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The best social networks for scientists

Social media has revolutionized the world. There are social networks of employment, friendship, dating, selling clothes, etc., and as you will comment in this article also social networks for scientists. These are usually websites in which scientists exchange information through participatory technologies for the exchange of information.

Thanks to these social networks, the researcher can make a qualitative leap in his work by opening to the comments of other scientists from around the world. Inaddition, you can know that there is a subsidy and fill out the paperwork to be able to orsupportit.

However, it is not a secret site, and it may not be a good idea to upload to a public website what you are doing at the moment. The project may be too exposed without first having made a registration in intellectual property, so it is important to exercise extreme caution. We will see below several of these networks.

ResearchGate Scientific Network

ResearchGate Scientific Network (https://www.researchgate.net/)is a social network that was founded in May 2008 by Doctors  Ijad Madisch,  Sören Hofmayer, Horst Fickensercher  and whose investors include Bill Gates. Under the slogan “Discover scientific knowledge and stay in touch with science”, the network has managed to attract 4 million members who, after registering for free, can share their knowledge, research and projects, and at the same time access a total of 35 million records.

It has a research-related job board and allows the user to customize their account, creating discussion groups on a topic.

Researchgate’s database is huge, and many articles are free to read. Others, on the other hand, need to ask permission from the author of a work so that you can access the research or the article. Among scientists there is usually camaraderie so it is very likely that if you ask another scientist to show you your work, he will do it.

Mendeley

Mendeley (https://www.mendeley.com/?interaction_required=true). Founded in 2007 in London by Victor Henning, Paul Foeckler  and  Jan Reichelt, it currently has important investors such as the engineers who founded Skype or Cambridge academics.

There are over 100 million articles from publishers and growing. In this database of articles researchers can find documents on the subject they are researching thanks to its large database organized by subjects or by the most searched publications. The search tool is quite good as can be seen in Fig 1. being able to search by year, type of document, etc.

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Figure 1. Search for the COVID-19 keyword in Mendeley

It has an application to install on the computer. Its download is free and allows you to upload videos and other types of documents. In addition, the iPhone application has a tool to read newspapers. It allows you to keep all your important articles together, in one app and helps collect all your highlights and notes from PDF files.

Academia

Academia.edu is a free social network that aims to connect scientists, offer them a platform to share their research papers and make it easier for them to track articles that are relevant to their fields of study.

This thematic social network is made up of more than 18 million users and has more than  5 million scientific publications  from around the world. Academia.edu is committed to open access to science and aims to revolutionize the traditional editorial process of peer review, so it allows the publication of the full text of books, articles, drafts, and various materials to accelerate the visibility of the research carried out.

Networks for scientists

Scientific social networks allow users to create a scientific profile, like a curriculum vitae, in which topics of interest to the researcher can be added, full-text publications that can be consulted or downloaded, as well as training and experience. The operation of these networks for scientists is like other social networks, that is, users can follow other scientists, and, in addition, they also have followers.

They are also measurable, that is, the most important scientific social networks have developed their own metrics that offer indicators to measure the impact and visibility of research 2.0. They usually offer a space to advertise job offers or collaboration scholarships and each one seeks to stand out with a differential aspect. For example, ResearchGate allows you to search for information in data from external databases or Mendeley is also a powerful social reference manager.

Measuring scientific effectiveness in social media

The main problem with traditional media has always been the difficulty of accurately measuring the actual impact of an issue. However, on the Internet all actions and their impact can be measured quite accurately using specific tracking tools. Academia.eu, for example, has a powerful statistical data system like Google Analytics, which allows measuring the impact of research through:

  • Keywords used by users in search engines.
  • Number of unique visitors.
  • Traffic sources.
  • Academia.edu impact factor (Percentiles).
  • Export of statistics to a CSV file.

In this network, both the user profiles and the uploaded documents are indexed in the Search Engines Google, Yahoo, Bing, which allows you to reach indexed publications in these social networks of scientists easily from a search engine.

Other social networks use other metrics like those of Academia.edu.

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