Magazine article National Association of School Psychologists. Communique

A Social Network for Researchers

Magazine article National Association of School Psychologists. Communique

A Social Network for Researchers

Article excerpt

Researchers spend a great deal of time reviewing journal databases, collecting and analyzing data, writing articles, and presenting at conferences. All of the time and energy spent on the research leads the researcherto believe that others will be asinterestedinher area of research as she is. However, this may not be the case.

A long time ago, I had the chance to talk with Jerome Sattler, PhD, about his early experience in academia He told me that he was so excited to get his first journal article published. Back in the era before widespread computer use and e-mails, authors were asked to order reprints of their articles so they could send them out if other researchers requested them.

Dr. Satder remarked that he talked with a more seasoned colleague about getting his article published and how many reprints to order. His inclination was to order at least too reprints. His colleague told him to order five and be grateful if he received that many requests. Dr. Sattler told me his colleague had been right, there were few requests for reprints of his article.

For years, researchers had little idea of how many people were reading their research or if the research was making much of an impact. This has changed with the advent of Research Gate, a social network that is explicitly set up for researchers from a variety of disciplines to collaborate and share their work.

Research Gate allows researchers to post their publications to their profile. The site will even automaticallyupdate publications if coauthors post it on their profiles. Once publications are posted, Research Gate will indicate how many times the publication has been read and if it has been cited in other publications.

Research Gate goes further in allowing researchers to see where they and their publications stand in the overall field through an RG Score which measures scientific reputation and is based on the publications in the researcher's profile andhowother researchers interact with the content. If a researcher is feeling competitive, the RG Score will provide her with a way to compare herself to others.

Of course, research is about the pursuit of knowledge and not just tracking its impact. Research Gate encourages interaction among researchers. The site suggests other researchers to follow based on their publications and interests. The active prompting to make these connections can be a valuable avenue toward introducing researchers and allowing for possible collaboration down the road. …

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