“To examine changes in the open access landscape over time, this study partially replicated Kristin Antelman’s 2004 study of open access citation advantage. Results indicated open access articles still have a citation advantage. For three of the four disciplines examined, the most common sites hosting freely available articles were independent sites, such as academic social networks or article-sharing sites. For the same three disciplines, more than 70 percent of the open access copies were publishers’ PDFs. The major difference from Antelman’s is the increase in the number of freely available articles that appear to be in violation of publisher policies….”
The purpose of the study is to investigate the extent to which academic librarians in Nigerian universities utilize self-archiving options to make their research papers visible globally.
An online survey was designed using SurveyMonkey software to collect data from 394 academic librarians in Nigerian universities.
The study revealed that the academic librarians in Nigerian universities know and actually use self-archiving options such as ResearchGate, institutional repository and academia.edu to self-archive their publications. While, self-archiving platforms like Kudos, Mendeley.com and personal websites/servers are not popularly used by the academic librarians. Factors such as increased exposure to previously published work broadens the dissemination of academic research generally, which increases institutions’ visibility, were among the options the academic librarians indicated as very important factors that motivate them to contribute their scholarly output to self-archiving options.
The study called for academic librarians in developing countries to voluntarily sign-up to register with self-archiving options such as ResearchGate, Kudos, Mendeley.com, Academia.edu and others to enable them to self-archive their published papers for access globally by students, researchers.
Self-archiving of papers by authors will lead to an increased visibility of the author and possible citation of the work and chances of collaboration with international colleagues for research projects.
“While Elsevier was completely within its rights to issue the take down notices, the end result is the view that Elsevier is not on the side of science, but merely of profit. There is room in the publishing landscape for non-profit and for-profit publishers, but those pursuing profits need to make sure that the pursuit of profit does not stifle scientific work. Otherwise those companies may see researchers turning to universities, libraries and non-profit organizations that prioritize the dissemination of scientific information.”
“But updating my profile is just the tip of the iceberg. What I find far more problematic about the site is their keen attempts to create a walled garden community. Let me explain what I mean….”
“Early last week I uploaded to my Academia.edu homepage a brief note signaling and explaining my decision to close my account on that site. As a medieval historian, I had been an active and enthusiastic member since 2010, with moderately high exposure, and while “On leaving Academia.edu” was meant as a provocative goodbye, I hadn’t expected it to draw much attention. In the four days that elapsed between uploading my note and closing my account, however, the text was accessed more than 22,000 times and the critical discussion board accompanying it (known as a Session) was still going strong, attracting some 2,000 active followers making numerous contributions, including from the site’s founder and CEO, its Product VP, and of course hundreds of engaged scholars and academics from around the world. A flurry of tweets and emails ensued, and colleagues at my home institution accosted me about it around town. At some point someone even created a counter-Session, “On staying with Academia.edu.” …”
“I have been warning junior and senior researchers for the past four years, when promoting open access publishing, that sites such as ResearchGate and Academia.edu and the like should not be considered repositories – and that most of the content offered on these platforms is in violation of copyright agreements.”
“The growing use of SCNs [Scholarly Collaboration Networks], copyright issues aside, is equally troubling. The current business models available for networks that hope to survive outside of just being a feature of some other company’s product, are all based around surveillance and advertising. ResearchGate and Academia.edu want to spy on users to use that data to promote ad sales (or to sell that surveillance data to anyone interested, if such a market exists). As is the case with Facebook, this creates incentives that are at odds with the best interests of their users, who, once again, should not be confused with either site’s real customers.
Do you want your scholarly reading material being chosen based on serving advertiser’s needs? We know Twitter and Facebook have been used to target particular populations and sway their opinions. Will we end up gamifying scholarly articles, including mentions of particular products or ideas in our papers in order to increase our likelihood of visibility and impact?…”
“Academia has teamed up with Encyclopedia Britannica to offer access to all of Britannica’s content to Academia Premium users.
Academia is also inviting its members to contribute as authors on Britannica’s Publisher Partner Program. We’ve joined dozens of institutions including UC Berkeley, Northwestern University, the University of Melbourne and others in support of the initiative, which aims to expand Britannica’s free, open access content.”
A collection of critiques of Academia.edu and related academic social-networking sites.
“Migrating from Academia.edu to Zenodo.org
I fully advocate leaving Academia.edu, but what purpose does it serve to simply delete your account? You are removing publications that are, in the very least, freely and openly available at the moment. Essentially, the best decision is to migrate documents to Zenodo.org, and allow at least one week for Google to fully index migrated content before deleting the Academia.edu account. My MA thesis entitled ‘Recent Advances in Roman Numismatics,’ about the application of Linked Open Data methodologies toward Roman numismatics with Nomisma.org and Online Coins of the Roman Empire, had been available in both the ANS Digital Library and Academia.edu as of January 28, 2016. Due to our superior use of microdata and full-text indexing, the ANS Digital Library version surpassed Academia days after it was published. I uploaded my thesis to Zenodo.org January 29, 2016, and it was already on the first page of Google three days later.
Many of us have uploaded a substantial number of documents to Academia.edu, and it might be tedious to re-upload these documents into a new system, especially with regard to re-entering publication metadata. I have sought to rectify this by facilitating a more efficient migration system. I have developed a framework that is capable of parsing metadata from an Academia.edu profile (although not all publications are listed when the profile page loads), accepting re-uploaded documents (since these cannot be extracted from Academia.edu directly), and uploading these contents into Zenodo.org. This framework itself is open source and available on Github. I will save the technical discussion for different venue.”
“Using matching and regression analyses, we measure the difference in citations between articles posted to Academia.edu and other articles from similar journals, controlling for field, impact factor, and other variables. Based on a sample size of 31,216 papers, we find that a paper in a median impact factor journal uploaded to Academia.edu receives 16% more citations after one year than a similar article not available online, 51% more citations after three years, and 69% after five years. We also found that articles also posted to Academia.edu had 58% more citations than articles only posted to other online venues, such as personal and departmental home pages, after five years.”
“Academia.edu is a well-known social network for scholars, established in 2008, which currently informs over 30 million registered users. The platform is used to share research papers, monitor their impact and follow up on any research in a particular area of ??expertise. Its repository contains more than 8 million full-text articles published in open access (OA) and receives 36 million visitors per month. In April 2015, a research conducted by six Academia.edu employees and the consulting company Polynumeral1 on the growth of received citations to research publications that were deposited in its open access repository was distributed to 20 million users registered on its website, stating that the articles there deposited increased citations received by 83% within five years …”
“Richard Price always had an entrepreneurial bent. He started a cake business in his mum’s kitchen during a summer break from his doctoral program at Oxford, eventually converting it into a sandwich-delivery service after realizing people only ate cake once a week. Then, when one of his philosophy papers took three years to get published, Price channeled his business interests into a new venture aimed at streamlining that academic process. After finishing his DPhil (the English equivalent of a Ph.D.), Price raised venture capital in London and moved to San Francisco to start Academia.edu in 2008 …”
“For Academia.edu, numbers matter. Numbers are how the website promotes itself — more than 29 million registered users have posted more than eight million academic papers to the site, the “about” page boasts — and numbers are how the site makes money. Despite its domain name, Academia.edu is not an educational institution. It is a for-profit company, but it doesn’t charge academics to post or read research. So far, it has been funded by venture capital and job ads, and its success depends on its large user base. But its business model makes some academics uncomfortable. “Academia.edu and platforms like that are kind of piggybacking off a public university system, but they’re doing nothing to sustain it,” said Gary Hall, a professor of media and performing arts at Coventry University and co-founder of Open Humanities Press. Mr. Hall is part of a small but influential group of doubters. He’s concerned that Academia.edu is profiting from academics’ free labor, and he worries that one company controls access to so much scholarly research….”
” … Tomorrow is the start of International Open Access Week 2015, an annual event designed to promote the importance of making academic research available online to scholars and the general public free of charge. But when it comes achieving this goal, is the open access movement in danger of being somewhat outflanked by Academia.edu? Has the latter not better understood the importance of both scale and centralisation to a media environment that is rapidly changing from being content-driven to being more and more data-driven? Launched in 2008, Academia.edu is a San Francisco-based technology company whose platform displays many of the same features as professional social networking sites such as LinkedIn. Users have an individual ‘real-name’ profile page, complete with their picture, CV, details of their professional affiliations, biography and employment history. The main difference in Academia.edu’s case is that these features are accompanied by the user’s academic research interests and a list of publications – generally the associated metadata but also quite regularly now the actual full texts themselves (often in the form of the author’s pre- or post-print manuscript, if not the final published pdf) – that others in the network can bookmark or download from the platform. Academia.edu also enables users to send messages to one another on the site, post drafts of papers they would like feedback on, and receive updates when new texts are uploaded – either by those on the platform they are following or in specific areas of research in which they have expressed an interest. In addition, a set of metrics is provided detailing the number of followers a user has, together with an Analytics Dashboard that allows academics to monitor the total number and profile of the views their work has received: page view counts, download counts, and so on. The platform even breaks these ‘deep-analytics’ down by country. Yet for all Academia.edu describes itself as a ‘social networking service’ for academics that ‘enables its users, including graduate students … to connect with other users… around the world with the same research interests’, it operates increasingly as ‘a platform for academics to share research’. 26,281,552 academics have signed up to Academia.edu as of October 18, 2015, the site claims, having collectively added 6,972,536 papers and 1,730,462 research interests. In fact, academics are using it to share their research – both journal articles and books – to such an extent that shortly after it purchased the rival social network for researchers Mendeley in 2013, Elsevier sent 2,800 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notices to Academia.edu regarding papers published on the site that the academic publishing giant claimed infringed its copyright …”