Today Academia.edu is releasing a new version of its profile page. The guiding ethos of the new profile page has been that it should celebrate an academic’s work.
Papers and Books Now on the “About” Page
The biggest visual change in the new profile is that an academic’s papers, books, and other research contributions, now appear on their About page.
We made this change because papers and books are an academic’s most important research contributions. We wanted them to appear prominently on the academic’s about page. Previously they had appeared only on subsidiary pages, one click away from the About page.
Here is a screenshot of Steven Pinker’s new profile page on Academia.edu
A second change with the new profile is the ability for academics to create custom sections on their profile. For example, an academic can create sections such as ‘Working Papers’, or ‘Conference Publications’, or anything they want.
Previously we had a limited number of sections that a user could add to their page: Books, Papers, Talks, and Teaching documents. Now, profile pages are much more customizable.
Here is a screenshot of some custom sections that I added to my profile (Book Reviews and Thesis Chapters):
New Biography box
There is a new ‘biography’ box at the top of the profile, listing the academic’s research interests, ‘about’ text, and a few additional biographical details.
Other Profiles on the Web
There is a dedicated section on the left-hand side of the profile where you can add links to various profiles of you on the web: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other sites, including your personal homepage.
We’ve removed the character limit on status updates, and have called them “Posts”. Blog posts are now just long posts.
The new profile is also faster to load than the old profile. It’s much snappier as you click around. Ensuring that the site is fast is a key goal for us.
Personal Brands Eclipsing Journal Brands
One of the themes in science right now is the idea of the personal brands of individual academics beginning to eclipse those of journals. Academics want a direct connection with their audience, as well as analytics that monitor that relationship.
We believe that the new profile supports that trend. It helps an academic engage with their audience better, by enabling them to display their most impactful research prominently on their profile. It helps the audience see contextual metrics around that research that build a picture of how impactful that research is.
We would love to hear your thoughts and feedback, either in the comments below, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.