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Presenting Your Best Self: How to Maximize Your Online Presence

A guide to your options for creating and maintaining a presence online among fellow scholars, with the purposes of raising your profile, meeting and working with collaborators, and promoting your research.

Unique Identifier

ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID)
  • Persistent 16-character unique identifier for researchers and reviewers to connect to works, grants, patents, etc.
  • Nonprofit organization
  • Founded 2010
  • Free registration4.7 million registered IDs (Source: ORCID Statistics, April 2018)
  • Works in conjunction with ISNI (International Standard Name Identifier; ISO 27729)


  • Research-based for-profit social network
  • Founded 2008, headquartered in Berlin
  • Free membership (funded by several rounds of investors)
  • 14 million + members (source: ResearchGate Press, April 2018)
  • Also does: Job listings, profile export into CV
  • Institutional email address required
  • Closed access (subscription required)
  • Research-based for-profit social network
  • Founded 2008, headquartered in San Francisco
    • Note: .edu domain bought before .edu was restricted to nonprofit educational institutions
  • Free basic membership (”upgrade to premium to remove ads”)
    • Premium membership: $99/year or $8.25/mo
  • 61 million profiles (source: About, April 2018)

Issues with Academic Social Networks
  • Free memberships, lots of funding – where’s the profit?
    • RG: Targeted ads and jobs
    • Academia: premium accounts, jobs
  • Spammy invitations, nonstop emailing
  • Meaningless metrics
  • RG: Fake profiles scraped from citations and personal websites
  • Closed access to user data
  • Fake open access: purports to be open but is closed only to members, some paying
  • Publisher anger and occasional rounds of take-down notices

Works Cited

Kraker, P., Jordan, K., and E. Lex. (2015, December 9). The ResearchGate Score: a good example of a bad metric. The Impact Blog (London School of Economics and Political Science). Retrieved November 28, 2016, from
Lunden, I. (2017, February 28). ResearchGate raises $52.6M for its social research network for scientists. TechCrunch. Retrieved April 12, 2018 from