A.S. de Rosa, L. Dryjanska, E. Bocci

Sapienza University of Rome (ITALY)
Academic Social Networks (ASNs) are online-platforms - freely subscribed by scholars and students at various levels of expertise/academic career - that profile the professional identity/role associated with their institutions/activities, as well facilitate publications up/downloading, research interest exchanges, citations and contacts analytics. Among main ASNs related practices, Nentwich and König (2013) enlist communication, cooperation, public relations, self-marketing, e-teaching and job exchange.

This contribution concentrates on and ResearchGate (“two of the more popular” ASNs: Ovadia, 2014), as well as Mendeley, a citation management product including social media features.

While in previous contribution de Rosa et al (2016) have examined the role of ASNs in disseminating the Social Representations literature, detecting the scientific products as dependent variable, this paper focuses on authors of publications in this field who participate in at least one of the above-mentioned ASNs. Taking into account Social Representation as supra-disciplinary theory of transversal interest for social sciences and rooted in the knowledge communication, this paper presents results dated November 2016 detecting authors present in ResearchGate (f=2676), (f=2465) and Mendeley (f=623) compared to the worldwide universe of 6683 authors filed in the SoReCom”A.S. de Rosa”@-library (de Rosa, 2015), the most comprehensive digital repository specialised in this scientific field, including more than 10,000 bibliographic references. Information concerning authors’ institutional affiliations/countries served for the geo-mapping of the geo-cultural positioning. In brief – although the use of ASNs, especially among younger generations of scholars, becomes a common practice in the field of Social Representations, as a tool for bookmarking/downloading full-text publications – our analysis provides empirical evidence that 40,04% of all authors present in the SoReCom”A.S. de Rosa”@-library are present in the most used ASNs (ResearchGate), 36.88% in, 9.32% in Mendeley, while the authors present in at least one of the three ASNs are 3668 constituting 54.89% of the total, and those in all three ASNs at the same time equal 392 (only 5.87%). These results encourage the promotion of the new platform SoReCom”A.S. de Rosa”@-library as open access academic networking tool and not only as scientific documentation repository.

[1] de Rosa, A.S. (2015). The So.Re.Com. “A.S. de Rosa” @-library: a digital tool for integrating scientific documentation, networking and training purposes in the supra-disciplinary field of Social Representations and Communication. In M. Khosrow-Pour (Ed.) Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, (pp. 4938-4949). Hershey, Pennsylvania: IGI Global.
[2] de Rosa, A.S., Bocci, E., Dryjanska, L., & Borrelli, F. (2016). The Role of Academic Social Networking in the Dissemination of the Social Representations Literature. In Inted 2016 Proceedings, (pp. 1051-1060). Madrid: INTED Publications.
[3] Nentwich, M., & König, R. (2014). Academia goes Facebook? The potential of social network sites in the scholarly realm. In S. Bartling and S. Friesike (Eds), Opening science (pp. 107-124). Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.
[4] Ovadia, S. (2014). ResearchGate and Academic social networks. Behavioral & Social Sciences Librarian, 33(3), 165-169.