Publisher data suggests that an increasing number of people are locating scholarly material via Google searchers, rather than via scholarly databases. Maintaining and accurate and up-to-date online presence is one way of ensuring that your scholarly research and publications can be discovered by those who need them most.
When someone Googles your name, do you know what they will find? When a colleague, student or potential employer searches for your scholarly record, will they find accurate information? When you are looking for a collaborator, a reviewer or a potential hire what sources do you trust for reliable and up-to-date information about that scholar?
So, what can an individual researcher do to take control of their scholarly identity?
First, know how others see you. Google yourself. Do vanity searches in the databases used in your discipline. Are you happy with the results? While a database might not list all of your publications (because of which journals they choose to include), is a list of your publications available online?
Second, if you see wrong information – correct it. Is your webpage 8 years old? Make a few updates. Remove time sensitive material like office hours and course schedules so that it doesn’t get so easily out of date. Add stuff that won’t get out of date like publications, current and prior affiliations, and expertise. If you see wrong information in a database or on another website, try to correct it by contacting the editor of the site.
Third, add to the body of scholarly information available about you. Create profiles on the sites listed below and include your list of publications. Post a copy of your CV (if you don’t know how to post a document online, try using Google Docs to upload a copy to the web).
These services allow researchers to create a profile and claim credit for their work.
Scholarly networks allow researchers to build profiles, but also help them to connect to colleagues and other scholars they may be interested in.
Many of the profile and network services allow researchers to upload a copy of their publications, but they rely on authors to know if their copyright agreements with the journal or publisher allow them to do so. Many authors transfer their copyright to the publisher upon publication and may not have the right to share copies of their paper.
In order to understand their rights, authors need to understand the differences between various versions of the manuscript, as well as understand the different locations where articles may-or-may-not be shared. See the links below for information about these concepts, then check your copyright transfer agreement or Sherpa/RoMEO to find out if you can share your work.