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How to increase the visibility of your work: Social networks

Workshop for PhD Students


Which features does the service include?

Share content:

up to 280 characters

Share Links, pictures. You can(t publish longs content, but may inform your community about a new publication (scientific article, blog post) or an event you’re taking part in.

Live tweet when following an event (ex: a conference)

Build up your community, join in a community: groups,

Follow the news in your research field (follow a hashtag)

Use Tweetdeck to monitor.

What are the benefits for the scholars?

Collect and share live information

Contact a user even if you don’t know him/her personally

Doesn’t take too much time

What are the limits of using Twitter?

Not easy to fnd relevant profiles or communities. You will have to spend some time requesting by hashtags or lists name (for further information, click here)

280 characters : sometimes it's difficult to express scientific assertions with so few characters.

Which communities use it?

American and English scientists use it more than French scholars. But it is possible to find users among scientists of all disciplines.

When would it be relevent to use it? (regular/ occasional, as a PHD student/after, ...)

Tweet and retweet frequently to be visible. But do not forget that you have to forge you  own portrait as a scholar. Fuel the scientific conversation on your topic.

When you have just deposited a paper in an repository is a good time to use twitter to give echo to it as in the following example


Remember: the main thing for that action to work is that your paper must be open access! (see above)


You may think that you already know everything that must be known on ResearchGate.

Once you have created a profile, RG will harvest the web in search of all the documents associated to your name.

What could be of interest is that, as soon as your work has been uploaded on its platform, RG keeps the right to manage it along with associated metadata however it wants to (for instance by selling relevant profiles to recruiters), which includes for instance their deletion, event without warning you, when the publishers threaten to take action against it for copyright violation.

The best thing to do would probably be to delete the PDF after it has been harvested by RG search engine, as it is demonstrated here.

RG is anything but Open Access. Most of the time, users have to subscribe and cease personal data in order to get the PDF whereas Open Access is free and immediate. Besides, it is not appropriate to archive papers and cannot be compared to HAL on that matter. If you want your paper to be accessible on the long run, even after the publisher has stopped giving access to it, and if you want to make your paper more "findable" with the proper keywords, then archive it on HAL.

That said, having a ResearchGate profile is good for your visibility, yes. But just do not spend too much time on it and forget the ResearchGate Score which is only a narcissic metric designed by RG to make users addicted to its platform, with no correspondance of any kind with other metrics outside the platform (you may say that it is the case for others metrics and you would probably be right, but unfortunately Impact Factor, Thomson Reuters' property, has still a great impact on the life of researchers, while ResearchGate score means absolutely nothing when it comes for your peers to measure the quality of your work).

Zotero, Mendeley

If you already use Mendeley, you probably know that you can upload your paper on the platform to make it more visible for other users. But maybe you are not aware that Zotero provides the same features since its fifth version (released on july 2017). You may have noticed that we, as librarians, prefer open source softwares like Zotero for many reasons. 

Let's say first that as open source softwares, we can make them better together.

and secondly, the data you will put onto Zotero servers will not be used to increase the immense power of a few scientific publishers.

So the time you switch from Mendeley to Zotero has come : see here how to do it.

This is an example of the kind of publications list you can manage to do with Zotero : with some easy steps : once you have created an account,

- drag and drop your publications from your library or your desktop to your "My publications" file

- confirm that you are the author of these publications (if you are not the only one, get the agreement of others before)

- Choose a licence (for instance CC-by)

- Click on OK, sync and you're done : your publications list is online!