Showcase Your Scholarship, Part Two: Google Scholar Profiles and Other Platforms
Part One: Use SSRN To Archive Articles explains how to use the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) to create an online archive of your articles. A decade after SSRN was founded in 1994, Google launched a similar platform, Google Scholar (GS), and later added profiles. GS profiles too can be used to create an online archive to display and preserve publications.
This post explains the similarities and differences between SSRN author pages and GS profiles.
With SSRN, you first create an author page, and then upload abstracts and PDF copies of published articles. You can invite visitors to your SSRN author page by including a link in your website bio and email signature block.
Visitors to your author page can view abstracts of your articles and then download copies of the articles. SSRN maintains a running count of the number of times an article is downloaded. SSRN download counts have increasingly become a measure of scholarly influence.
GS profiles are even easier to set up. Instructions are here. Once you establish a Google account and your Google Scholar profile page, Google automatically imports links to all articles that are available through a Google search of your name. Visitors to your profile page can then gain access your articles by clicking on the link.
Similar in nature to SSRN’s article abstracts (which you compose yourself), GS itself provides summary descriptions of linked articles.
Because Google’s search robots cannot penetrate Westlaw and Lexis’s paywalls, they may miss some articles, although they do pick up articles available through Hein and some other sources. You can add citations to other articles manually.
As with SSRN, you can link to your online GS profile. Both SSRN and GS provide for adding contact information and a photo.
SSRN is available to anyone. So are GS profiles, to an extent. But only academics with a verifiable .edu email address can elect to make their profiles public. The advantage of a public profile is that it will appear in Google Scholar results whenever someone searches your name.
SSRN accepts and displays only PDFs; GS lists and links to all forms of web content. No other platform, including GS, offers SSRN’s eJournal method for disseminating content.
Rather than counting article downloads, GS measures scholarly influence by counting citations to articles. Citation counts are even graphed by year.
Both of these bibliographic websites are relatively easy to set up, and GS even maintains itself by adding items as its search robots discover them. Authors looking for ways to showcase their scholarship should invest an hour or so in setting up their SSRN author page and GS profile.
Other archiving platforms worth exploring include ResearchGate and Issuu.
ResearchGate site membership is limited to academics with an email address at a recognized institution. Members can establish a user profile (including bio and photo) and upload publications, working papers, and presentations. Just as SSRN counts downloads and GS counts citations, ResearchGate counts reads.
Issuu is an electronic publishing platform enabling anyone to upload and distribute digital content in multiple formats, including PDF, Word, and PowerPoint. Readers can access items with a single click, so Issuu is useful for posting articles that cannot be linked to directly.
Maybe your goal is merely to self-publish an article and disseminate it over the Internet. Part Three: Self-Publishing is coming up.
Professor Otto Stockmeyer has gone emeritus after more than three decades teaching at Western Michigan University-Cooley Law School. His articles have appeared in publications from A (ABA Journal) to W (Woman Lawyers Journal). This blog post is based on his article “Meet Google Scholar Citations.” Here is his SSRN author page and here is his Google Scholar profile.