User Spotlight: Alexandre Turgeon “Academia.edu shows me the impact of my recent work”

by Helen Sparrow

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Alexandre Turgeon is a Doctoral student in the History Department at  Université Laval, Canada. He signed up for his Academia.edu profile as he wished to share his research, ensuring it was freely available to everyone who wanted to read it. 

"To be on Academia.edu is an integral part of my strategy on the Web. I believe it is important for academics, these days, to be on the Web, to occupy this space. As for me, I can say that I am an active academic. Some of my papers have been published in peer-reviewed journals. As an historian, I have written a few opinion texts in the newspapers and I am currently holding a blog about History at Huffington Post Québec. Finally, I am also leading an ongoing research on Twitter about the presence of the past during the provincial election in Québec that will end September 4. Therefore, I tend to be a little scattered all over the place… That’s where Academia.edu is so useful to me, because I can gather all my work in one place. Academia.edu has since become the primary source for my papers on the Web, so that certainly does help too."

As a young researcher, Alexandre’s papers have all been published relatively recently, with his first paper being published in 2009. Two years is not long in the publication world; the lag time of citations and reviews of your papers and books is often five years or more. This means that an academic receives no feedback on how well received their work is for quite some time following publication. This is where our analytics dashboard comes in - by showing users how many people are searching for and reading their work, then can begin to see how popular and impactful each paper is, long before any citations may appear.

“I visit my Academia Analytics everyday. Even though my papers are all written in French it is fascinating and very surprising to me to see that I have readers worldwide.”

“Because my papers are all published recently, I do not have any citations yet. Academia is showing me in real-time that my work is being read and hopefully that will lead to citations in the future.”

Alexandre is also finding the networking side of Academia.edu very useful. Not only can you create a homepage for yourself, but unlike producing your own website, Academia.edu makes it easy to find and stay in touch with other academics at the same time. Initially Alexandre just searched for and followed his colleagues, peers and the researchers whose work he was reading. As he has begun navigating and exploring the site he has found other researchers and papers which are interesting to him.

“[Academia.edu] is a good tool for discovering people and their work; I am sure I would have found them anyway, but this makes it so much easier. Once you have found a paper or academic, you can go to the profile page and read about the academic’s interests and see all of their other publications all in one place. And the people that they are following too, and it goes on and on.”

What do you find most useful about Academia.edu? If you have any suggestions for the site, I’d love to hear from you; helen@academia.edu

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by Helen Sparrow, Community Manager

Comments Aug 28, 2012
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