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There are many, many opportunities for researchers to share their research outside of the published literature. This page provides some information about a selection of more popular tools available. It is not an exhaustive list, and if you wish for information about something else, please email us and we will add it to the page.

Google Scholar Citations

Google Scholar Citations is a free service provided by Google which collates your work into one profile. The profile can be kept private or made public. The benefits of using Google Scholar Citations include a simple graphic to identify what your h-index is. The h-index was proposed in 2005 by J E Hirsch as a way to characterise the scientific output of a researcher. The indexd h is the number of papers with a citation number equal to or greater than h (so an h index of 10 means th author has 10 papers with at least 10 citations).

Some researchers, particularly in the Humanties and Arts find that Google Scholar Citations is better at finding their work than Symplectic. Note that sometimes works listed in Google Scholar Citations are simply citations to your publciations rather then the publications themselves. However there is a simple way to export your research output frm Google Scholar Citations into Symplectic, email us if you want a copy.


ResearchGate is a social networking tool for the research community. Once registered it will find material you have published online and send you emails to ask you if the work is yours and, if so, if you wish to upload it. ResearchGate does ask you to upload the actual article, rather than simply linking to an existing online version of the work. It does provide some information about what your publisher permits you to do with the version of the work you are using but there is no moderation and it is easy to make work available in contravention of the publisher's policies.

ResearchGate encourages the community to interact. When you register you can identify the areas you are interested in and ResearchGate will send you discussions that are ocurring and notify you of papers that have been uploaded in your field. You are also given information about your downloads and a score based on your level of participation. There does tend to be a science focus amongst ResearhGate community although people from all disciplines participate. ResearchGate will send you at least one email a week.

Another social media service for researchers is The mission of the organisation is to 'accelerate the world's research'. It is simply a platform for academics to share research papers. You will need an academic email stem to be able to create a profile. There are also services allowing researchers to monitor deep analytics around the impact of their research and track the research of academics they follow. Over 22 million academics have signed up.


Publons is a service which works with reviewers, publishers, universities, and funding agencies to turn peer review into a measurable research output. Specifically, they collect peer review information from reviewers and from publishers, and produce comprehensive reviewer profiles with publisher-verified peer review contributions that researchers can add to their resume. Reviewers control how each review is displayed on their profile (blind, open, or published), and can add both pre-publication reviews they do for journals and post-publication reviews of any article. Publons is completely free for academics.


ORCIDs are persistent digital identifiers that distinguish you from every other researcher. It is a unique identifier for researchers. Because ORCIDs are being adopted by various systems, such as repositories like and funders like the Wellcome Trust, it simplifies connecting a researcher's online presence.

The Office of Scholarly Communication has created the video 'Getting an ORCiD'. There is futher information about ORCID and instructions on how to link your ORCID to Symplectic on this Research Information page.


Altmetrics are simply 'alternative metrics'  - with an emphasis of measuring the indivdiual article rather than the journal in which it is published. The most developed tool in this area is Altmetric which measures how an article has been discussed in social media, the news and other fora. University of Cambridge staff have access to the Altmetric explorer including their own outputs’ scores (based on a Symplectic feed). The white paper 'Altmetrics and analystics for digital special collections and institutional repositories' provides some background about Altmetric.

The Conversation

The Conversation is an innovative publishing output - a collaboration between academics and editors to provide informed news analysis that is free to read and reuse. Articles are published daily. Potential authors must be associated with a university and are assisted through the writing process to help ensure their work is readable and accessible. Authors are also able to see their own dashboard, giving statistics about reader numbers. The value of The Conversation is the active and engaged readership and comments that follow the publication of an article.

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