More and more academics are using services like academia.edu and researchgate as personal repositories. This is in part a way of ensuring your research gets wide exposure (and hence is more available for citation). But it is also part of an increasing sense among academics that one “ought” to put off-prints and pre-prints of research “out there” for others to find. This is being encouraged by Open Access mandates that encourage or require researchers to post copies of their work (i.e. so-called “Green Open Access”), either in last manuscript version or as soon as the embargo period is over at the journal of record.
As the University of California Office of Scholarly Communication points out, however, Academia.edu and ResearchGate are not really Open Access repositories: they are social networking sites for academics that use offprints the way Facebook uses pictures of your family—as a way of getting friends and colleagues to come to the site and click around. Read the rest of this entry »