UK Web Focus (Brian Kelly)

Innovation and best practices for the Web

Profiling Staff and Researcher Use of Cloud Services Across Russell Group Universities

Posted by Brian Kelly on 5 Mar 2012

Personal Benefits of Maximising Inbound Links to Research Papers

A recent post on this blog which described How Researchers Can Use Inbound Linking Strategies to Enhance Access to Their Papers reviewed personal experiences of the benefits of making use of third party services to provide inbound links to research publications.

In the post I suggested that the large numbers of downloads of my papers from the University of Bath institutional repository may be due to the enhanced Google juice provided by having links to my papers from such services. The purpose of the post was to suggest that researchers may benefit from increased access to their research publications if they are pro-active in using such services. My speculations may, of course, be incorrect; the downloads may be due to the quality of the papers rather than the numbers of in-bound links, for example :-). In addition, downloads themselves are not, of course an indication of quality. However since the papers, which have been through some form of peer-reviewing, will not have any influence if they are never read, I am happy to regard such approaches as helping to enhance the numbers of people reading the papers which may, or may not, lead to some form of subsequent ‘impact’.  Note that the slideshow on “Metrics: The New Black?” by Kristen Fisher Ratan which are available on Slideshare explores such considerations in more detail.

Profiling Institutional Use of Such Services

I recently came across the Libresearch blog which is provided by Jenny DelaSalle who, on her @JennyDelasalle Twitter profile describes herself as a “Research support Librarian: interested in bibliometrics, copyright, scholarly communications, and all sorts!”  I read her posts on topics including Webometrics and altmetrics: digital world measurementsWarwick people on external profile sites and 1,670 Warwick people on In the latter two posts she documented evidence of take-up of a number of third party services by researchers at the University of Warwick. Her post included a reference to one of my posts which profiled Russell Group university use of Google Scholar Citations. I am now able to build on Jenny’s work by using some of the survey methodology techniques she has helpfully documented in her blog to document evidence of take-up across the twenty Russell group university of popular third party service which provide links to research publications.

Having read the post on Warwick people on external profile sites it occurred to me that such institutional profiling work would benefit from being seen in a wider context. I therefore used the methodologies documented by Jenny in her blog post to gather similar information across the twenty Russell Group universities.

The findings are given in the following table. Note that the data for the Academia, LinkedIn and ResearcherID was collected on 1 March 2012 and the data for Google Scholar Citations on 3 March 2012.

Ref. No. Institution  Academia LinkedIn LinkedIn ResearcherID Google Scholar
(Followers) (Current)
1 University of Birmingham   1,473   4,161   2,855      77 77
2 University of Bristol   1,603   3,687   3,167     231 55
3 University of Cambridge   5,287   7,371   6,919     400 83
4 Cardiff University   1,456   3,558   3,087     442 38
5 University of Edinburgh   3,341   5,947   5,536     241 75
6 University of Glasgow   1,572   3,147   3,646       27  70
7 Imperial College   1,383   7,615   6,306     399  78
8 King’s College London   2,182   5,078       25      64  35
9 University of Leeds   2,706    5,251   5,954    198  39
10 University of Liverpool   1,292   3,325   4,330    148  26
11 London School of Economics   1,909    6,907   1,914      36  37
12 University of Manchester   3,603    6,517   7,425     278  74
13 Newcastle University   1,509    3,583   3,001     173   94
14 University of Nottingham   2,022    5,107   6,010     315   52
15 University of Oxford   6,723    7,771   8,751     346 128
16 Queen’s University Belfast   1,100    1,978   5   1,989       88   24
17 University of Sheffield   1,701    4,171   5,269      255   36
18 University of Southampton   1,738    4,176   4,642      255   52
19 University College London   4,587    9,034   6,334      673  160
20 University of Warwick   1,770    3,667   2,855     199    34
TOTAL 48,957 102,051  88,03190,015  5,599 1,267


As described in an article on Using LinkedIn For SEO:

Your profile can be an excellent source of SEO friendly links because:

    • LinkedIn has great authority in Google
    • Your website links can be given unique anchor text with the dofollow attribute
    • Your LinkedIn profile can have highly relevant content relative to the websites you own

It might be reasonable to assuming the use of the LinkedIn service comes mainly from staff and research students. In light of the popularity of the service might be find that encouraging researchers to provide links to copies of their papers hosted in their institutional repository will provide benefits not only for the individual researcher, but for the repository service itself, though the increased numbers of inbound links?

The DirectionsSEO site provides information on 5 Inbound Link Analysis Tools which may help to provide evidence of the value of inbound links. Initial experimentation with the service suggests, however, that has the highest SEO ranking of domains linking to the University of Bath Opus repository service. But before concluding that researchers should be blogging about their research publications on the platform  I’d welcome feedback on the suggestion that the next stage for maximising access to research publication should be based on inbound linking strategies rather than further developments to institutional services.

Paradata:   As described in  a post on Paradata for Online Surveys blog posts which contain live links to data will include a summary of the survey environment in order to help ensure that survey findings are reproducible, with information on potentially misleading information being highlighted.

The data for the AcademiaLinkedIn and ResearcherID was collected on 1 March 2012 and the data for Google Scholar Citations on 3 March 2012.

The values for Google Scholar Citation for the universities of Birmingham and Newcastle include ‘UK’ in the search field in order to avoid including information from US and Australian universities with the same name.

It should also be noted that I was logged into the services when I gathered the information.

It should also be noted that the low values for LinkedIn followers for King’s College London and Queen’s University Belfast are felt to be due to the apostrophe used in the institution’s names. For example of search (carried out on 6 March 2012) on LinkedIn for King’s College London gives 3,418 hits but a search for Kings College London gives 294 hits.

6 Responses to “Profiling Staff and Researcher Use of Cloud Services Across Russell Group Universities”

  1. […] background-position: 50% 0px; background-color:#020646; background-repeat : no-repeat; } – Today, 8:09 […]

  2. […] if they are pro-active in using such services. source: Brian Kelly (UK Web Focus) on 5 March 2012Via Like this:LikeBe the first to like this […]

  3. […] background-position: 50% 0px; background-color:#222222; background-repeat : no-repeat; } – Today, 1:16 […]

  4. […] Profiling Staff and Researcher Use of Cloud Services Across Russell Group Universities […]

  5. […] Access to Open Repositories?. These widely used services provide low friction, as can be seen from the survey of their usage across the Russell Group universities. But repository managers do not appear to encouraging their use in a systematic way. Ironically […]

  6. […] in March 2012 in a post on Profiling Staff and Researcher Use of Cloud Services Across Russell Group Universities I summarised usage of, LinkedIn, ResearcherID and Google Scholar […]

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