The exchange of ideas and the dissemination of knowledge is a goal, and at the same time, the engine of academic life. However, one thing that you might want to consider before sharing your work is the purpose of sharing: why do you want to share your work with others? By whom do you want your work to be seen? In this post we would like to help your choice among the several online sharing platforms available for academics by reviewing three of the most prominent ones: Academia.edu, ResearchGate and, for philosophy, PhilPapers.
Academia.edu is a broad network that targets all academics and aims at providing a platform for them to share their work and accelerating the world’s research. They claim to currently have more than 46,000,000 users, who have shared almost 17,000,000 papers. If you would like to have your work known by academics working in many different fields, Academia.edu could be a good choice. However, you should consider whether the sharing system is too broad to get you audience and discussions focused enough. It should also be noted that non-users cannot download or read your work.
This last feature also characterises ResearchGate, a platform which is similar to Academia.edu, but has ‘only’ around 11,000,000 users, since its target are mainly academics working in the sciences. As a consequence, ResearchGate might get a sharper focus of audience and interactions.
Anders Yuk Pui Lam