Do you want to:
Who do you want to reach with your work? Who do you want your research to impact or influence?
Once you know your audience, consider:
Do you want to keep your personal and professional profiles separate, or blend them? Do you want unrestricted public access to your profile or only access for registered users of the profiling site?
For any platform you might use, consider the following:
Note: Considering the commercial nature of the platform is important because registering for commercial platforms means that you and your work are a “product” that the service monetizes and/or offers to advertisers. If these platforms are bought, sold, or go out of business, find out what would happen to the content you’ve uploaded to it.
The ability to curate an online scholarly identity without the risk of abuse and harassment is a privilege for scholars with established power and authority favoured in academia.
There is a wide body of literature about the experiences of scholars who identify as female, Indigenous or persons of colour who have dealt with online harassment due to their intersectional factors, academic rank, and/or personal and professional choices. In addition, some researchers studying subjects or working in fields that may be considered high-profile or controversial (e.g., feminist, critical race) may find themselves targeted by others who hold extreme or opposing views about their research. This type of harassment aims to marginalize, minimize, and silence these voices in the scholarly conversation, which affects scholars’ lives and the public’s access to scholarship (Hodson & Veletsianos, 2018).
The following questions and resources can help you navigate these challenges and your experiences with promoting yourself and your research online: