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Competitive exposure and existential recognition: Visibility and legitimacy on academic social networking sites
University of Borås, Faculty of Librarianship, Information, Education and IT. Department of Arts and Cultural Sciences, Lund University , Lund SE-221 00, Sweden;Swedish School of Library and Information Science, University of Borås , Borås SE-501 90, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5572-8566
University of Borås, Faculty of Librarianship, Information, Education and IT. Swedish School of Library and Information Science, University of Borås , Borås SE-501 90, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1504-8395
2022 (English)In: Research Evaluation, ISSN 0958-2029, E-ISSN 1471-5449, Vol. 31, no 4, p. 429-437Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Over the past decade, academic social networking sites, such as ResearchGate and Academia.edu, have become a common tool in academia for accessing publications and displaying metrics for research evaluation and self-monitoring. In this conceptual article, we discuss how these academic social networking sites, as devices of evaluation that build on both traditional values, objects, and metrics in academic publishing and on social media logics and algorithmic metrics, come to fulfil a need in the current academic (publishing) ecosystem. We approach this issue by identifying key affordances that arise in the interaction between platform and user. We then position these affordances in relation to potential needs of academics in today’s publishing landscape by drawing on Hafermalz’s metaphor of the ‘fear of exile’, which provides an alternative way of understanding the importance of visibility in the networked world, as a combination of competitive exposure and existential recognition. We end by considering the grounds on which the platforms may be attributed some level of legitimacy. This is done in order to understand the inherent contradiction between the broad use of the platforms and the fact that their integrity has been questioned repeatedly. We seek an answer to a legitimacy for the platforms in the fact that a pragmatic, mutual benefit exists between them and the research community; a benefit that is enhanced by the audit society influencing current academia. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford University Press, 2022. Vol. 31, no 4, p. 429-437
National Category
Information Studies
Research subject
Library and Information Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-29553DOI: 10.1093/reseval/rvab043ISI: 000937335800002Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85149910076OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hb-29553DiVA, id: diva2:1744970
Available from: 2023-03-21 Created: 2023-03-21 Last updated: 2024-02-01Bibliographically approved

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Francke, HelenaHammarfelt, Björn

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