You may think that social networking is not for you. As the social media manager at Malvern, I know from experience that the proportion of the scientific community actively using social networks is lower than for many other occupation groups. If you do use those sites, you most likely see them as part of your personal life, strictly for keeping in touch with friends, and family, and people from college (who incidently you might avoid if you saw them on the street). But wait, don’t tar every network with the same brush! If you are looking for something that goes beyond selfies and focuses on serious science, take a look at ResearchGate.
This social network for scientists offers researchers an opportunity to “access scientific knowledge, and make your research visible.” Members of the network can upload links to their publications for others to find and download easily, and they can also connect and collaborate by crowdsourcing answers to questions from their peers and specialists in their field. ResearchGate, which was backed by Bill Gates, is reported to have almost 4 million members from all over the world. Tech.eu reported that the network’s CEO, Ijad Madisch, wanted to focus on the challenge of finding a way for scientists to collaborate more easily and disrupting the “arcane and inefficient system of communicating scientific results.”
41 of our scientists are registered on the site, sharing their publications and expertise with the rest of the community. You can check out their profiles and their publications by clicking on this link. What is most gratifying for our experts is to be able to use ResearchGate as a channel to offer help to those who have questions related to our technologies. For example, one of our blogging regulars Ulf Nobbmann has answered lots of questions about Dynamic Light Scattering, Zeta Potential, and Size Exclusion Chromatography on the network, with some of the questions even providing inspiration for posts on this blog.
Another really motivating factor for scientists who join ResearchGate is the ability to see stats on how many people have viewed and downloaded publications. For example, Neil Lewis, Malvern’s Chief Technology Officer who heads up our Bioscience Development Initiative, has 85 publications listed on the site, with 3,000 views and 2,674 downloads. For a company like ours, ResearchGate also provides a great indication of the content that resonates most with the scientific community – we obviously want to produce more of that to keep you guys happy and to stay relevant.
If you want to connect with our scientists, learn more about their research, ask a question, or just put a face to a name, I recommend that you take a look at our community on ResearchGate. You can also keep up to date with what we’re up to on other social networks, including Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and YouTube.