Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 33, No. 737. Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London Hosted by King's Digital Lab www.dhhumanist.org Submit to: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: 2020-04-06 11:07:20+00:00 From: Tim Smithers
Subject: Re: [Humanist] 33.733: on using academia.edu & Humanities Commons Dear Jim, Thank you for your response to my previous post. First, given some other posts on this topic, I thought to say I work as a freelance and have no access to things like University servers etc. I pay for Email services, because the quality of these matter to me. I don't pay for my Academia account. Essentially, my use is parasitic, made possible because Academia offers some functionality that is useful to me, without demanding payment. (It does pester me with un-useful messages and special offers, and clearly does lots of un-consented tracking to do this. These messages get junked by a filter I have set in my Email app.) To respond, you say. "The Academia website allows you to see who your readers are ..." Does it? This is the point I was trying to make. I have a different notion of what a reader is, and I don't think Academia, like other similar website, tells me anything very much about what I count as readers. You get more data from your Academia account than I do because you pay, as far as I can tell. My free account does not identify the login that accessed any of my PDFs, nor tell me how many pages it counts a "reader to have read," and it doesn't it tell me if the "reader" downloaded a PDF. (It does tell me how many times each of my PDFs has been downloaded, if I look.) But, frankly, I wouldn't use these numbers as any kind of indication that a real person has done any actual reading of one of my PDFs. I certainly don't take it that just because a PDF has been downloaded, it has been read by someone. Academia only counts things, and things it is easy to count. It does nothing to check that someone has actually done any real reading, online, or of a downloaded PDF. The idea that the things Academia tells you indicates real readers and actual reading is, to me, one of its manipulations. It is this taking of easily acquired numbers to be evidence of real people doing real reading that I am trying to point to as reducing the humanness in this business. It's not the not knowing who readers are that drains the humanness, it's the taking of numbers of easily counted things to be real readers and real reading that does this. I do know who are real readers of my PDFs, they tell me. I just don't know all of them, they don't all tell me. Only a very few do. Do you think when Academia tells you "someone read 10 pages" of what is a 35 page publication, say, any reading of any real consequence went on? What Academia counts, as far as I can tell, is the number of different pages displayed. I don't count this as reading. Nor, as far as I can tell, does Academia do much, if anything, to check that it is a real person who accesses the PDFs it keeps. (Perhaps someone else here can say more on this?) I'm not against Academia.edu. I just would not spend money on it. I don't think what it counts tells me things it is useful to know. It, and other website like it, does tend to turn the communication of research and scholarship into a numbers game, and I don't like this. This drains humanness, I think. And it tends to give the wrong impression to new researchers of what is important in research communication, in my experience. This is just how I see it. Best regards, Tim Tim Smithers Independent Research Practitioner TSRi: teaching and strengthening research Donostia / San Sebastián The Basque Country > On 06 Apr 2020, at 10:09, Humanist wrote: > > Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 33, No. 733. > Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London > Hosted by King's Digital Lab > www.dhhumanist.org > Submit to: email@example.com > > >  From: Jim Rovira > Subject: Re: [Humanist] 33.730: on using academia.edu & Humanities Commons (22) > > > -------------------------------------------------------------------------- > Date: 2020-04-05 18:11:33+00:00 > From: Jim Rovira > Subject: Re: [Humanist] 33.730: on using academia.edu & Humanities Commons > > Tim - > > The Academia website allows you to see who your readers are, but I don't > quite understand your line of reasoning, especially when you think not > knowing who your readers are somehow drains the process of its "humanness." > The fact is no author has ever known who their readers were at any time in > history unless the reader happened to write to or about the author. > Academia actually shows you who your readers how and how much of your work > their read by page count, or if they downloaded your paper. That's > remarkable. > > Your question about knowing who your readers are seems more important to > activities like tenure review, where you want to be able to show that your > readers are people in your field. Again, the Academia website allows you to > collect far more data than any other method. Otherwise, you're just relying > on numbers of citations, not numbers of readers. > > It's a good site that provides a valuable service. I'm not saying it's > without flaws, but it has far more benefits. > > Jim R > _______________________________________________ Unsubscribe at: http://dhhumanist.org/Restricted List posts to: firstname.lastname@example.org List info and archives at at: http://dhhumanist.org Listmember interface at: http://dhhumanist.org/Restricted/ Subscribe at: http://dhhumanist.org/membership_form.php
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