What is the best social network for researchers and scientists to share publications, exchange experiences and discuss? Which platform has great experience and good outreach?



@gerald_leppert On the Fediverse, the instance would probably be the best fit.


I don't know if there's something more apt outside the Fediverse: certainly not Twitter.

@mpjgregoire @gerald_leppert @socrates

I don't have the discussion at hand, and as much as I hate to say it, it was between #scholars who joined #fediverse on the recent #ElonExodus saying that fedi is nice for casual friends networks but they can't do without #Birdsite :birdsite: for their professional scholarly activities and reaching colleagues.

But @VictorVenema may be best able to answer your question. Together we maintain #delightful #OpenScience curated list.

@humanetech Maybe it is my field of study, but my impression is that there are more scientists on ResearchGate than on Twitter.

Mastodon can do anything Twitter can. The difference is the number of people there, which is really important for science as it is so highly specialized. So you need a large group to at least have some people to talk to.

Climate scientists probably prefer Twitter because that is were the journalists and misinformation is.

@mpjgregoire @gerald_leppert @socrates

Twitter has its faults and its strengths, but I would think that its principal failing for scientific communication is the shortness of its posts. 280 characters is very little in which to say anything scientifically accurate.

@humanetech @gerald_leppert

@humanetech @mpjgregoire @gerald_leppert @socrates @VictorVenema

I think Friendica has a bridge that allows you to connect to your Twitter account and manage it from within Friendica itself. I'm not sure how well it works now, I think @tio uses it so he might be able to give us more info.

@futureisfoss @humanetech @VictorVenema @mpjgregoire @gerald_leppert @socrates Yes. It depends if the Friendica instance has it set up. We do, and works well. Here if anyone is interested - you can directly connect to any twitter account via your own.

In the responses, there seem to be 2 approaches to a social network for researchers:

• Use a big network (you mentioned ResearchGate but not GoogleScholar, AcademiaEdu... ?)
The idea of ResearchGate is compelling. Its focus is on publications (with infos, fulltext, citations, & cited by), the link to the researcher's profile and possibility to follow.

• AND/OR use federated services to get similar features (see 2nd post).

@tio @futureisfoss @humanetech @VictorVenema @mpjgregoire @socrates

@gerald_leppert @tio @futureisfoss @humanetech @VictorVenema

Could we please remove from replies? Socrates is the right person to discuss, but he's shown no sign that he wants to participate in the general discussion.

(2nd post) ...AND/OR use federated services to get similar features:
• Networking via research-focused instance Mastodon/Friendica

A Bio page
B List of publications
C Coauthors
D Citations (your work cited in...)
E Recommend new articles

Scholia (A,B,C,D, etc.):
Zotero (B):
OpenCitations (D)

@tio @futureisfoss @humanetech @VictorVenema @mpjgregoire @socrates

@gerald_leppert Yes, citations would also be good. My preference would be a federated system. I did not know whether your question was about the future or present.

I do not know Friendica well, but I would prefer @bonfire over Mastodon. Mastodon is nearly impossible to extend, while Bonfire is more like a library.

Is GoogleScholar more than a search engine and Scholia? I had not seen it as a social network. 1/2

@tio @futureisfoss @humanetech @mpjgregoire @socrates


My impression is that AcademiaEdu is focused on collaborative research. Another set of functions that could be interesting for such a social network.

Then it can become a large job; although, also here, there is already a lot there. 2/2

@tio @futureisfoss @humanetech @mpjgregoire @socrates

@VictorVenema @gerald_leppert @tio @futureisfoss @humanetech @mpjgregoire @socrates would be wonderful to have a federated social media software like Masto or Bonfire or whatever, extended so it makes the most out of existing science-related open platforms, dragging the data into the profile thanks to the available APIs. ORCiD is the obvious first one, to have some kind of CV / list of publications integrated into the profile, but others might make sense as well (Zenodo, OSF, Zotero, etc.)

@stragu @VictorVenema @gerald_leppert @tio @futureisfoss @humanetech @mpjgregoire @socrates one of the goals of #SolidProject is to make one protocol by which all linked data can talk to each other, so you could say "so i the mastodon person here am the same person as this author on this citation graph website" and a smart client could male good use of the combined data from all the linked sources

@gerald_leppert I use the big ones: RG, Google Scholar, Twitter and Although I find them useful, I don't feel at ease using them. Especially can be really annoying.

Academic mastodon instances are really great, I think. I've met great people here. Some time ago, I had the idea to set up an academic focus Lemmy instance. I might consider working on this in the near future.

Nice that you mentioned Scholia. I think it's a project with high potential.

@jorge @gerald_leppert

To me, a simple forum (or a modern one like discourse) or a Q&A stackexchange like site on a specific topic would be the best approach.

This would be something like reddit/stackexchange. But also, I would remove all the gamification, likes, karma and most of the social stuff. Could all social stuff drive to ego centric interactions instead of real and constructive discussions?

What do you think?

@pybonacci @jorge @gerald_leppert the thing is, it needs a lot of moderation to be high-quality. Stackexchange is so good because it has outsourced the moderation to the users via the gamification. It wouln't function without the anti-feature of thresholds and points that trick the user into doing work for them.

@coldwave @pybonacci @gerald_leppert that's true but some other moderation approach might work. I think though that reddit's/lemmy's voting system is actually good idea.

@jorge If you ever get to it, I would be interested in moving the OpenScienceFeed to such a Lemmy instance.


@gerald_leppert I've wondered the same. I've been trying to make some progress on too so if there are any idea's you had about how you like to exchange ideas and discuss I'd love to hear about them.

@blainsmith Thanks. Do you have any documentation or concrete plans for Will it support ActivityPub?

Generally, it would be favorable, if allows authors to claim (or upload) own papers and to have author profiles. Discussions on the paper or related topics sound good. Showing citations (how often was it cited in other papers and where) (maybe via OpenCitations) was nice. Maybe it can link with the efforts on @GrassrootsReview by @VictorVenema and many more ideas...

@gerald_leppert @GrassrootsReview @VictorVenema Nothing completely set in stone yet, but my initial design idea for this was to allow readers of papers post a link and supply their own summary of the paper. Once they do that they gain access to others' reviews of the same paper. This was not only foster discussion, but also have folks provide their own view first. I also wanted this to not be limited to CS sources, but include any academic domain.

Attached is a very rough idea of a single paper

@gerald_leppert @GrassrootsReview @VictorVenema I've spent a lot of time reading/sharing thoughts about papers with co-workers and now even more since I started grad school. All of these discussions occuring in Slack/Discord and it would be nice to have those conversations public and grow a community around topics.

@gerald_leppert @GrassrootsReview @VictorVenema I do like the idea if "claiming" a paper so I will have to think about making that tamper-proof somehow. I will look into OpenCitations too since I would like to use as many open standards as possible.

@blainsmith One way for an author to claim a paper could be the email mentioned on the paper.

If it becomes a real social network and also the colleagues are on it, it would be extremely embarrassing to have a paper on your publication list that someone else wrote. I have (claimed) my papers on my own homepage without someone checking. Also Scholia (WikiCite) simply uses the information available in the WikiData database, which anyone can edit. So I guess false claims are rare.


@GrassrootsReview @gerald_leppert Yeah my initial thoughts on claims would be something like how does it. One way I plan to start safely is to limit accounts to .edu domains at first and open it up later after MVP.

@blainsmith .edu would limit the system to the USA. A few universities elsewhere tried to pretend to be US universities and got such a domain, but most do not.

An alternative way to avoid spam could be to ask people for their ORCHID ID. (Although as far as I know anyone can get such an ID, but it is an additional step and in case it is just to fight spam it may do.)


@GrassrootsReview @gerald_leppert Yeah I knew limiting to .edu would be US only, but for launch that was just easy to do. If the other ID helps then I can look into that as well.


Yes, I think ORCID (@GrassrootsReview is ORCHID the same?) makes sense (although I do not have any myself). More and more researchers have one and many journals require it. Here and example:

Here is an example in OpenCitations

Do you consider to enable the to federate via ActivityPub? Maybe, it is possible to reuse code from (a Reddit like service for the Fediverse).

@gerald_leppert Yes, ORCID. Pronounced as orchid.

I am a bit torn about the service. It is so well financed because it belongs to the surveillance publish-or-perish system. But it also helps find papers of colleagues and helps authors with common names or whose name changes.

So I have an ID, that way my papers are claimed in their database, but I keep it private until I know what to think of it. Many journals in my field require such an ID nowadays.


@GrassrootsReview @gerald_leppert This is good info. I want to keep the credibility on my project while opening it up to a much wider audience.

My wife is getting her MS in Applied Behavioral Analysis and she's also doing a lot of reading. That population is a lot less technical so I'd like this project to be inclusive of them too. She wants to work with autistic folks. Her, our 8 year old son, and myself are all autistic so offering a stable service to other research is important to me.

@GrassrootsReview @gerald_leppert I'd be happy to move this discussion somewhere else too so it's more collaborative.

@blainsmith You can mail me at

Also always happy to have a chat, but next week I have a conference and this week is thus busy.

You can find a prototype system I am working on at

ReimagineReview has an extensive collection of peer review systems, which would ideally all exchange review reports.

@blainsmith That looks nice. You may be interested in the Self Journal of Science. That is a similar idea.

It would be great to have a common standard to share all these peer review report from by now easily a dozen review system. My preference would naturally be something based on AP.


@VictorVenema @gerald_leppert Thanks. It's still very early stages, but I'll also see if I can roll this into some research project for grad school credit too. 🤷

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