August 14, 2014

Online collaboration: Scientists and the social network

By Miguel Valdez Soto

Giant academic social networks have taken off to a degree that no one expected even a few years ago. A Nature survey explores why.

In 2011, Emmanuel Nnaemeka Nnadi needed help to sequence some drug-resistant fungal pathogens. A PhD student studying microbiology in Nigeria, he did not have the expertise and equipment he needed. So he turned to ResearchGate, a free social-networking site for academics, and fired off a few e-mails. When he got a reply from Italian geneticist Orazio Romeo, an inter­national collaboration was born. Over the past three years, the two scientists have worked together on fungal infections in Africa, with Nnadi, now at Plateau State University in Bokkos, shipping his samples to Romeo at the University of Messina for analysis. “It has been a fruitful relationship,” says Nnadi — and they have never even met.

Tags: africa, collaboration, Community Engaged Research, Community Engagement,, Research, Research awarnes and dissemination, social-networking, survey, university

I read on Newspaper that there is 480 social science, arts and humanities researchers included in Nature’s survey, It usage of the two sites was more closely matched.
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