Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Academia.edu problems

I am unable to upload the new published version of a paper to Academia.edu. They don't answer my email queries (after I spent a lot of time trying to find their email question system), so I don't know the source of the problem. Maybe it is their new page style, which I dislike. I uploaded a dummy paper just fine, but when I tried to "edit" it and change the attached file, it stalled, just as with my other paper.

The paper I was trying to post is:

Smith, Michael E.2015    How can Archaeologists Make Better Arguments? The SAA Archaeological Record 15 (4): 18-23.

I had a draft version posted. I managed to delete the file somehow (in preparation for uploading the published reprint), but when I try to upload the new file, the site does not respond. I've tried it from different computers, over the past week. Nothing doing. Is Academia.edu unaware of the problem, or do they know about it but just not bothering to tell anybody? Neither is an attractive possibility.

I stopped updating my home page a couple of months ago, mainly because Academia.edu was easier to use for posting. But I did put a copy of the argument paper on my home page.


Alison said...

You might want to try tweeting at them, they've responded to my tweet complaints quickly. @academia

Jason Baird Jackson said...

Dear Michael,

Why treat Academia.edu as your primary repository when you are fortunate to work at an institution that has a proper, librarian-managed institutional repository? I kind of get why some people find Academia.edu compelling as a quasi-social platform and it certainly provides some useful services (especially for those without a repository), but its just a commercial firm that can do what it wants, including go out of business. For those who really want to be on it, you can put content in a true repository (like the one at ASU) and then make a link available on an Academia.edu page. (I do it this way. You can look me up.) This way, I am placing an emphasis on supporting my repository and getting all the benefits that flow from this, while still being discoverable in Academia.edu (while it lasts).

Ryan Anderson and I discussed this in our OA piece in Cultural Anthropology (see also Social Science Research Network within it.)

You are very committed to better scholarly communication practices, thus I am actually interested in your take on your repository vis-a-vis services like Academia.edu.

Thanks for keeping going with your blog.

Jason Jackson

Michael E. Smith said...

@Jason - Good point. I am going with Academia.edu due to the sunk cost effects (the effort already invested, and the effort required to do something different). When I got started, there was not an adequate repository at ASU. Now there is one, but the interface is clunky. I like the idea of posting on ASU and linking from Academia, and I may make this a project in the coming year.

For every kind of social media I have tried, I have considered my participation exploratory and tentative. Sometimes I drop things (ResearchGate, or Twitter for a couple of years; not sure if I am going back to Twitter or not...). Academia.edu is getting familiar, but it is still tentative in my mind. I still see all this stuff as exploratory.

Jason Baird Jackson said...

Thanks for unpacking your choices a bit. From a longer than one lifetime point of view, I think getting your materials into the repository will pay off (for the research community, students, etc.). And with linking, you can still take advantage of Academia.edu (while it lasts). Good luck with your work!