Toward a homogenization of academic social sites: a longitudinal study of profiles in Academia.edu, Google Scholar Citations and ResearchGate

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Category: Analysis

Description: The main objective is to analyse the distribution of profiles from academic social networking sites according to disciplines, academic statuses and gender, and detect possible biases with regard to the real staff distribution. In this way, it intends to know whether these academic places tend to become specialized sites or if there is a homogenization process. To this purpose, the evolution of profiles of one organization (CSIC, Spanish National Research Council) in three major academic social sites (Academia.edu, Google Scholar Citations and ResearchGate) through six quarterly samples since April 2014 to September 2015 are tracked. Longitudinal results show important disciplinary biases but with strong increase of new profiles form different areas. They also suggests that these virtual spaces are gaining more stability and they tend toward a equilibrate environment. This is the first longitudinal study of profiles from three major academic social networking sites and it allows to shed light on the future of these platforms’ populations.

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