?

Log in

No account? Create an account
entries friends calendar profile Previous Previous Next Next
Academe of fair to middling women - shadows of echoes of memories of songs
j4
j4
Academe of fair to middling women
Those of you on my flist who are involved in academia: have you used www.academia.edu? Do you think you would be likely to do so?

It's quite hard to evaluate a social networking site for which I'm really not part of what appears to be the intended demographic...

Tags: ,

Read 12 | Write
Comments
half_of_monty From: half_of_monty Date: July 26th, 2007 10:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Never heard of it before.

Brief response, having looked only at the homepage: it seems to be re-inventing the wheel. I can create an academic webpage for myself (I haven't done, naughty, but still) and I get daily emails of all preprints made public in my subject.

On the other hand: not all academic types can be bothered to learn basic html (though in that case they should be pointed at Mozilla composer and they will be able to do it in 20 mins - and surely your academic site should be on your department's server). And I hear other subjects (not maths or physics) don't have a decent arxiv system that everyone uses, and so the paper tracker would be useful. I don't know what people who don't have an arxiv do.

Though frankly, getting someone to start an arxiv and gain critical mass for it would be more useful. (The system is that, when you've written your paper, you chuck it out in the public domain straight away so you get your name on your result and everyone can read and use it, while you're waiting for the peer review process).

Social networking site? Dunno. Never use facebook type things so I'm probably the wrong person to ask. Maybe that would be good, a forum for posting quick questions and things? Actually, I feel much more inclined to be convinced about that aspect.

In conclusion: if I heard all the kool kidz had started using the networking bit I would probably follow.
addedentry From: addedentry Date: July 27th, 2007 08:53 am (UTC) (Link)
surely your academic site should be on your department's server

What if you move?
half_of_monty From: half_of_monty Date: July 27th, 2007 09:15 am (UTC) (Link)
Usually you keep a stub page at your old dept with a redirect to your new.

Mind you, the chap I was going to use as an example of this has a mess of old dept pages all over the web so the system doesn't work that well!
j4 From: j4 Date: July 27th, 2007 09:55 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for this. Couple of points:

I can create an academic webpage for myself (I haven't done, naughty, but still)

You seem to have an automatically generated homepage at what I believe to be the institution where you're currently working. Go to your dept's website and add "~yoursurname/" on the end. (Trying not to make your identity publicly visible in case you don't want it to be associated with your LJ!)

arxiv

Thanks, hadn't heard of that one. Does it really require you to put your papers in the public domain, or just to make them publicly accessible? There doesn't seem to be any way to sign in, so I'm assuming there's no way to bookmark/share your 'favourites' within arxiv (though obviously you could bookmark them in an external application eg your web-browser) -- is that correct?

Do you use Connotea (http://www.connotea.org/) at all, btw?

Never use facebook type things so I'm probably the wrong person to ask. Maybe that would be good, a forum for posting quick questions and things?

Well, there are lots of forums out there for posting all kinds of questions... Facebook's discussion forums don't do much for me, but I'm an ancient luddite who still remembers usenet. 8-)
covertmusic From: covertmusic Date: July 27th, 2007 05:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
arXiV's a preprint server; it has most traction in physics (for example) and mathematics. On the whole we want our papers to be available to everyone (and you retain copyright putting them on arXiv, it's not PD), so it's led to a very high percentage of self-archiving. You get into the whole Open Access debate there, which is a can of worms.

Three things from Nature you might find interesting, all science-focussed:
http://precedings.nature.com/
http://network.nature.com/
http://scinilla.nature.com/

All are, to my mind, a bit more exciting than Connotea (which is just del.icio.us with citation exporting).


covertmusic From: covertmusic Date: July 27th, 2007 05:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, and as a fully-fledged scientific blogger/postdoc. and yes you can quote me, I've got no interest at all in academia.edu; if I want to establish an online identity there are hundreds of other ways of doing it (department website, personal website, blog, Facebook, Nature Network, pla.net, smoke signals, whatever); the reference-tracking is done better elsewhere (Connotea, delicious, Zotero); paper aggregation is a hot field - not just Scintilla, which I've already mentioned, but more specialist services like Postgenomic and Chemical Blogspace - and for discussion there's the blogosphere and all the other scientific social networks - I know at least three - which are springing up.

For that matter, there's Facebook, which is the defacto coffeeroom of global academia, like it or not!

It strikes me it's filling a niche that doesn't exist. Also, .edu? Too American, seriously.
half_of_monty From: half_of_monty Date: August 7th, 2007 09:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sorry not to reply before, didn't have much internet for the last week.

You seem to have an automatically generated homepage

Yes, sorry I was unclear. Everyone (at least, anyone at any maths dept I've ever come across) has an automatically generated page with contact details like that. However I could (and should) put up more.

Sorry for confusion between public domain and publicly accessible! Arxiv - you sign in only to upload papers etc, so it doesn't have a bookmarking facility. But as you say you can do that for yourself.

I don't use Connotea. I use mathscinet - it looks like Connotea fulfils a similar role, but mathscinet is very well designed for us specifically.
livredor From: livredor Date: July 27th, 2007 07:11 am (UTC) (Link)
Hadn't heard of it before this post, doesn't look appealing. I already have many channels for networking with other academics. I have an academic webpage at my institution, which frankly looks a lot more professional than some social networking site. I have lots of ways to receive notifications about relevant papers. And even if I really wanted yet another social networking site, this one looks amateurish and cobbled together. So that'd be a thumbs down from me.
j4 From: j4 Date: July 27th, 2007 10:02 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks! That was pretty much the answer I expected...

Would you mind if I quoted you? No name required but it'd be useful to be able to say something like "a postdoc biochemist at University of [something]". Context is that I'm trying to put together a semi-official "this site sucks, and here is some evidence" for someone who's planning to make all their academics use it... :-/
livredor From: livredor Date: July 27th, 2007 10:27 am (UTC) (Link)
Quote me by name if you like. And my university is the Karolinska Institute, which should carry at least some weight in the academic world (it's where the Physiology and Medicine Nobel prize comes from). They like to insist on spelling the name in Swedish, Karolinska Institutet, but IMO that looks silly in the middle of English text.
half_of_monty From: half_of_monty Date: August 7th, 2007 10:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
someone who's planning to make all their academics use it.

Well that sounds a very silly idea. As we seem to agree there are better tools for all of its features. Do you need more quotes?

However... I do have an excellent idea for a central academic site that someone should make. Is your dept the type that would do this sort of thing? This actually does fill a gap in what's available, and various people I've discussed it with all agree.

So the idea is to produce a wiki for conferences and jobs. This would be intelligently divided into subjects and sub-subjects, with lots of cross-listing possibilities. If it was sufficiently well set up in the first place and then given a big publicity boost, I think it would work well and run itself - partly because there should be very little effort involved in adding listings to it - most conferences / jobs have a page made already on the relevant departmental server, so it would just require a brief description and a link.

You see, though we have good tools for distributing papers etc, info about conferences comes out via a mess of small mailling lists. You very seldom hear about more tangential conferences that might relate well to your own work, and even within a field (eg alg geom) there are European and American systems that don't talk to each other well.

As for jobs, each country / university has its own system, and navigating your way through them all is thoroughly confusing!

So yes, do you know the people who could make this for us?
emperor From: emperor Date: July 27th, 2007 01:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'd not heard of it before. I can't see myself wanting to maintain yet another personal web-page - I ahve departmental ones at work already.
Read 12 | Write