Collaborative research networks, academic networks, collaborative research tools - there are many names for the resources listed on the right. As well as helping you to discover information about your field of research (many have a search option so you can find articles), these tools can help you to share your ideas and research.
Although these networks and tools are not usually subject exclusive, it is fair to say that STEM subjects, Humanities and Creative subjects do tend to use these networks in different ways and to varying degrees of engagement. The tools listed on the right are some of the most popular and cover a broad range of subjects. You may wish to contact your subject librarian to find out if there are other tools or networks specific to your subject area.
Once again, you must think about copyright before you share your research on any of these networks! Check with your publisher, your funding agency or your commercial partner that you can legally share your research! Make sure you share the copy/version you want to, and be aware of any ethical/privacy issues surrounding participant data etc.
Academia.edu is often called 'Facebook for academics', mainly because of the emphasis it places on social networking. However, it is not just a tool for sharing your research it can be very useful for discovery as it covers such a broad range of subjects.
You can search for people, their interests and for papers. It’s worth setting up the news feed tool to keep you up to date with your area of interest.
There are currently just over 2,000 members of Academia.edu who have registered themselves as connected to Edinburgh Napier!
Epernicus Network is a social networking site for scientists, (a little bit like LinkedIn) it allows people to list their 'assets' e.g. your specific research area, the research methods in which you excel. A key part of the service is using the discussion forum to post questions and answers.
Figshare allows you to upload any file format to be viewed in browser so that any research output inluding posters, presentations, datasets, code, and much more. All items are assigned a Digital Object Identifier so that they can be more easily discovered, shared, and cited.
GoogleScholar profile enables you to showcase your own papers and interests and easily see the number of citations your papers are receiving (via Google Metrics). You can add co-authors and keywords to help people find you. To set up a GoolgeScholar profile you need a Google account. When you create your profile it is private – don’t forget to change the setting and make it public!
Mendeley is primarily seen as a reference management tool, but it can also help you to discover research papers by taking advantage of the collaborative side of Mendeley. There is a large ‘crowd-sourced’ catalogue of papers which you can search.
Once users have registered (for free), you can save papers in your own private library, or share them publicly. You can track papers using tags or by the groups who have expressed interest in a paper. Some papers may be full text, but many are abstracts. There may be links you can follow to find a paper but it is not guaranteed that you will get access to the full text. Use LibrarySearch to see if you can find the paper via one of the databases we subscribe to.
ResearchGate is another academic social networking / collaboration tool mainly aimed at scientific researchers, but in reality most subjects are represented. ResearchGate can be particularly useful for the discovery stage of your research as it encourages the community to ask questions and create discussions. These are public and indexed by Google, so you don’t even need to register with ResearchGate to start using it for research discovery.
Sci-Mate provides discussion forums and networking tools, aimed mainly at scientific subjects. It can be a very useful way to find out about new research in science and technology. Membership is free to individual research scientists.
Zotero is another popular tool for managing references and sharing bibliographic data. You can create your own group or join others. Each group can share its own library of papers, notes and discussion threads. Initially Zotero was an add on for Firefox, but it can now be configured with Chrome and Safari. Although Zotero can take a little bit of time to set up, there are useful guides available via the Zotero homepage.
SlideShare allows you to share your presentations in PowerPoint, PDF, Keynote or OpenDocument format. You can embed the slide decks elsewhere on the internet - a personal blog for example. Because SlideShare is owned by LinkedIn, you can connect your presentations to your professional profile.
Kudos helps you to explain and promote your published work via email and social media, letting you add information to place the work within its wider context. It can also assist in measuring the effect of these activities, such as impact for example. Registration is free, and you can use your ORCID details to import your publications.