During my first week of my doctoral studies, one of my professors described ResearchGate as the “LinkedIn for academics.” While LinkedIn is also a great resource for academics, it is true that having a ResearchGate profile is important during your academic journey!
To create your profile, follow these steps:
- Upload a professional profile photo. Ideally this will be a formal headshot. Depending on your field, a photo of you in action, for example in your lab, might also be appropriate.
- Complete your Business Card. You’ll list your degree, current position, institution and department, along with a list of skills. There is also a field for “current activity” that you can use to signal the community about your next steps – for example, you can share if you are looking for a new position or research collaboration.
- Complete the “About Me” section. Here you will share a short bio/introduction. Use this space to share your research interests again and to describe your career. You can also select your discipline(s) of research, skills and expertise, languages you work in, and your email and Twitter contact information if you choose to include them.
- Add your research. This is the big one! You want any of your published papers, posters, and conference sessions listed here. The earlier in your career you start making it a habit to add these in real time, the simpler it will be. The “add research” button is towards the top right of the screen for easy access. Just plug in the title, add your co-authors, select the date, and if applicable copy in the DOI. It’s always a good idea to upload a PDF as well. You can choose to make this available to anyone publicly, or to keep the setting on private, which will allow you to manually approve requests to access the document.
- Add current affiliations. If you are enrolled as a student, actively working at an institution, or have another formal affiliation, add them to your profile.
- Add current journal roles. For students and early career scholars, you may not have these yet, and can leave this section blank. If you do take on a role, such as a peer reviewer or editor, be sure to include that here later!
- Complete your education section. By the time one starts publishing peer-reviewed scholarship, they often have a collection of degrees. Add them here.
- Share grants and awards. If you have the honor of having received any grants to fund your studies or research, scholarships, or relevant awards, you can add them to this section to show off your achievements.
It should take you less than an hour to complete everything on this list, especially if you are early in your research career and do not have a giant list of publications to add. Once you have your profile created, you’ll be able to interact with other scholars, view their research, and make your scholarship available to people who may not have access to the journal where it was published.
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