The paper Can LinkedIn and Academia.edu Enhance Access to Open Repositories? will be presented at OR2012 by Brian Kelly, University of Bath, and Jenny Delasalle, University of Warwick.
Kelly explains on his blog on ukwebfocus how he got the idea for the paper: "I found that I was author of 15 of the most downloaded papers in the repository from my department." And what the paper is about: "The paper explores [...] possible reasons for the high visibility of these papers [...] It occurred to me that my willingness to make use of researcher profiling services services such as Academia.edu, ResearcherID, Scopus, Researchergate, Mendeley, Microsoft Academic Search and Google Scholar Citations may have helped to enhance the visibility of my research papers which are hosted in the University of Bath repository."
The deployment of institutional repository services has focussed on the development of services for managing content within the organisation or by a trusted agency. At the same time we have seen developments to support management of the use of metadata to maximize access to content hosted in repositories. Related technical approaches, such as 'cool URIs' can also make content more discoverable by search engines such as Google. In parallel we are witnessing the increasing take-up of a range of third-party services such as LinkedIn and Academia which are being used by researchers to publish information related to their professional activities, including details of their research publications. The paper provides evidence which suggests that personal use of such services can increase the number of downloads by increasing SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) rankings through inbound links from highly ranked web sites. A survey of use of such services across Russell Group universities shows the popularity of a number of social media services. In the light of existing usage of these services this paper proposes that institutional encouragement of their use by researchers may generate increased accesses to institutional research publications at little cost to the institution. This paper concludes by describing further work which is planned in order to investigate the SEO characteristics of institutional repositories.