User Spotlight: Marius Dumitru “I log in every day to keep track of my current visibility in the world”
Ever since the beginning of 2010, Marius Dumitru has been using Academia.edu to increase his academic visibility and get a measure of who would be interested in his work. His background is in philosophy of mind and cognitive science, with a focus on the phenomenology of thought.
Marius has a personal website in addition to his Academia profile, but he nevertheless thinks that Academia offers much more than professional visibility – “it has various facilities that I don’t have on my website, like being able to follow the work of various researchers and actively seeing who is following my work”. While typical analytics tools offer Marius only a quantitative measure of how many people enter on his website, on Academia he can actually see which specific people follow his work or read each of his papers. If he gets a large amount of views on a particular paper rather than another, he tries to find out if that represents a measure of the quality of that paper or of a trending interest in the area. He is currently getting in touch with the people who saw his papers in order to find out what their interests are and ask them for feedback on what he wrote.
Nowadays Marius logs in every day, each time he gets a notification that someone looked at his papers. He’s particularly interested in the keywords that lead people to his profile, for instance “consciousness” or “phenomenology of speech”. Moreover, he finds geography stats extremely useful and he posts a printscreen of his ‘Academia map’ in other social media every once in a while, calling it “a snapshot of some of my current visibility in the world according to Academia’s dashboard”.
“I like geography a lot [laughs] so I like to see how viewers from specific countries find my work here. I typically get hits from the English- and French-speaking countries (especially from the US, the UK and France) because I have papers written in both English and French.”
Yet sometimes Marius receives traffic from other countries as well, whenever he is participating in conferences or meeting researchers from around the world. For example, in February he noticed many hits from Columbia and Chile, because at that time he had just been accepted at the Modern Philosophy Conference organised by the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile. This is a clear sign that Academia is a good source of information on a potential speaker for the conference organisers before they make an invitation or accept a submission.
Marius is determined to make use of the Academia stats even more in the years to come. He deems “ingenious” that other scholars quote their Academia.edu stats in their job applications, journal or conference submissions. The geography stats will be reminding him that anywhere he might be located – in Oxford, Paris, or in his home town – there will always be people in the entire world curious to read his work.