While comparing researchers’ participation in Academia.edu and ResearchGate to one institution’s institutional repository, it became clear that not only were the academic social networks more popular places for faculty to deposit their research, but that many illegitimate ‘researchers’ were claiming affiliation with the institution. Fake names, fake departments, and empty profiles all muddy the institutional output of any given university. Implications that this could have on a researcher or an institution are theorized, along with an analysis of the numbers regarding who is using academic social networks compared to the institutional repository. Ideas are provided for increasing participation in institutional repositories, and questions are raised regarding the utility and longevity of academic social networks.
Librarian, Library, University of Lethbridge, Canada
I am an academic librarian at the University of Lethbridge. I liaise with the business school, the school of liberal education, and the departments of economics, agricultural studies, and political science. I am involved with instruction, reference, collections, and research services. Former publishing includes scholarly communication, information literacy, marketing in libraries, and collections analysis.