Researchers’ Uses & Perceptions of Academic Social Networking Sites Online Survey

Dear Invitee,
My name is Lingyan Yan. I am a doctoral student at the school of Information Management, Whuhan University, China.
As part of my doctoral research, I would like to invite you to take part in this study. My research will look at how academics perceive their academic social networking sites(ASNS),what's the structure and the role of their ego-network . The first part of the study is a short online survey about your background and the ASNS you use. It should take less than five minutes to complete and will include a request for participants in a follow-up interview.

Following the survey responses, participants who indicate a willingness to take part in further research activities will be invited to collect data in order to visualise their online networks and take part in an online interview.

After the survey has finished, the data will be analysed and written up as part of my doctoral research and publications. Information such as discipline or job position may be included in reports but names and email addresses will not be disclosed at any point. As a participant you have the right to withdraw from the study completely at any point prior to the anonymisation of the data. In accordance with the Data Protection Act (1998), the primary data from the survey will be stored in secure electronic media only accessible by the researcher.
If you have any questions about the project, please contact Lingyan Yan at
If you agree with terms of the project as outlined above and are happy to take part in the survey, please indicate your agreement and launch the survey by clicking continue, below.
Part 1——Background
1. Your name(optional)
2. Your email address(optional)
3. Your current university(optional)
* 4. Which best describe your current position?
* 5. Which of the following best describes your fields of research?
* 6. How often do you use the following ASNS? If you do not have a profile, please select “N/A” for that particular site.
Most daysMost weeksMonthlyRarely(less than once a month)I create a profile at the site but have not used it sinceN/A
Personal Academic blog
* 7. Up to now, How many followers and following you have on your most used ASNS (please fill in the specific number) :
Followers :
Following :
Part 2 — Uses & perceptions of academic social networking sites
Thinking about your use of ASNS in general, please indicate the extent that you agree with the following statements. If you feel that you agree with a statement in relation to one site but not another (e.g. Researchgate but not Mendeley), please add a comment to describe this.
* 8. About the role of ASNS
Strongly disagreeDisagreeNeither agree nor disagreeAgreeStrongly agreeComments?(optional)
Developing my online identity is important to me as an academic
I see my profile as an online business card
I present my identity in different ways on different ASNS
I use ASNS to support my teaching activities
My online academic and personal identities are separated
I use my profile as a research journal
I don't think having a professional profile on an online network is very important
* 9. About ego network formation
Strongly disagreeDisagreeNeither agree nor disagreeAgreeStrongly agreeComments?(optional)
I follow people as a way of staying in touch with people I used to work with
I follow people who I would like to work with in the future
If someone follows me I follow them back
I only follow people who I know personally
* 10. About collaboration
Strongly disagreeDisagreeNeither agree nor disagreeAgreeStrongly agreeComments?(optional)
I use ASNS to discover peers working in my field of research
I actively interact with other academics via ASNS
I use ASNS to discover individuals outside my field of research
ASNS are a useful way to support working in collaboration with other researchers
ASNS help to attract collaborators
* 11. About dissemination
Strongly disagreeDisagreeNeither agree nor disagreeAgreeStrongly agreeComments?(optional)
I use ASNS to track metrics relating to interest in my work
ASNS are a good way of promoting my own academic publications
ASNS are useful to share authored content(e.g. papers,datasets,protocols)
I feel I should probably do more to promote my research using ASNS
* 12. About information gaining
Strongly disagreeDisagreeNeither agree nor disagreeAgreeStrongly agreeComments?(optional)
ASNS are a good way of finding out about new publications of interest
ASNS allow me to draw upon a wider community of expertise when I need help
Being able to ask questions of the online community is important
Viewing other researchers’ professional profiles on online networks is a useful way of determining what research I should be reading
* 13. About careers & funding
Strongly disagreeDisagreeNeither agree nor disagreeAgreeStrongly agreeComments?(optional)
ASNS are useful to raise your personal profile in the research community
ASNS are useful to raise the profile of your work in the research community
ASNS are useful to discover job opportunities
Having a profile will enhance my future career prospects
ASNS are useful to attracting future employers
ASNS are useful for attracting funding
14. If there are any particular benefits or functions of ASNS which are important to you but not list above, please describe them briefly here:(optional)
Part 3 – Future Participation

The next phase of my research will involve visualising the online networks of a sample of academics, and carrying out a co-interpretive interview with each participant to discuss the network structure and what it means to them.

If you would like to view an example of the type of network visualisations that would be involved, an visualisation of my own Researchgate network is shown in the following figure or :
Would you be willing to be contacted to take part in an interview in the future? If so, please enter you email address here (this will not be used for any other purposes or divulged by the researcher): (Optional)
Thank you for completing the survey, If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email me at Many thanks!