Scientists online: A framework for the analysis of Internet profiles

Helena Bukvova

Abstract


Many scientists use the Internet to present themselves and their work. The content they create could be used to improve the awareness and communication within the scientific community. This requires a sound understanding of the contents on scientists’ profiles, especially with regard to their structure. Existing literature offers mostly basic categorisation, focusing only on single platforms. This article presents a study of scientists’ profiles on institutional and private Web pages, social networking services, blogs, and microblogs. The aim of the study was to describe structures within the profile contents. For this purpose, 79 profiles belonging to 15 German scientists were identified and analysed using the constructivist grounded theory method. The result was a framework, suitable for structuring and further analysis of scientists’ profiles. The framework describes three levels for the study of profiles: profile networks, profile instances, and content units. The content on the profiles can be classified with regard to its type, verbosity, and placement. The developed framework serves as a basic structure for further research into scientists’ online self–presentation.

Keywords


Scientists, Internet Profiles, Self-Presentation

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5210/fm.v16i10.3584



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