My smartphone is beeping and chirping every few moments. My laptop and iPad are engaging in inappropriate behavior. More importantly my online research and scholarship pages (IUPUI ScholarWorks, SSRN) and professional sites (Faculty Bio, LinkedIn) are out of date! Teaching, professional travel, conference presentations, and publishing obligations in the last few months led me to accept every app upgrade, ignore notices of changes to platforms, download program upgrades without pre-screening, and simply select click here when instructed to do. In short, I’ve been an absentee owner of my virtual existence during the last few months.
In an act of desperation, I set aside a morning to wrangle my electronic life back in order, or at least back to a state of controlled chaos. I decided to first tackle updating the online posting of my research and scholarship. All it took was 2.5 hours and the closing of my mind to the oddity that all those cut-and-paste clicks were simply duplicating the same information in a variety of venues. When it was done, I was singularly unsatisfied. LinkedIn required that I truncate or arbitrarily arrange the content to prevent bumping up against character limits; SSRN rejected my AALL Spectrum editorial writing and recent book reviews for lack of “research;” and IUPUI ScholarWorks may not be the best place to preserve my blog posts.
Putting off the planned tech audit of the rest of my virtual life, I went in search of a better solution for managing and preserving online my research and scholarship. Here are a few of the options I explored.
figshare. This repository allows researchers to share figures, datasets, media (including video), papers (including pre-prints), posters, and filesets. Once uploaded, the content is available for use by others under the most liberal Creative Commons license. figshare is also seeding the repository with open access publications. Similar to other repositories, it is easy to create an account, upload, and/or claim any materials that may already be in the repository.
Google Scholar. Clicking the “My Citations” link (located at the top center of the page) opens a profile automatically created by Google. Although not very attractive, you could easily use this page to keep track of your publications. It is easy to claim and customize your profile (i.e., add a professional photograph and current employer). It is also easy to delete items so it isn’t all that troublesome that Google picks up a wide variety of content. For example, my list of publications included committee minutes and materials that I authored. Your portfolio may also include duplicate entries for the same publication if you maintain pages in both SSRN and a personal or university repository.
Citations are counted and linked, which is always helpful. My serendipitous find was a book review that I had written and submitted some time ago showing up as a November 2014 publication! I quickly backtracked and uploaded it to LinkedIn, SSRN, ScholarWorks, and my faculty page.
You can easily add publications that have not been automatically pulled to your page. It is interesting to see the timing of when publications are pulled in by Google Scholar. I plan to watch the page for awhile to better understand how to better code my work to enable Google to identify and pull it to my site. Click here if you are curious to see my in-progress site.
ImpactStory.org A site dedicated to measuring the impact of your research, ImpactStory discovers and shares how your research is “read, cited, tweeted, bookmarked, and more.” There is a 30-day free trial and on-going annual fee of $60. You can link directly to your Google Scholar account and other repository pages to upload articles, datasets, posters, presentations, and other research. I’ve created a free 30-day account to see if my ImpactStory page picks up data that differs from my Google Scholar page.
ORCID. The “My Citations” option on Google Scholar revealed another author named “Catherine Lemmer.” I find it ironic that she lives and works in Pretoria, South Africa, a short drive from Johannesburg. It would have been fun to meet her when I was in South Africa last year. As a result of finding my digital doppelganger, I investigated an Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID). ORCID’s goal is to prevent name ambiguity through the use of a central registry of unique identifiers. My ORCID is 0000-0003-3296-6603. Although it takes just a few clicks to create a profile, you still have to key (cut & paste) in all your information (biography, education, and scholarship). I liked the interface and how easy it was to upload the information so I am going to put all my information in over time because it seems to be the most likely option for a universally accepted site that might cross-pollinate with other sites in the future.
PublicationsList.org. How can one resist a site that describes itself as follows: “PublicationsList.org exists to let researchers and research organizations maintain a reliable web-based record of their academic output without any fuss.” This repository site serves as a free hosting site for individuals; it supports links to standard bibliographic sites and provides host space for full text versions of papers. See the sample site created by Publicationslist.org.
SSRN. The Social Science Research Network (SSRN) is a great place to house PDFs of your publications. Both abstract views and downloads statistics are tracked. You may upload any materials to the database. The content managers will associate all publications with your account for display on your author page, but what they deem “non-research work” will not display in subject or author search results. See comment above regarding book reviews and AALL Spectrum editorial essays.
WordPress. Free and easy to use, WordPress is my go-to option. It offers any number of visually appealing templates, and even the free options can be customized a bit. Many of the templates also offer a static (non-blog) home page option. It took me a matter of minutes to paste a static resume into the pages. I plan to fully develop the site (spend the time adding links for all my presentations and publications) because the WordPress site gives me the flexibility to add Work in Progress, Teaching, and Service information. I can easily update to a low-cost option if any unwanted advertisements become problematic. For a fully developed site, see the WordPress site of my colleague Ben Keele.
Perma.cc. I created a Perma account. Perma.cc is a service that allows users to create stable citation links. When a user creates a Perma link, Perma.cc archives a copy of the referenced content, and generates a link to an unalterable hosted instance of the site. The archived version will always be available through the Perma.cc link. I plan to use Perma to archive all the blog posts and other digital native content that is part of my portfolio.
I briefly looked at Microsoft’s beta project, Microsoft Academic Search. The lack of a “law” discipline discouraged me from exploring it too deeply.
It was an interesting exercise to explore the various options. The planning challenge going forward is to decide which link will control. If you use more than one depository or site, you may dilute your downloads and page views. I plan to use, whenever possible, the SSRN url across the various platforms. In the end, it is your individual online resume, and you need to find the one option that works best for you.
I plan to use those few halcyon days between Thanksgiving and the year-end holidays to complete the WordPress and ORCID sites and Perma work. In the coming weeks, I also hope to find another bit of time to complete a tech audit on the rest of my virtual life: Facebook, email, Flickr, and Instagram privacy settings, site stored credit card information, and password control. I can hardly wait!