Proliferation of researcher profiles

David Davies, Jan 04, 2014
Commentary by Stephen Downes

As a researcher I am asked to contribute to these researcher profile networks from time to time. My response has been, to be honest, lukewarm. What good, I wonder, is being served by a proliferation of ensiled researcher profile lists? Yes, it would be good to have a single list of my research outputs. But there are conflicts in formats and presentation. And it's hard to aggregate these from various sources: he writes, "I have appeared in print variously named as, ‘Davies D’, ‘Davies DA’, ‘Davies David’, ‘David Davies’, ‘D A Davies’, ‘D Davies’, and probably other combinations involving the different institutions I’ve worked at." Me too (except with my own name, of course). And of course in the services that harvest from publications, I am confused with various other people names Stephen Downes (and then they ask me to go to their service and deselect all the publications that aren't mine, vaguely suggesting I'm misrepresenting my credentials if I don't do this). I think that personal researcher profiles are the way to go, rather than joining research services that operate like LinkedIn or Facebook.

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