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What does the Internet Say About You? Creating Your Academic Digital Identity

Information on developing a professional web presence, including social media, academic social networks, digital identifiers, and copyright considerations.

Social Media vs. Academic Social Media Sites

Chart of how aware researchers are of different platforms"Academic social media" sites are targeted toward researchers and academics, but the same cautions exist here as on Twitter, Facebook, and other more social sites. Be aware of your audience, privacy settings, and your digital reach. 

ResearchGate "Our mission is to connect researchers and make it easy for them to share and access scientific output, knowledge, and expertise." "A platform for academics to share research papers. The company's mission is to accelerate the world's research."

Figshare "a repository where users can make all of their research outputs available in a citable, shareable and discoverable manner"

Mendeley "a free reference manager and academic social network"


LinkedIn "To connect the world's professionals to make them more productive and successful."

SlideShare "Show what you know through a presentation, infographic, document or videos" (part of LinkedIn) 

SpeakerDeck Share presentation slides online (part of GitHub)

Graphic from Nature 512, 126–129 (14 August 2014),  doi:10.1038/512126a

Social Media Terms of Service

When you sign up for social media sites, do you know what rights you are giving up and who can see your content? 

When posting content and images, you still need to be aware of copyright restrictions. 

Evaluate each site -- what is the intended audience? What is the reach? What is required of you? Who runs/owns the site? 

Ask a mentor: What site(s) do you use and recommend? Why or why not?

Check out the tools below for understanding your rights and maintaining your privacy:

Be Aware, Be Very Aware...


Having a LinkedIn profile is important if you are interested in taking advantage of basic networking to find a job, or just network with others in your field.  In some cases, the employer may find you before you find them. Here are some tips:

  • Import your current resume to quickly fill out your profile.
  • Incorporate widgets for your blog, presentations, etc.
  • Request recommendations!
  • Write recommendations!!
  • Pay attention to the "People You May Know" section on the "Home" page to build your network.
  • Look through your networks' connections lists to see if there are people you might know or what to know.
  • Join or create groups and get connected to other people with similar education or interests. 
  • Answer other people's Questions in LinkedIn's Answers section to become listed as an "Expert" in that area