Even if you remain unconvinced by the merits of blogging in Thing 2, it’s still important to have an online profile. A simple web presence makes it much easier for people to find you. Who’s looking for you? Well, potential employers, funders, collaborators, and publishers – that’s who. They’re not going to spend hours rootling around the internet to work out what you’ve been doing, so make it easy for them by ensuring all the key information is in one place. Actually, in this post we’ll look at three different places, so you can decide what’s right for you.
Your institutional profile
Most universities offer their researchers a profile page. This can range from simple contact details, through to a fancy portal in which you can embed your publications and social media posts. It’s important to ensure that you maximise your visibility. Firstly, this profile verifies your identity – after all, anyone can claim to be an academic researcher. Secondly, academic websites rank much higher in search engine results, so there’s a better chance of others finding you. If you’re already active on Twitter and/or a blog, make sure you link to those profiles, and also use the same photo. Consistency helps people remember you.
Your CHASE profile
If you’re a CHASE student, you’ll automatically get a profile on the main website. By default, it’ll show just your name and research area – it’s up to you to populate it with more details. You can do so by clicking the Add CHASE student profile button on the Student Profiles page.
While you’re there, click on the Featured student profile and take a look at Edwin Coomasaru. He’s used the space very effectively to give a sense of his research. Instead of cramming absolutely everything into the page, Edwin has linked to material on other websites, and even included a video. Bullet points make it easy for the reader to scan the page and understand the range of his activities.
One of the limitations of an institutional profile is that it’ll dematerialise once you’ve graduated. If you already have some publications to your name, it’s a good idea to collect them using a portable tool. Let’s meet ORCID …
Launched back in 2012, ORCID is a unique and persistent identifier for researchers. Through the ORCID website, you can link all your publications with this ID, thereby improving discoverability and eliminating name ambiguity. It’s not tied to any particular platform, institution, or publisher – so, you can use it for all your publications throughout your career.
Once you have an ORCID ID you’ll save time on repetitive data entry, as it’ll pull information from other sources – for example by retrieving the data associated with an ISBN. Some funding bodies, including the Wellcome Trust and the Royal Society, also accept ORCID on application forms – so no need to re-enter all that information. And you can display your identifier on your CV or web profiles, too.
Some universities will allow you to use an ORCID ID to automatically add publications to your profile.
Over 4m researchers have created their ID. Now’s a good time to join them!
With any online profile, here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Check for typos! This is your shop window, so you don’t want potential customers to be distracted by errors.
- Include all of your achievements – or ensure that you’ve linked to them elsewhere.
- Keep it up-to-date. If you stop updating a profile, people will assume you’re no longer an active researcher.
Remember that online visibility is crucial in the 21st century. People are looking for you, so control what they see!
Here are some activities for you to try this week:
- Either create or update a profile on your institution’s website.
- Create or update your CHASE profile.
- Create your ORCID ID and start using it.
In next week’s Thing, we’ll explore a platform that allows you to network with other researchers and easily share your outputs. In the meantime, don’t forget to let us know how you’re getting on through the discussion forum, or by tweeting @CHASE_DTP with the #23Things tag.