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Curating your scholarly identity

A guide to help busy researchers raise the profile of their research

What is your online scholarly identity and why should you care?

Almost everyone has an online presence of some kind. Your online presence is likely one of the first places others (such as potential employers, research collaborators, students and the general public) look to find out more about you. As a scholar, this presence often includes any institutional affiliations or profiles, presentations and publications, fellowships and grants, courses taught and your research interests or areas of expertise.  There are a variety of services available in which you can intentionally collocate some of this information so that you can define your online scholarly presence.

Your online scholarly identity exists regardless of whether you manage it, often a passive result of your teaching and research activities. There may also be other information about you online that is not directly related to your scholarship. If you do not actively manage it, you are allowing search engines such as Google to create your identity for you. Websites and pages with your scholarly contributions are more likely to show up in search results if you have curated your scholarly identity.

Being a scholar-practitioner is a social activity as you are part of the scholarly community, and your work is part of the scholarly conversation. Therefore, it is beneficial to manage your online presence and reputation to ensure you are accurately representing yourself and your work throughout your academic and professional career.

What does your online presence look like now? When was the last time you Googled yourself?

Try Googling yourself as a first step to get a sense of what your online presence currently looks like. 

Consider the following questions as you browse the search results.

  1. What did you find- profiles, social media pages, personal websites, profiles of individuals with a similar name? Were there any images?
  2. Did you like everything you found? Is that what you wanted to find? On the flip side, did you not find anything about you at all?
  3. How can you improve what you found about yourself? What do you want to change? What would you like people to know about you? Is it important for you to define your professional and personal online presences separately?
  4. What do you want to rise to the top of the list of search results? What do you want to delete or push down in the list of search results?

Click through the tabs to learn more about how you can curate your scholarly identity effectively and efficiently as possible.

Google Web Search