Thursday, June 10, 2010

Academia.edu

When I first heard about Academia.edu, I pretty much ignored it. Basically, the last thing I needed was another social media site.

A few weeks ago, however, Chuck Jones sent me an invitation so I took another look. What caught my eye was the papers that users have uploaded. I'm always on the look out for digital content that I can't find elsewhere so the site's role as a central point for the discovery of articles, etc. is very useful.

Here's an incomplete list of some of my fellow "Academicians" whose scholarship I've downloaded:I've tried to do my bit as well by pointing to some of my work that's available on-line. And here are links to the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World and American Numismatic Society pages. I'm intrigued by the opportunity to have a lightweight institutional repository that Academia.edu offers to an organization like the ANS.

Not everything is perfect about the site. The 'Department Viewer' - for want of a better name - relies on Flash. That's lame and doesn't work on an iPad. And I'm not sure the developers have realized that the papers are a real asset. It would be nice to be able to see all papers listed by people I'm following. Or all papers from a single department. And more liberal spreading around of "Follow this Person" buttons would be nice. If I'm looking at the page for a particular paper, I should be able to single-click to follow its author.

If you're interested, come join the fun. And remember to link to your digital scholarship. As you can tell, I think that's the real utility of the site.

2 comments:

Tom Elliott said...

Have they implemented real RSS or Atom feeds yet?

Sebastian Heath said...

Not yet. I sent in a comment asking for them.