You want to create a public webpage that lists your scholarly achievements.
Your researcher profile should contain at least the following information:
- Contact information
- Present affiliation
- Short description of your work
- Your most important scholarly works, including journal articles, books and book chapters, conference papers, and datasets
Additional information in the researcher profile could include:
- Extended contact information, including links to Twitter, LinkedIn and other social networking sites
- People working with you and/or for you
- Other scholarly activities, including presentations, peer review, teaching, programming and outreach
- Projects you are currently working on
- Awards and metrics for your scholarly works
- Conferences that you attended/plan to attend
A researcher profile should be publicly accessible, easily found by web searches, professionally looking and easy to maintain. As a beginner your best options are:
- Your institutional homepage
- Your profile page at a social networking site
- Your blog or personal website
Institutional homepages are often the best option for academic researchers, particularly if the institution uses a platform that makes it easy to create and maintain researcher profiles, e.g. VIVO, Harvard Catalyst, OpenScholar or BibApp. It of course also helps if there is support staff.
If your institution doesn’t offer nice researcher profiles, another option is a profile page at a social networking site for scientists. You should make sure that the profile page is publicly accessible, that you can import publications and other scholarly works, and that you can export the profile information for reuse somewhere else. Examples in this category include Mendeley, ResearchGate and Academia.edu.
For more control of what is shown in your researcher profile, set up your own blog or personal website. For extra coolness, you can host your researcher profile at your personal domain (like these two researchers). Good starting points are WordPress.com, Blogger and Tumblr, but expect to spend much more time setting up your profile compared to the first two solutions.
Nobody stops you from creating more than one profile page, but make sure you find the time to maintain all your different profile pages. One good strategy is to create one main profile with extensive information, plus shorter profiles in other places for special audiences (e.g. LinkedIn or Microsoft Academic Search).
Reference management software can help you manage your profile information, particularly when the software has a special category for your own scholarly works (e.g. Papers), and when the reference manager can handle a wide range of scholarly contributions, including for example presentations, datasets and computer programs.
Doing interesting research is the most important aspect of building a good reputation as a scientist. But because there are so many scientists doing interesting work, it is important to also think about how you present your work to others. This is most obvious when you write a CV for a job or grant application, but researcher profile pages can help you find new collaborators, group members, or get invited to meetings.
- Report from Transforming Scholarly Communication Workshop #Recognition Group
- Google Scholar Citations, Researcher Profiles, and why we need an Open Bibliography (Gobbledygook)
- Creating your Mendeley Researcher Profile (YouTube)
This text is mainly based on the discussions in the #recognition working group at the Transforming Scholarly Communication Workshop October 23-25, 2011 in Cambridge, MA.