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Research Guides

Research Impact & Researcher Identity

Academic Social Networks

Academic Social Networks (ASNs) are similar to social networking sites, but designed for the academic community. These online platforms allow you to develop a profile and connect with other researchers, while also allowing you to share academic related content. These tools are typically free to use. The most attractive feature of these sites is their offer of a user-friendly way to present your research articles and other scholarly outputs to your colleagues and scholarly communities worldwide.

However, if you are looking to preserve and make your scholarly output discoverable in a trusted, non-commercial space, an institutional or subject repository may be a better fit. TSpace is a free and secure research repository established by University of Toronto Libraries to disseminate and preserve the scholarly record of University of Toronto. Read more and start depositing your research today!

Common Academic Social Networks

The following are examples of academic social networks. It is important to note that while you have the ability to upload your research to these platforms, they are not considered repositories and are not compliant with the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy. 


ResearchGate is a commercial social networking site for researchers. A researcher is able to create a profile, share papers, engage in discussion, and find collaborators. Some metrics exclusive to this platform are also available. is a commercial social networking site for researchers. A researcher can create a profile, upload their work, and select areas of interest to find networks of users with similar interests. Analytics related to engagement with uploaded research is available.


You may already be familiar with Mendeley as a reference manager, but it acts as an academic social network. You can develop a profile, share research papers, and connect with researchers. Mendeley was acquired by Elsevier in 2013.