Analysis: Scientists and Academic, Social Networks
Linking scientists for the sake of cooperation can be complicated if international cooperation is involved. The same is the case with information, additional education, and research of academic materials of certain niches that spread throughout the world. That is why it is very important to create academic social networks that enable scientists to connect, explore, collaborate and promote their work more easily. The analysis of data from scientists’ activities on such networks shows that their open communication is limited, mainly to publications.
It is a network of more than fourteen million members. As an active member of the academic community, I can tell you that there are almost no scientists who are not on this network – the problem is that most of them are not active at all. There is a problem of positioning scientists in the online world. They mostly share their professional identities, but they do not update their profiles often enough. The number of those who share their publications is constantly growing, but it is the only thing they share.
However, the main problem is that not even a single social network for scientists is an established practice of exchanging advice and knowledge among them. Dedicated publications certainly accelerate the number of citations and the reference to the publication itself, which in turn greatly promotes the career of the author. But the exchange of knowledge and experience is not so much established practice. It’s rare for anyone to comment on other people’s publications or evaluate them. Very few scientists ask questions. In this community, it is very strange that only a small number of scientists are interested in sharing the practical knowledge and advice.
The problem is that communication on such networks is a very close imitation of a traditional academic one. It is necessary to open the door to more open and direct communication for the sake of advancement in science. Those types of communication already exist, such as among programmers and developers in computer science who are communicating all the practical information through the Internet for general progress.