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Create online profiles

Create profiles on sites that rank highly in search results. Here is a brief guide to some of these profiles and some suggestions for how researchers can use them effectively to enhance their online presence. If you're not going to use the profile regularly you may want to consider just filling in the bare minimum that's required and include a prominent link back to your main profile, e.g. your institutional profile or your blog. Read the Piirus Digital identity healthcheck for academics for further advice.

Twitter

Twitter is an online social networking service that enables users to send and read short 140-character messages called "tweets".

The London School of Economics has produced a useful guide called Using Twitter in university research, teaching and impact activities. A guide for academics and researchers which shows academics and researchers how to get the most out of Twitter. The Guide is designed to lead the novice through the basics of Twitter but also provide tips on how it can aid the teaching and research of the more experienced academic tweeter.

This presentation by Salma Patel suggests 10 ways researchers can use Twitter.

The Online Academic offers advice on forming a good Twitter bio.

Once you have a Twitter account you could join in the regular #phdchat, and tweet from conferences, and even collect and share what people are saying using Storify.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the world's largest professional network with more than 400 million members in 200 countries and territories around the globe. When you join LinkedIn, you get access to people, jobs, news, updates, and so on.

Get tips on how to improve your LinkedIn profile, including adding a headline, from jobs.ac.uk.

Google+

You can use Google+ to share links, videos, pictures, and other content with people who share your interests. And you can see what other people have shared in your stream.

Facebook

Facebook is a social networking site that works in a similar way to Google+.

Other profiles

The University's Office of Scholarly Communications recommends creating a profile in Google Scholar Citations, ResearchGate, and academia.edu.

Blogs

You can also create an online presence by creating your own blog. You can easily (and for free) create your own blog using Wordpress, for example. You can also pitch guest posts for other blogs. See the Piirus Digital identity healthcheck for academics for further advice.

The Guardian Higher Education Network offers tips on blogging for academics.

Unique author identifiers

These will also enhance your research profile by making it easier to find you online. Please visit our Unique author identifiers web page for more information.

Analytics tools

You can monitor and analyse how your online profile is being used: