In “‘Facebook for Academics’: The Convergence of Self-Branding and Social Media Logic on Academia.edu,” Brooke Erin Duffy and Jefferson D. Pooley examine the popular academic paper sharing site, academia.edu. They argue that academia.edu reflects the self-branding impetus of contemporary scholars, but also feeds the conception that such self-branding is necessary. They frame academia.edu as a classic Silicon Valley start-up, and reveal the significant venture capital that has funded the company since 2008 (over 12.6 million since inception ). Duffy and Pooley suggest that academia.edu is much closer to social media sites like Facebook than it is to a reference catalogue of academic papers; an analogy they draw due to the fact that “the careful impression management endemic to popular social networking sites is pervasive on Academia.edu too” (1), and of course to its ultimately profit-driven mission. Duffy and Pooley infer that sites like academia.edu are potential risks for the validity of the Open Access movement, as they “wrap themselves in the banner of the open-access movement” (8), but are in fact private, for-profit companies.
Duffy, Brooke Erin, and Jefferson Pooley. 2017. “‘Facebook for Academics’: The Convergence of Self-Branding and Social Media Logic on Academia.edu.” Social Media + Society 3: 1-11.