Technology for researchers

Day 1 – Why build your online profile as a researcher?

Build your researcher profile

Written by Imogen Ingram and Candida Spence, The Australian National University

By geralt, sourced from Pixabay, downloaded 10/11/17

Welcome to the last ANU Online Course for 2017!

In this three day Espresso Course we’ll assist you to establish or refresh your online researcher profile, and suggest a number of tools you might like to consider.

We’ll also explore some of the issues and challenges around researcher profiles and platforms in the digital environment.


What is meant by researcher identity?

Let’s hear about researcher identity from Roxanne Missingham:

Why have an online researcher identity?

Enhancement of scholarly reputation through a digital presence is increasingly recognised as a legitimate aspect of scholarly activity, output and measurement of those outputs. Being able to maximise the effectiveness of available reputational mechanisms and platforms has become a core researcher capability in the digital environment (Nicholas, et al. 2015).

These mechanisms and platforms (which we’ll call tools from now on), contribute to your online researcher identity. These tools help you to establish, build and enrich your researcher profile over time.

Here’s some examples:

Learning Activity 1: Joining the community

As your first activity, head to the comments section and introduce yourself (you can access this by scrolling down to the bottom of the page). We’d love to know:

  • Your name
  • Your university or sector
  • Your role, and
  • Do you have an ORCID ID? (it’s okay to say No)
  • Do you regularly use academic social networking platforms? If so, which one/s? (it’s okay to say No)

What are the motivators?

Investigations into the role that ‘emerging reputational mechanisms and platforms are playing in building, maintaining and showcasing scholarly reputation in the digital age’ (Nicholas, et al. 2015) revealed interesting trends amongst various scholarly communities.

Motivators for the use of popular platforms such as, ResearchGate and Mendeley are varied (Nicholas et al. 2015) and include:

  • Article and paper suggestions
  • Sharing and reading full-text papers*
  • Project collaborations
  • Reputation
  • Tracking of research outputs & metrics
  • Going beyond the publications and citations paradigm
  • Research promotion
  • Job suggestions

*(As part of setting up an online profile, be aware that sharing published versions of your work, even if the platform allows it, breaches the law. We’ll touch on this in Day 3.)

Let’s hear from Dr Anthony Dona, about the importance of building your researcher identity and maintaining your collaborative networks:

Best-fit for you?

Funny van, by Michael Coglan, Sourced from Flickr, downloaded 10/11/17

It’s a good idea to consider your motivations and to investigate how the digital tools you choose will fit into your workflows.

What kind of support do you want at different phases of the research cycle?

Academic social networks – the Swiss Army Knives of scholarly communication provides insightful and detailed analysis of usage and functionality across a number of platforms throughout the following phases:

  • Preparation
  • Discovery
  • Analysis
  • Writing
  • Publication
  • Outreach (impact/engagement)
  • Assessment

The holistic approach

We’d like to emphasise the importance of the holistic persona in this discussion around online researcher identity. This issue is creatively tackled by QUT’s Pimp my Profile initiative (Thompson and French, 2016).

With this approach in mind, other factors in your decision might include the points listed below:

  • Does the community you are signing up to align with your values – personal & professional?
  • If you’re already highly visible within your scholarly community, is this a digital tool that genuinely enhances your scholarship and reputation?
  • How much “maintenance” is required – can some aspects be automated and what user support is available?
  • Who “does it well’ – who can I emulate to get max value from a particular digital tool?
  • Your disciplinary field – where are collaborators or peers in your discipline more likely to be found?
  • Data reuse conditions and business models that underpin various platforms as discussed by Lambert Heller in this LSE Impact Blog post.
  • Your legitimate concerns around online identity – Dr Mark Carrigan addresses researcher concerns

Learning Activity 2

Share your thoughts on one or more of these questions in the comments section:

  • Do the motivators and concerns raised in this post ring true for you?
  • Do you have a clear distinction between your professional/academic identity and your personal online presence? Or, do you have a crossover between the professional and personal?
  • Why are you using – or not using – certain researcher identifiers and profiles?
  • In your disciplinary area, what are the most popular tools?

We encourage you to look over the comments posted by others and respond to at least one other person who raised a perspective that you either haven’t considered, or builds on your own ideas further.


ResearchEx. “Online identity”. YouTube, presented by Mark Carrigan, 1 Nov. 2011.

Innovations, 101. “Academic Social Networks – the Swiss Army Knives of Scholarly Communication.” Innovations in Scholarly Communication: changing research workflows 2016.

LSE Impact Blog. “What Will the Scholarly Profile Page of the Future Look Like? Provision of Metadata Is Enabling Experimentation.” 2015.

Nicholas, David, et al. “New Ways of Building, Showcasing, and Measuring Scholarly Reputation.” Learned Publishing 28.3 (2015): 169-83.

Thompson, Ellen, and French, Sally. “Pimp My Profile and the Researcher Profile Health Check: Practical, Individualised Researcher Support Initiatives Co-Created by Library and Faculty.” ALIA National Conference 2016. 2016. Print.


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46 thoughts on “Day 1 – Why build your online profile as a researcher?

  1. LA 1
    Good morning everyone, my name is Marie B. Fisher (known as Bernie) ,a full-time academic at ACU. I enjoyed the first presentation. It is very difficult to decide which online hosting system one should use. It would be useful to learn more about values, alignments of some of these places like Research Gate.
    LA2 Also a great presentation. My first publication was in UK. I am grateful to that Academic group for giving me a chance to discuss my work overseas. Once I made those connections I found I could communicate more effectively online with likeminded researchers and I was also asked to review papers. So I am always keen to help others.

    1. Hi Bernie,
      Great to have you on board! Yes, I think the values/practices behind each of the platforms is something to consider. eg what are the co-founders score values, what gap or problem did the tool solve when created? It’s great to hear that your networks are well established and that you now want to pay it forward 🙂

  2. Hi! I’m Angela McGaughran. I’m based in the Research School of Biology, in the Ecology and Evolution department. I’m a DECRA Fellow, working on evolutionary genomics.
    I have an ORCID ID and I have profiles on ResearchGate, Loop, and LinkedIn, but I only really use ResearchGate.

    Do the motivators and concerns raised in this post ring true for you?
    I haven’t really spent much time focusing on my online profile because I’m not too sure about the amount of time begin put in vs. the pay-off. I personally don’t really look much at other researchers’ profiles, unless it’s for a specific reason, so I’m not sure if anybody much would be looking at mine! That said, I would like to build my online profile as I think, at the very least, it would be a useful link to have in my cv for job applications in the future.

  3. This is my third week at ANU and registered for the online training. My offices are with RegNet and Fenner Schools as the ANU inaugural Indigenous Postdoctoral Fellow (five year contract). I am a practising solicitor and legal scholar. Really enjoying the collegial atmosphere on campus.
    I have an ORCID no. This is the first online network of this type I have accessed.
    Below are my contact details.

    Thank you, kind regards

    Regnet ext. 56035
    Fenner ext. 56771

    1. Welcome to ANU Virginia – there over 40 others from ANU that have subscribed to this course and plenty of others outside ANU. You may have an opportunity to meet some of us face-to-face for a followup coffee later this week – details to follow.

      To meet others in your disciplinary area you might share with them the new tools covered today and find out in RegNet and Fenner what are the most popular tools?


    2. Hello everyone! My name is Anne McNaughton and I am a full-time academic in the School of Law. I have an ORCID ID and a presence on ResearchGate, Academia and LinkdIn but I hardly use them. The main reason for that is an ambivalence born of feeling that I don’t really understand what they are; how they differ; and what risks are involved in using/not using them. This module has helped enormously in coming to terms with some of that. Thank you Candida and Imogen for a great start and for great resources (which I’ve been going through this morning.

      I think I have an online presence, professionally, as outlined above, and personally – I have a Facebook account. However, again for the reasons I outlined above, I’m quite passive in those contexts. This module, and the supporting material, particularly the research outcomes, has given me quite a bit of confidence to start shaping my professional/academic presence online and to also start to develop my online persona. I do share the views of others concerning time management – I recognise the relevance and need to manage an online presence but I also know it can consume inordinate amounts of time if one is not careful. I also found the information in the supporting material about the extent to which the different platforms permit sharing of what is, in effect, my property, to be extremely useful. I haven’t made a firm decision yet, but I am inclined to think I shall focus on cultivating my ORCID presence and try and link the others through to that and/or to my ANU Researcher page. I recognise Wei’s points about trusting in the offline networks I already have; I also recognise that younger academics are likely to feel more comfortable with networking online. I’m not sure that one is preferable to the other – I suspect there may be similar risks to networking online professionally, that are often reported in relation so personal networking through social media. Understanding and managing personal and professional boundaries, ethical behaviour and standards of engagement are always important. However, I think managing boundaries, and time, becomes particularly important when we’re negotiating offline and online presences. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s module and also to reading more posts.

      1. Hi Anne,
        Thank you for your encouraging feedback and beautifully articulated thoughts. Yours is a must-read post!

        I think we can all relate the sentiments that you express around not being sure of the what/why/how around these tools. Thankfully we belong to this active and supportive community where we can draw from each other’s knowledge as well as access supporting resources.

        The points you raise on
        *time management/investment
        *sharing of content and intellectual property
        *certain demographics being more at ease with online researcher platforms and tools and social media
        * boundaries/risks related to personal and professional online networking
        are the kind of questions that led to the creation of this Espresso Course and will be great fodder for discussion for the upcoming face-to-face Coffee – further details to come.

        I would love this course to be a kickstarter for all participants to formulate a best-fit strategy and an informed approach to investment in their online researcher identity.

  4. Hi,
    I am Wei Du, and working as a senior research fellow at RSPH, CHM, ANU. I have an ORCID ID, and ResearchGate account, but I rarely use them.

    Q: Do the motivators and concerns raised in this post ring true for you?
    Re: I don’t think they work for me. For example, I get papers from libraries, I can promote research via conference attendances, I can get job ad from professional associations, and above all, I collaborate with peers highly visible from my offline network. Can anyone tell me if you are looking for collaborators, are you going to search on the web and look for anyone that you are not familiar with?

    Q: Do you have a clear distinction between your professional/academic identity and your personal online presence? Or, do you have a crossover between the professional and personal?
    Re: I don’t have a personal online presence because I think it is not necessary.

    Q: Why are you using – or not using – certain researcher identifiers and profiles?
    Re: I kind of think it requires lots of time to manage. I can find collaborators thru word of mouth, and this old school way works. I wish to grow my research reputation (hardly I can see via using these).

    Q: In your disciplinary area, what are the most popular tools?
    Re: I guess, it is the ResearchGate….(no idea)

    1. Hi Wei – great insights. Thanks for your honesty and unpacking how you work.
      You’ve highlighted a couple of truths there a) there’s no one size fits all and b) the power of organic and relational connections for building collaboration.
      A couple of questions as I’m curious:
      *Have your colleagues taken a different approach to you and generated an online presence that they feel has enabled trusted collaborations?
      *Are there demographics or communities that an online presence may enable you to reach? Would an online presence have an effect on engagement with your research?

      1. Thanks for your prompts:
        1) I guess it is complicated. For those established colleagues I know, they rarely use these tools either. They have many other effective avenues built upon long term relationships. I am not sure about early or mid career colleagues like me. If these tools are easy to use, I am happy to (at least no harm). However, I tried to login ResearchGate, but forgot my password, and the worst is I used my previous work email…Even though I think there should be a way to rejoin with a new email, I don’t want to, too busy at the moment.
        2) I wish there are, but definitely hate being asked to send out papers again and again by early career researchers, probably because I am not familiar with them. That’s why I believe this course may help me better use these tools.

    2. I endorse Wei’s comments about the importance of physically meeting people at conferences and promoting your research there, collaborating with peers via offline networks, and not collaborating with people you haven’t actually met. That said, I am not brilliant in social situations, and may have not exploited chances to foster academic collaborations to the full. I am new to this strange world, having just completed my PhD.

  5. Hi Angela, great to have you join us!
    Yes, I imagine that many researchers have a primary platform which is used most regularly, such as ResearchGate for you. Great to hear that you have an ORCiD!
    I think the time factor is a big one – investment vs pay-off. I’m interested to see how other participants manage that and any shortcuts/activities they’ve built in to their workflow. Agreed that online profiles are a perfect inclusion in a CV as it provides a dynamic indicator of experience, grants, projects etc.

  6. Hi everyone, excited to participate in this course! I’ll introduce myself to start!
    I’m Katie Freund, and I work at ANU as a senior learning designer in ANU Online. My background is in digital communication, and I have done some research in the past on digital identity and the value of it, so this course is right up my alley! I recently created an ORCID ID but I haven’t really set it up yet, and I have an account on I’ve heard some dodgy things about through my networks on Twitter and am considering getting rid of that account, but I am hesitant too because it seems to be an effective way to find me and my research.

    In my discipline area (education technology and digital communication), I think Twitter is actually the most useful social media profile to have, and it’s the space I put the most effort into. I think a lot about the separation of personal and professional digital spaces, and Twitter actually blurs the line a little bit.

    I’m keen to read the other comments and hear about other people’s experiences! Thanks everyone.

    1. Welcome Katie
      Thanks for raising Twitter as another tool and how much effort you put into it. By adding in personal aspects to your feed that projects a genuine voice to enhance your academic identity.

      We’ll talk more on ORCID ID and on day 2 and day 3.

    2. Hi Katie,
      Twitter is a definite winner for building your online visibility. Just found this interesting stat:

      “Papers from Twitter users are 33% more tweeted than documents of non-Twitter users…the increase of [Twitter] followers produces 30% more tweets.”Fact: Twitter users get more attention for their research”

      Ortega JL. (2016). To be or not to be on Twitter, and its relationship with the tweeting and citation of research papers. Scientometrics, 109(2).
      [ Slide8/8]

  7. Hi again everyone,
    Candida and I are enjoying hearing your perspectives – keep them coming!
    We’d also like to introduce Elke Dawson, Manager ANU Open Research who is collaborating with us on this Espresso Course. We’ll be drawing on Elke’s expertise over the next few days.
    Welcome, Elke.

    1. Hello Imogen

      Thank you for the introduction. I’m looking forward to hearing from everyone as the course progresses.

  8. Hello, I am Tom Worthington at ANU in Canberra, where I am an Honorary Lecturer, teaching computing students. I went along to an event about a year ago, where they said I should have an ORCID ID, so I got one (linked to my name on this post). Also I have an ACI ID, from attending another ANU event and a Researcher ID, from being a CSIRO visiting scientist. But I am not sure what these are all for, or how they relate to each other and have a guilty feeling I should be actively doing something with them. I occasionally use Researchgate but find little of use in it. I tend to use IEEE Collabratec more, as that is for engineers and computer scientists (my sort of people). Also I am a regular contributor to LinkedIn groups on education and computing.

    1. Hi Tom,
      Good to hear from you. Nice work obtaining an ORCiD. We’ll look at ORCID tomorrow including making connections with other tools so stick around for that. Sounds like you are well knitted-in with your engineering and computing tribe on IEEE and LinkedIn.

      Just curious…
      Have you found collaborators through those platforms, or mostly through other means? In an earlier response, Wei raised the point about preferring not to step out into the “wilds” to establish online connections though these kind of tools. Are you able to share something of your experience with that?

  9. Hi all, here’s my entry for the first activity for today:
    My name is Catherine Settle. I’m based at the ANU, where I completed my PhD in 2016 and where I’m looking forward to taking up the role of Honorary Lecturer in 2018.
    Yes, I do have an ORCID ID, an webpage, and a LinkedIn account although I’m not an ‘active’ participant on any social networking platform.
    Prompted by the links above, I’ve just established my google.scholar profile and when attempting to sign up for a Menderley account, I have been reminded that I already have one with them [demonstrating that I not used it since establishing it some time back!]. Maybe I will become more active on those websites after this course!!

    1. Welcome Catherine!
      Thumbs up on the ORCID and it’s really good to hear that this course is prompting you to reinvestigate (and perhaps reinvigorate) some aspects of your online researcher identity. We look forward to hearing in more of your thoughts as we progress through days 2 & 3 and, if you can make it, the face-to-face coffee – further details to come.

      1. Thanks, Imogen, and hi again everyone – I’m back with some thoughts on our second activity for today.
        It is interesting to read others’ insights on the motivators and concerns raised in today’s post – many of which I share. In regards to motivators, the capacity for an online presence to spark academic collaborations is its most appealing feature/potential for me. As a cross-disciplinary researcher [straddling at least five distinct disciplines], it can be quite challenging to stay abreast of developments in the literature in all the disciplines of interest. The idea of being creative in building an online persona [vs profile] could be of help in attracting collaborators, so I will put some thought into how I might best do that. Thinking in terms of Thompson & French’s typology –Pimp my profile, in today’s reading – and working towards transforming from my current ‘bronze’ status to ‘going for gold’ seems a helpful metaphor, too. I suspect it all eventually becomes a virtuous cycle, whereby the more value I place on it [with a corresponding amount of effort] the more rewarding it becomes. Not having placed much value on building my online presence to date, I can still only imagine how beneficial it might be.

        My concerns about using these online tools echo those already expressed by others today. Foremost being the amount of time it consumes. I appreciate that when I become more proficient with these online tools it will take less of my time to do simple tasks but even simple activities [like updating on Mendeley and establishing my Google Scholar presence, this morning] take me quite a bit of time. And because I have not previously placed much value of doing those things, I tend to resent the amount of time they take from me doing other things. Clearly, that attitude must change if I’m going to advance with these tools and I’m looking forward to gaining some more insights as the course progresses.

        1. Hi Catherine, I’d really appreciate being able to talk with you about your experience as a cross-disciplinary researcher. Will you be coming to coffee on Thursday morning?

          1. Hi Anne, yes, I’d love to talk further with you about this shared interest. Unfortunately, I’m not able to attend the f2f session on Thursday but we can get together at another time if you would like. I’ll send you a message on your uni email address so we can sync a time.

  10. I am a computer professional and an educator, not a researcher, so much of this stuff about a research identity is not of interest.

    I have a professional identity online which is strongly intertwined with my academic one. My personal presence is almost incidental to this.

    I went out and got a bunch of researcher identifiers and profiles because ANU and CSIRO asked me to. But what do I do with them?

    As to what is popular in my discipline I don’t really know, not really being a real researcher. Also I find myself inhabiting two disciplinary worlds with very different world views: computing and education.

  11. Wei, you raise an interesting point about the role of conferences and professional associations. I am unlikely to collaborate with someone who I just stumble across on-line. However, what I have found useful is professional associations and LinkedIn. One thing I routinely do is when attending a conference at a distant location is to see who I know who knows someone there, via LinkedIn. I then get an online introduction, before visiting them in person and giving a seminar to their faculty. If nothing else, this gets me a lot of free lunches. 😉

    1. Great tip, Tom, to use your professional online network to arrange f2f meetings and opportunities. Not to mention the free lunch 🙂

  12. Hi, I am Jan Hogan at UTAS in Hobart. I am a lecturer in the Visual Arts Field and the uni has set me up with an ORCID which I have not been updating very well but it has become a key indicator for our research outputs. I regularly use academia to keep up to date with key researchers and also colleagues from previous institutions where I have worked (like the ANU) I am interested in this coffee course as I am interested in going for promotion but also find it an interesting new network for the Visual Arts.

    1. Hi Jan,
      Lovely to have you on board and that you are keeping up the ANU-connection in the Coffee Courses. I agree that Academia is good way to keep up with the work that former professional colleagues are doing.

      Question (because I’m curious), are there other platforms or mechanisms apart from Academia that Visual artists such as yourself seem to gravitate towards?

  13. Love the sound of those free lunches Tom!
    My name is Alice Richardson, I’m a biostatistician in Population Health at ANU (same School as Wei). I’ve got an ORCID, and am a member of LinkedIn, ResearchGate, and Mendeley. I feel like Mendeley has expanded its services a lot in recent months and I’d be keen to hear about how to get some more bang for my time investment there.

    I also have a Facebook account but that’s strictly personal. I really like keeping a big space bwteeen my academic and private online identities.

    Like Anne I think the ORCID and the ANU researchers page seem like really important identities to maintain. Like Katie the account just doesn’t seem to be working for me and I would be interested to discuss the ramifications of dropping it.
    Like Wei I am wary of just kind of yelling out on ResearchGate to see if anyone was interested in lexical ambiguity in introductory statistics, or biomarkers for chronic fatigue syndrome, or whatever. I am also wary of getting involved in answering the questions that researchers put up on those and similar sites. I’m happy to hear the arguments on the other side though!

    I think that’s addressed most of the points in the LAs, I look forward to reading other contributions.

    1. Hi Alice,
      Welcome! Mendeley (for better or worse) has the weight and $$ of Elsevier behind it so seems to be putting quite a bit of energy into Mendeley’s offerings. Keen to hear your thoughts tomorrow when we consider the three highlighted options.
      I see Facebook as a personal space too :-). I have noticed that I’ll comment on other’s work on Academia and ResearchGate if I already have an existing relationship with them. I’m not in the teaching rather than research space admittedly, but I wonder if that’s true for others too?

    2. Hello Alice

      Once ORCID is integrated with the University’s new Research Information System (RIMS) next year, the aim is that the ANU Researcher profile pages will be auto-populated as well, saving a whole heap of time on your part.

  14. Hi All!
    My name is Kelly Hine and I am a new criminology lecturer at ANU with a particular focus on policing and decision making. As an early career researcher (having only recently graduated and joining ANU this year) it is important for me to establish my reputation and develop networks. I have recently obtained an author identifier using ORCID and I have a presence on the academic social networks ‘Academia’ and ‘ResearchGate’. I have found ‘ResearchGate’ to be a lot more useful than ‘Academia’. I also have a LinkedIn account that is up-to-date but I do not use it to its full potential. I recently started a professional Twitter account and I have found Twitter to be very useful in the academic world for both putting my work out there and keeping in touch with the issues and recent research in my area of expertise.

    1. Hi Kelly,
      Welcome! It’s great to hear about your experience as an ECR/ECA and the enthusiasm with which you’ve embraced tools such as ORCiD and ResearchGate. Your area of expertise sounds fascinating! I agree that Twitter is such a powerful, accessible way to network, share your research, and connect with like-minded individuals. I hope you find this course useful and look forward to seeing your posts in Day 2 and 3.

  15. LA 1 – Hi. My name is Tracey Mylecharane, and I am a full-time lecturer within the ANU College of Law. I am relatively new to academia, having been in my current role for just over 3 years. I do have an ORCHID id, however I have not spent a great deal of time in this space. I have found the presentations so far very helpful in providing some context and background as to why online profiles are important and useful.

    LA2 – Do the motivators and concerns raised in this post ring true for you?
    To be honest, as I am still very new to academic research I am still exploring avenues such as online profiles, and am still trying to get my head around what is important/valuable. I don’t look at
    other researchers’ profiles, so I have doubted that anyone would look at mine, especially given that I am still so early in my academic career. Going forward though, I plan to spend some time building my profile, and exploring profiles of researchers in my areas of interest.

    1. Hi Tracey,
      Great to have you on board and hear that you have an ORCiD. It’s a simple but effective tool that can be connected to other systems to keep you publications listing up to date, generate a CV and more. Thanks for the feedback on the course content – it’s good to hear that the resources have provided context and insights. Other participants also mentioned the challenge to pick through what are the best-fit ways to raise your visibility in the digital space. Exploring the profiles of others as exemplars is a smart way to do things. You’d be very welcome to continue the conversation with others, including myself and Candida at the wrap up coffee, 10am Thursday 16 Nov at the Coffee Lab in the Pop-Up.

  16. Your name: Lawrence Mays
    Your university or sector: ANU CASS
    Your role: PhD student
    Do you have an ORCID ID? (it’s okay to say No) No
    Do you regularly use academic social networking platforms? If so, which one/s? (it’s okay to say No) No

  17. The motivators listed are all consistent with mine. I would add an additional one: overcoming the isolation of being a researcher in a field in which a limited number of people are engaged – particularly locally. I have just finished my PhD & have had excellent supervisors. However, my principal supervisor is interstate because there is no local expertise in the area. I am now uncertain of what to do next, & being part of an online community may help to determine suitable directions.
    With regard to sharing published papers, having an online profile is particularly useful for articles and theses which are already available in open access journals or thesis repositories.
    I have a very limited personal online presence – only using FB to keep in touch with widely dispersed friends. In addition, I think putting info on your professional/academic activity on platforms like FB risks them targeting you with inappropriate advertising, ‘friend’ requests etc. So the crossover with professional/academic identity isn’t important for me.
    I don’t yet know enough about researcher identifiers and profiles – that’s why I’m not using them. I don’t know which tools are most popular in my area – need to talk to a lot of people about this.

    1. Hi Lawrence,

      Lovely to meet you at the Pop Up on Thursday. Good to see that the tech issues were resolved.
      Yes, you raise a good point about the value of online networks for reducing isolation. Connecting with others in the same field (and perhaps with those researching in aligned fields) through Mendeley or other platforms could be fruitful and open up conferences, webinars or other opportunities.
      Look forward to reading your Day 2 and 3 comments.

  18. I’m Thea Turnbull, currently waiting on my examiners reports on my PhD submitted late June 2018, my research home was at College of Asia and the Pacific within the Bell School. I’ve been a casual sessions academic for 5 years. My research relates to multilateral negotiations on treaties, so I sit across law, international relations and diplomacy. I do have an ORCID number, as a well as profile page on ANU researchers database, and online profile on Academia, LinkedIn and some of the research networks I’m affiliated with. Beyond keeping my profiles updated with publications, conferences and most recently change in name (from maiden name to married name), I really just use these platforms as a way of cementing who I am – when you meet new contacts, or indeed new cohorts of students, most will google you straight away. The more hits you have, the more legit you seem. I also use my Facebook page and Twitter feed as a way of positioning myself (so no embarrassing photos or 3am rants). During my professional career as a consultant in financial services, LinkedIn was an excellent way to track jobs and I was head hunted twice through LinkedIn. I also regularly check what comes up when I google my name just because these things matter, as the “knees” example highlighted above.

  19. HI, I’m Aparna Lal, a Senior Research Fellow at RSPH. Obviously very late to the conversation! I enjoyed this thread because it is something i have been thinking about . I do have a twitter account, and an ORCID account as well.
    • Do the motivators and concerns raised in this post ring true for you?
    I think its important to have a social/online presence as a researcher so that the general public cane see what you are doing. I feel that since I am working at a University it is my responsibility to share my science.
    What troubles me (with respect to my accounts), is not being able to distinguish between making a noise and having an impact.
    • Do you have a clear distinction between your professional/academic identity and your personal online presence? Or, do you have a crossover between the professional and personal?
    My twitter account is only professional. Apart form one “Hello” to a colleague, I make a conscious effort not to post any personal thoughts or pictures unless they are related to my work in some way (e.g. I have weighed in on climate change)
    • Why are you using – or not using – certain researcher identifiers and profiles?
    I use my Facebook primarily for my friends and family. The reason I do not use Facebook for work stuff is quite silly really- I’m scared of trolls! But it mostly stems from my inability to engage with such people in a public online forum. Since I work in the climate change area, things can get quite heated.
    • In your disciplinary area, what are the most popular tools?
    I’m an ecologist by training who works in public health. So, I’m not too familiar with the tools in either area. I see a lot of public health stuff in mainstream media (e.g. ABC etc) and ecology related stuff tends to be on my twitter feed. I think ResearchGate is a popular one and I have an account there too. That’s more of a paper-tracking tool for me.

  20. Hi, I’m Christina and I’m a lecturer at ANU. I don’t yet have an ORCID ID but I’m about to set one up. Earlier in the year, one of the university-funded conference funding applications I saw required an ORCID ID on the application, so it seems that it’s expected! I have an profile but I’ve also heard some dodgy things about the company and I also find their constant emails invasive. However, I’m addicted to their notifications on when people are looking at my profile! I also have a “professional” Twitter profile but I find that the distinction between professional and private life is a bit blurred on Twitter and I’m not sure where the line is sometimes. I’m interested to see the Teaching with Twitter Coffee Course starting up next week.
    I’m reluctant to set up too many online profiles because they do take time to maintain and I think it looks unprofessional to have out of date information on a website or other online platform. I have a professional website and I’m constantly stressing about whether or not it’s up to date.
    Here are my various “presences”:
    Twitter: @DrCFClarke

  21. Research Profile Name: Sarah Robyn Nenah McIntyre (I use my full name so that it individualizes me from the thousands of Sarah McIntyre’s involved in research)
    University: Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, ANU.
    Role: Ph.D. student
    Orcid ID:
    Use of academic platforms: I’m not sure how regular I use them, but I keep them all up-to-date with my papers and accomplishments. In addition to an ORID ID, I also have a Scopus Author ID (, ResearcherID (, ResearchGate (, Mendeley, Google Scholar (, and LinkedIn (

    When I published my first paper, I realized that a large part of potentially getting people to read and cite my work was putting it in places where other academics had ready access to it – particularly as I am a young researcher and have not yet built a personal network of collaborators. I know from myself that the recommendations that come through by email from Mendeley or ResearchGate can often be very useful and something that I haven’t come across in my regular searches. Also, it’s great to see when a collaborator or a researcher you’ve cited before produce new work. Additionally, I found that in my research area, the American community, and the European community would often prefer different platforms, so as someone who is straddling both I needed to have access to all platforms. After the initial setup, it hasn’t been too bad to just go through and update them all when something new happens, and quite a few are linked up to the ORCID ID so when that is updated, they also automatically update, which makes things easier. 🙂

    As far as personal and professional online presences, I absolutely split them up. My only personal web tool is facebook where I’m under a shorter variation on my name and my profile is under all possible privacy measures. In addition to the various research identifiers and profiles, I also count twitter as a professional tool, as in my field it is often used for outreach and promotion of work/conferences.

  22. Hello! My name is Emmaline Lear. I am working this semester at the Centre for the Public Awareness of Science (CPAS) and I am an Interactive Learning iLEAP Fellow. I have an ORCID ID and I have a profile on ResearchGate and LinkedIn, though these are not fully developed.

    I haven’t spent much time focusing on my online profile. I am not sure about the amount of time needed to maintain this, and I have not had much spare time to get started. That said, I would like to build my online professional profile and build stronger networks within the community.

  23. I am interested in having an online presence predominantly so people can find my work and so I can connect with other researchers in the field. I have not used many platforms so far, mainly because I felt that there would be considerable work involved in maintaining a profile and I wasn’t sure how useful it would really be. Also, the amount of email notifications generated by some of these platforms (like LinkedIn) is irritating. That being said, I am interested in finding out more about how to build a recognisable and manageable online profile.

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