Have you heard about ResearchGate, a Professional Networking Site for Researchers?

When you think of large online professional networking sites, you probably consider LinkedIn and Google+. Are you aware that there is a valuable site for academic networking? It’s called ResearchGate.

ResearchGate is a free professional networking site for scientists and researchers founded in 2008 by medical doctors, Ijad Madisch and Sören Hofmayer, and computer scientist, Horst Fickenscher.  Madisch came up with the idea after he struggled to find an expert to consult concerning a problem he faced in his research. The site provides a platform for over 4 million members globally to share their data and research results. ResearchGate encourages sharing not only successful research results, but also failures. Madisch discussed in an interview  that much can be gained from exploring the reasons for failure and avoiding repeating the same mistake, but this opportunity is often missed because failures are typically not shared. The site also fosters discussion, consultation, and collaboration between researchers with similar interests and across disciplines. Dr. Daniel Salter from the Walden Center for Research Quality made this comment about ResearchGate, “One aspect of this site, which sets it apart from some of the similar ones, is the Q&A section.  RG members can subscribe to feeds in particular content areas, post questions to the community about research, and provide feedback and answers to questions posed by other scholars.”

ResearchGate members can upload a photo, create a profile based on research interests, expertise, and skills, and follow others’ research. The membership application requires that you use your institutional email address.  ResearchGate also has an extensive list of job postings for research related positions. You do not have to be a member to view the job postings at http://www.researchgate.net/jobs/

The Walden Career Services Center is a passionate advocate for building a strong professional network. Online professional networking provides an opportunity to exponentially increase your contact with other professionals, learn from others, and have an impact in your field. Check out ResearchGate.net at http://www.researchgate.net/aboutus.AboutUs.html

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Written by Career Services Advisor, Denise Pranke

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