Post Academic


Resources: academia.edu

Posted in The Education Industry by Arnold Pan on April 14, 2010
Tags: , ,

Almost all of your academic friends are on Facebook already and a lot of them use LinkedIn, too, so do you really need to add yet another social networking site to your list of bookmarks you obsessively check?  Well, academia.edu is probably worth signing up for, if you’re a networking academic.  It’s basically a hybrid of Facebook and LinkedIn geared for just for academics.  You set up your own profile page, which lists your position, institution, department affiliation, and research interests.  What’s really helpful and unique about an academia.edu profile is the info you can add to the left column, which includes your publications, conference talks, CV, along with the scholarship you’re interested in and your websites.

The social networking operations are pretty effective too: You can follow (and be followed by) your colleagues, which incorporates aspects of your FB friends list and the Twitter follower/following lists by updating you on new profile information and status updates.  Scholars are organized according to your university affiliation, then department affiliation, although you can do a search by academic interests.  The interface has a pretty good look too, something along the lines of a family tree where departments branch out under the university.

The site is still undergoing some growing pains, since the interface can still be a little glitchy and it’s no shocker that a site geared towards academics can be a bit overly complicated.  Also, the category lists need to be finetuned.  In terms of academic interests, there are a lot of duplicated fields, while some are too general and others too narrow.  Likewise, some institutions (especially UC’s) are double-named, so some merging of data is called for.  And the humanities listings are still very short and spotty, though you can tell they are growing, too.

All in all, it seems like a worthwhile and potentially valuable resource for academic research and networking.  If you sign up soon, you can say that you got in the ground floor of the project.

(Hat tip to reader Stacey for referring us to the site!)

academia.edu

Resources: thegradcafe.com

Caroline passed along some information on thegradcafe.com, which is definitely a helpful all-in-one resource for propsective grad students–and a site where career academics could easily web-browse their time away during their office hours.  Basically a combination of the Academic Jobs Wiki and the WRK4US listserv for those just starting grad school or looking into it as a possibility, it’s a one-stop site that combines blogs, archived discussion threads, and the “Results Search” board, which compiles grad school admissions decisions uploaded by the site’s members.  According to thegradcafe.com home page, the database includes news of 85,358 decisions–and counting!  While the decisions aren’t categorized and sorted by discipline like the Academic Jobs Wiki is, the database is searchable by keywords.

And overall, the online experience of thegradcafe.com is probably more complete than a wiki or an email listserv, since the site is very well done and so easy and intuitive to navigate.  I definitely wish I had this, oh, 13 years ago when I was applying to Ph.D. programs, although I’m sure it would’ve been frustrating to constantly refresh the “Results Search” using my dial-up connection.  It just goes to show that next generation of students are probably a lot more tech savvy, and that (their future) teachers have a lot to learn from the (prospective) students.

The Grad Cafe