Saturday, August 30, 2008

Facebook for Academics

Richard Price, a philosopher at All Souls College, Oxford, has just launched Academia, a social networking-type site for academics. The site aims to display every academic in the world - from graduate students to emeritus professors - in a tree-like structure of universities, colleges, departments and so on. The idea is for each academic to create a personal page on the site (here's mine, here's my supervisor's), which then lists her research interests, websites, papers, conference presentations, and so on. There is also the equivalent of Facebook's "friending": you can add someone as a "contact", which, like Facebook, then sends that person an email to confirm the connection. All this information is then browseable via the above mentioned tree, which displays how people are connected to their departments and colleagues. It's a bit hard to explain so have a look at UKZN's slot on the tree.

By the way... I haven't yet mentioned Academic Blogs, a wiki for listing academic blogs and thus a great way to find serious reading material. Ionian Enchantment is listed under Neuroscience / Cognitive Science and even has its own page.


  1. Dude, where the hell do you find out about these things?

  2. David forwarded an email with the details...

  3. Hey Michael,

    if you are interested in academic social networks and academic tools - have a look at Mendeley ( (I'm one of the co-founders of Mendeley.)

    Mendeley Desktop is a free cross-platform (Windows, Mac, Linux) software for managing, sharing and tagging research papers, which can then be backed up to Mendeley Web (you can then also access this data from everywhere). Based on the users’ paper collections, Mendeley Web anonymously aggregates research statistics and also offers a social network for like-minded researchers and academics.

    In the future, we hope to build a large and open semantic database of research papers, sort of like a “ for research”.

    We just launched into public beta and are also working with some of the people who co-founded ( and Skype. Some more background information is available on our blog (

    Take care

  4. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


  5. Thanks William... I hope you keep reading!