.