Social networking is the latest buzz on the internet. You’ve heard about it, but what does it mean to you as a scientist? Well for one thing, it means that networking has never been easier. Here are five of the best social networking sites for scientists that are designed to help you make and maintain your professional contacts.
1. SciLink is a souped-up networking site that actually knows who a lot of your contacts will be before you even sign up. Uniquely, SciLink mines literature databases to build a network of professional relationships that you can slot into (and of course expand further) when you sign up. You can also find jobs, discussion, news etc on the site.
2. MyNetResearch is a powerful website for finding collaborators for your project. You set up your own account/profile and build a network of contacts as with the other social networks but MyNetResearch is designed to help you find people who work in the areas you are interested in (or interested in expanding into) and arrange collaborations with them.
3. The Nature Network. As you might expect, this is the grand-daddy of science social networks. Not only can you set up a contact network, but you can also browse niche-specific forums and groups, start your own blog, and much more.
4. LinkedIn is a site professional networking site for all professions. Unlike the science-specific networking sites,your LinkIn contact list can contain contacts who are not scientists, which is useful if you actually know people in the real world too 🙂 and it has a more professional atmosphere than Facebook so people of all ages are more likely to join up.
5. Labmeeting primarily allows you to archive, track and share your literature. From your account you can search for papers of interest and upload the PDFs to your account for later retreival. You can also set up streams to keep you informed of the latest publications in your fields of interest, which you can then add to your archive. However, you can also set up a group area to share papers and talk about your interests, and to schedule events, such as lab meetings.
What social networking sites do you use?