Academics and their online networks: Exploring the role of academic social networking sites
The rapid rise in popularity of online social networking has been followed by a slew of services aimed at an academic audience. This project sought to explore network structure in these sites, and to explore trends in network structure by surveying participants about their use of sites and motivations for making connections. Social network analysis revealed that discipline was influential in defining community structure, while academic seniority was linked to the position of nodes within the network. The survey revealed a contradiction between academics use of the sites and their position within the networks the sites foster. Junior academics were found to be more active users of the sites, agreeing to a greater extent with the perceived benefits, yet having fewer connections and occupying a more peripheral position in the network.
Digital scholarship; Academic networking; Social networking sites; Social network analysis; Academic identity; Online identity
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