Category Archives: Networking

Promoting your research using Google Scholar for your own citations

Google Scholar

My Citations is a  feature which provides a simple way for authors to keep track of citations to their articles. You can check who is citing your publications, create graphs of your citations over time, and compute several citation metrics. You can also make your profile public, so that it appears in Google Scholar results when people search for your name .

"Bibliography" by Alexandre Duret-Lutz. C BY-SA. Flickr.
“Bibliography” by Alexandre Duret-Lutz. C BY-SA. Flickr.

It is very quick to set up and simple to maintain – even if you have written hundreds of articles, and even if your name is shared by several different scholars. You can add groups of related articles, not just one article at a time; and your citation metrics are computed and updated automatically as Google Scholar finds new citations to your work on the web. You can even choose to have your list of articles updated automatically – but you can also choose to review the updates yourself, or to manually update your articles at any time.

First, create a regular Google account, or sign in to the one you already have. It is a good idea to use a personal account, not your university account, so that you can keep your profile for as long as you wish, even if you change jobs.

1. Once you’ve signed in to your Google account go to Google Scholar, select the link to My Citations. There are three stages to complete.

The Citations sign up form will ask you to confirm the spelling of your name, and to enter your affiliation, interests, etc. We recommend that you also enter your university email address, because that would make your profile eligible for inclusion in Google Scholar search results.


2. On the next page, you’ll see groups of articles written by people with names similar to yours.
Click “Add all articles” next to each article group that is yours, or “See all articles” to add specific articles from that group. I
f you don’t see your articles in these groups, click “Search articles” to do a regular Google Scholar search, and then add your articles one at a time.
3. Once you’re finished adding articles, you will be asked what to do when the article data changes in Google Scholar. You can either have the updates applied to your profile automatically, or you can choose to review them beforehand. In either case, you can always go to your profile and make changes by hand.
Finally, you will see your profile. This is a good time to make a few finishing touches – upload your professional looking photo, visit your email inbox and click on the verification link, double check the list of articles, and, once you’re completely satisfied, make your profile public.
5. Once your profile is public you can be searched for by name. Your profile will display the articles which have been collected by Google Scholar, the number of citations they have received (citations indices), and a map of your H-index.

You can also search for others by name, or by name of institution or place in the My citations screen: (NB note also the My Citations – Help feature). Run a search on ‘Royal Holloway’ (or any other institution) and see who else has registered on My Citations.

If you notice some of your articles are not in your Google Citations profile, you can sign in to your Citations profile, and select ‘Add” option from the pull down Actions menu. Search for your articles using titles, keywords, or your name. To add one article at a time, click ‘Search articles’ and then ‘Add article’ next to the article you wish to add. Your citation metrics will update immediately.

If your search doesn’t find the right article, click ‘Add Article manually’. Then, type in the title, authors etc and click ‘Save. (NB Citations to manually added articles may not appear in your profile for a while).


Using Reddit for research

Psychology Phd Student Hannah Bowers has kindly shared her experience of using Reddit for research.

I initially used reddit to recruit people with IBS for an online questionnaire about emotion processing and had a really positive response. I ended up with over 280 respondents, at least 93 of which were from reddit. I found posting on the ibs ‘subreddit’ the most successful, despite it being a quieter subreddit. Popular pages like r/health and r/samplesize tend to get a lot of posts, which means yours can get buried. r/ibs however has relatively few posts, yet still an audience of around 1,800. This means whenever you post, it jumps straight to the top of the page and into every subscribers ‘front page’. This combined with the very specific target audience, is why I think it was so successful.
reddit 1

Using reddit meant users could comment on my recruitment post, and I could see positive and negative reactions to my research, both of which gave me a really great insight into why people were or weren’t taking part.

When recruiting, many redditors asked for me to share my results. When I did, this was met with a few people who felt my findings perpetuated the idea that IBS is ‘all in the head’, despite my efforts to make it clear this isn’t what I was suggesting. This really helped me as a researcher to understand the kind of stigma people with IBS face and it allowed me to open up a dialogue, which then informed how I disseminated my findings to other populations with IBS.
reddit 2.jpg

Overall my experience with reddit has been great, and I would recommend it to all researchers (so long as you have a thick skin).

Tips on privacy and managing professional identities

facebook privateSomething which always causes concern when people mention social media or Web 2.0 is privacy and managing a professional personal balance.

One aspect of privacy is the information we choose to share and how that reflects on our professional identities.


This presentation from the University of Bath gives a very good overview of how to manage your professional identity:

Not everybody will want to be totally anonymous but in our online world it is important to be informed about privacy.

Take note of the privacy options available and adjust the settings where necessary when signing up to a new service. Many sites will give you a variety of options allowing you to set the privacy settings at a level to suit you. This will include an option to keep your whole profile private, or open to only those users you choose to share your information with.

But remember the more information we share the less control we have of it (This light hearted video is a good reminder).

Fact: Facebook’s privacy policy is longer than the United States Constitution (minus amendments) (Bilton, N., 2010. Price of Facebook? Start clicking! New York Times 12 May, p.B8 )

This page has some advice on how to keep social media private – it is aimed at teachers but the instructions are relevant.

The University has some social media guidelines which I would suggest you take a look at.

If you wish you can set your blog so search engines won’t find it easily by going to Dashboard > Settings > Reading  then select “Discourage search engines from indexing this site.”

Adapted from under creative commons license and Emily Allbon’s presentation on Upgrade from City is a platform for academics to share research papers. The company’s mission is to accelerate the world’s research.

Like focuses on professional connections. is essentially a LinkedIn focused on the academic world, so it provides improved features for things like listing publications. LinkedIn and profiles tend to feature high in Google searches, so a well-constructed profile can be a great way to develop your online brand.

You can search for people, research interests and universities to build up connections.

You can view members for Royal Holloway here.

It is about more than networking, you can search for papers and promote your own research there too. You can easily link to your papers in  Royal Holloway Research Online.

There are other sites where you can post your research profile and link to papers, which we will look at in future blog posts. It is useful to post on several of them to publicise to the biggest audience of people.

Twitter Tools for Research



You can find out how often you (or anybody you know the twitter name of) is tweeting using TweetStats.


Use WeFollow to see who people with similar interests are following. It uses hashtags to categorize people by industry or hobby.








Xefer Twitter Charts

Xefer graphs Tweets and replies using Yahoo Pipes and Google Charts to display hour-by-hour information. The other cool thing about Twitter Charts is that it will show you all the @replies a person has ever used, sorted by person. You can quickly find out who they favor.







Searching Tweets

Twitter Search

This is Twitter’s search page. Use it to search for keywords. There is also an advanced search option

See what's happening right now

Snap Bird

Searches beyond Twitter’s history so you can search tweets further back than 10 days, in only friends’ tweets, within direct messages and within any user’s favourites. Really useful when you remember a tweet but forgot to favourite it and want to read it again.


Allows comparative searches of terms within Twitter. It is great for contextual analysis since the visual data (that can span from 24 hours to 30 days) is supported by the inclusion of qualitative data (the tweets that were used to generate the visuals). It is also a great tool for analyzing words in context as well as observing emergence of trends and patterns of communication.


A search engine for Twitter lists, which is helpful for finding users with interests similar to yours.


This searches for images in Twitter. It relies on user descriptions so can be a bit hit and miss.

Influence and Reach



Provides a comprehensive set of metrics about a search term or user impact on Twitter and complements the quantitative data with excerpts of qualitative inputs. An explanation of how the scores are calculated is available here. Calculating reach is useful when aiming to assess the number of exposures a message/account could gain as facilitated by its network.

TweetReach report










Klout scores range from 0-100 and measure the overall online influence of a Twitter account. The score is “a factor of over 35 variables broken into three categories: True Reach, Amplification Score and Network Score” where “True Reach is the size of the account’s engaged audience and is based on the followers and friends who actively listen and react to your messages. Amplification Score is the likelihood that an account’s messages will generate actions (retweets, @messages, likes and comments) and is on a scale of 1 to 100. Network score indicates how influential an account’s engaged audience is, also on a scale of 1 to 100. The Klout score is highly correlated to clicks, comments and retweets.”


Aggregates social media stats from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google Analytics, Myspace and Once authorized it collects and produces visualizations based on activity metrics: followers, lists, mentions, RTs, favorites, links and more. It interprets data into categories: reputation (followers and lists), influence (mentions, RTs), conversation indicators (Tweets, RTs, @replies).


Archiving Tweets

The Archivist 

Archives twitter data and provides some visual interpretation by default. This makes the analysis process even easier than with TwapperKeeper . It has options for viewing and downloading the data. The Archivist has also a desktop application which would enable working with other datasets as well.

Other ways of archiving Twitter include back-up options reviewed by ReadWriteWeb. Of some relevance might beTwistory and TwInbox, both downloading data to calendars and Outlook Express respectively.

Using Twitter for Academic Research

Twitter is an excellent resource which is often underused in Academic research. Largely because of common misconceptions of Twitter including:

  • It’s only for teenagers
  • It’s all celebrities telling us what they have for breakfast
  • It’s time consuming

This is unfortunate, because Twitter is a valuable resource for academics. If you’re allowing  inaccurate stereotypes to deter you, you’re missing out.

Dorothy Bishop, Professor of Developmental Neuropsychology, University of Oxford (From Blog post: A gentle introduction to Twitter for the apprehensive academic, Tuesday 14 June 2011. Accessed 10th February 2013)

You don’t need to follow everybody, you can select who you follow so that you don’t have to know what Lady GaGa has had for breakfast.

To stop the “noise” on twitter be selective about who you follow and run keyword searches to seek information you want.

Think of it as a radio that is playing all the time in the background. You can tune in and out of it when you want to and if something particularly good has happened you can search for it – just as you could look up a radio show on BoB or iPlayer if you missed it but everyone says you should hear it.

Twitter is excellent for networking and connecting with researchers with similar interests. You can also follow most conferences on Twitter using hashtags, so even if you can’t get to a conference or seminar you can find out what is happening.

A big concern for many researchers is managing their online identity. This video from the University of Warwick explains why you don’t need to worry too much:

If you need more convincing here is a personal journey through Twitter:

When using Twitter for research it is helpful to ask effective questions. This blog post gives some advice.

We also have an introduction to Twitter here.

Further information: