Digital Presence of Norwegian Scholars on Academic Network Sites--Where and Who Are They?

PLoS One. 2015 Nov 13;10(11):e0142709. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0142709. eCollection 2015.


The use of academic profiling sites is becoming more common, and emerging technologies boost researchers' visibility and exchange of ideas. In our study we compared profiles at five different profiling sites. These five sites are ResearchGate,, Google Scholar Citations, ResearcherID and ORCID. The data set is enriched by demographic information including age, gender, position and affiliation, which are provided by the national CRIS-system in Norway. We find that approximately 37% of researchers at the University of Bergen have at least one profile, the prevalence being highest (> 40%) for members at the Faculty of Psychology and the Faculty of Social Sciences. Across all disciplines, ResearchGate is the most widely used platform. However, within Faculty of Humanities, is the preferred one. Researchers are reluctant to maintain multiple profiles, and there is little overlap between different services. Age turns out to be a poor indicator for presence in the investigated profiling sites, women are underrepresented and professors together with PhD students are the most likely profile holders. We next investigated the correlation between bibliometric measures, such as publications and citations, and user activities, such as downloads and followers. We find different bibliometric indicators to correlate strongly within individual platforms and across platforms. There is however less agreement between the traditional bibliometric and social activity indicators.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bibliometrics*
  • Biomedical Research / trends*
  • Databases, Bibliographic
  • Faculty, Medical
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Norway
  • Publications*
  • Research Personnel*
  • Universities

Grants and funding

These authors have no support or funding to report.