Researchers Hip-Up to Social Networking

Friday, November 7, 2008

PHILADELPHIA (November 7, 2008) – An online community for researchers is gaining attention in academia. MyNetResearch, launched in June 2008, has quickly become the premier online portal for faculty and student academic research. Claire Simmers, Ph.D., professor of management at Saint Joseph’s University, is involved in the project.

In just four months the networking environment has attracted over 19 universities, including Saint Joseph’s. Additionally, there are 3,000 researchers from 95 companies worldwide, with more signing up daily. Local universities registered with the service include Rider University (N.J.), Robert Morris University (Pa.), Marywood University (Pa.), Lincoln University (Pa.), Drexel University (Pa.) and Rowan University (N.J.).

“It’s like Facebook for researchers,” stated Simmers of the site. “MyNetResearch has taken the concept of social networking sites and modified it for academia and corporate research projects.”

Simmers explained that traditional academic research involves working almost exclusively with close colleagues. However, many academic studies have shown that collaborative research is more productive.

“Prior to MyNetResearch, there were limited online opportunities for professors and students to connect, collaborate and coordinate globally,” said Simmers. “This fundamentally changes how research is conducted worldwide. It embodies a revolution in academic practice.”

Simmers explained some of the features include a search engine that finds professors based on criteria such as research interests and skills, academic rank, type of organization, etc. The project management function, a particular favorite of Simmers, allows sharing of documents, communications functions and storage for multiple projects. Other tools include surveys, blogs, forums, messaging, chat, and posted articles where knowledge can be freely exchanged.

“Once researchers connect, they can collaborate on a range of projects including academic papers, presentations, grant proposals and product development,” she said.

Regular membership to MyNetResearch is free, allowing full collaboration, but some tools are limited. Site licenses and premium individual membership options are also available, giving access to all website features. Premium membership can be purchased by researchers, giving access to all website features. MyNetResaerch also offers a Doctoral Award Competition for users; winners receive a $1,000 research stipend and credit for one year of premium membership to the organization.

For more information, visit www.mynetresearch.com.  

Media Contact

Carolyn Steigleman, Associate Director of University Communications, 610-660-1355, csteigle@sju.edu




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