Why Do Academics Use Academic Social Networking Sites?

Hagit Meishar-Tal, Efrat Pieterse, The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning (IRRODL), Mar 01, 2017
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I wouldn't link to this except for the funding for ResearchGate in the news today. It examines uses of this site as well as Academia.edu and provides some background information. I have two major criticisms of this study. First, I question the use of 'the uses and gratifications theory' to frame the research, on the ground that you don't need a 'theory' to frame this enquiry, and especially not a theory so empirically dubious. Second, I think the survey could have been rather more ambitious than three institutions in one (small) country, especially when generating statistical (quantitative) results, and especially when making claims like "this study points at the centrality of the self-promotion and ego-bolstering motive." From the IRRODL special issue on advances in research on social networking in open and distributed learning.

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