Social Media in Academia (3): Google Scholar Profiles

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The one thing that every academic, no matter how time-poor, should do is create a Google Scholar Profile. It is essentially the publication list of your CV, covering all your publications and their citations. There is really no excuse for not doing this. Moreover, not having a Google Scholar Profile might be quite problematic for an academic, especially if you are on the job market. I have heard a Dean say: s/he doesn't have a Google Scholar Profile so s/he can't be a serious academic. For detailed information about Google Scholar Profiles and advanced options see: Google Scholar Citation Profiles: the good, the bad, and the better. This post will cover just the basics.

How to create a Google Scholar Profile?

Creating a profile is very quick and simple. Unless you have a very common name, you should be able to do this in less than 5 minutes.

  1. You'll need a Google account before you can begin - use your existing account or create one.
  2. Go to https://scholar.google.co.uk and click on 'My profile'
  3. Follow the instructions, adding your affiliation information and your University email address. (Remember to validate the email address - you'll receive an email asking you to do this). 
  4. Add a link to your University home page or your favourite online profile.
  5. Add a photo if you want to personalise your profile [highly recommended!!!]. 
  6. Click on 'Next step' to create your basic profile. 
  7. Add your publications - Google will probably suggest the correct ones and ask you to confirm that they are yours.
    • Be careful if you have a common name, as publications by others may be included in the suggestions.
    • There may also be some types of articles that you don't want to include (Google also indexes content such as newsletters, book reviews, and sometimes even editorial board membership lists). 
  1. Make your profile public - this means that others will be able to find it and discover your body of work. Otherwise you will be the only one who is able to see it, which defeats the whole purpose of creating a profile in the first place.

Cleaning up your profile

  • Change the default automatic addition of publications to manual, so that you can quickly verify publications before they are added. This prevents profile pollution and is as simply as clicking on a link in an update email alert from Google Scholar.
    • Click on the + sign next to TITLE and chose “Configure article updates”. Click “Don’t automatically update my profile. Send me email to review and confirm updates” [see screenshots].

  • If you have created a Google Scholar profile a long time ago and didn't put additions to manual, review all publications listed to assess whether they are actually your own publications. One of my colleagues has 8 articles in his top-20 most cited papers that are not actually written by him. This creates a very bad impression and could have been prevented by not putting the profile on automatic.
  • Merge any publication duplicates. Simply tick the boxes in front of the publications that need to be merged and click merge. Sorting by publication title makes it easier to find duplicates. If you have many publications it might be easier to use a Publish or Perish GS Profile search to spot duplicates. You will get a compact overview of your publications and the ability to sort on all fields [not just title and year].
  • [If applicable] Add articles to your profile that you have co-authored, but that – for whatever reason – don’t have you as a co-author in the Google Scholar database. You can search for these articles by title or (more reliably) by DOI.
  • [If applicable] Add missing information for articles found by Google Scholar [e.g. page numbers, publisher] or correct parsing errors in your name or any other part of the record.

Enriching your profile

  • Add your co-authors who have GS Profiles. You will find an alert to add co-authors in the top-left corner just under the Google Scholar logo. You can add all of them or just the ones you really want to feature.
  • Add meaningful keywords [maximum of five, but can be a combination of words]
    • Keywords are meaningful if they represent a defined academic community. This means they should neither be too broad [don't use Social Sciences or Humanities or even the narrower Business or Economics] or too narrow [e.g. alcohol and drugs, expatriate adjustment, expatriate spouses]. If you choose keywords that are too narrow, you might find that you are the only one listed in that area. Whereas this might sound great, most likely it means that nobody will be searching for these keywords. Good labels in the field of Business & Management could be for instance sub-disciplines such as: leadership, human resource management, organization theory, strategic management, entrepreneurship, or international business.
    • Finding the right keywords is an iterative process. First, define keywords and see whether people with similar keywords are academics who are leaders in your research area. Alternatively, look up some key authors in your field and check which keywords they use.

Getting information from your profile: alerts and exports

  • Set up an alert to follow citations to your articles. You will get an email a few times a week if your work is cited. You can cancel these alerts any time you want.
    • Click on the Follow button and select citations and recommend articles.
    • You can use the same button to get alerts for other academics.This can be useful if you want to keep up to date with publications from a particular author or citations to their work.
  • If you’d like to have a comprehensive list of your own publications, e.g. for copying into your CV, a website, or a funding application, you can export your publications by clicking on the box to the left of title. This makes the export option visible.
  • If you’d like to have the number of citations to these articles included as well, you will need to use Publish or Perish export options. PoP will also allow you to copy all or some of your publications into different referencing formats [without citations].

GO TO PART 4: Social media in Academia (4): LinkedIn >>>

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