Janneke Adema will present on "Academia.edu & Self-Branding: The Commodification of Scholarly Networks"

Event Date: 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017 - 9:30am

Event Location: 

  • Library Room 1312

The growing membership of for-profit academic networks such as Academia.edu and ResearchGate has gone hand in hand with an increasing use of metrics in scholarly communication and the development of audit cultures in academia. As scholars we are more and more required to use these websites to promote our work and to establish ourselves as brands. However, these platforms are increasingly supported by business models that sell access to the data we produce there in order to provide profits for the venture capitalist backing these ‘free to use’ platforms. This talk will provide an overview of the many problems these kinds of platforms and the overarching trend towards metricisation and self-branding pose to the future of academia. It will discuss how they create inequalities in access to the conversations around our publications and how the system of neoliberal subjectification they help to support runs the risk of promoting academic conservatism. Yet most importantly perhaps, this talk will explore how the all-round measurements that support a quantified academia create major issues around privacy and surveillance. This talk will end with a call to action and a discussion of various projects and grassroots initiatives, from Humanities Commons and Domain of One’s Own to the growing collective of scholar-led radical open access presses—all keen to promote a more ethical publishing system based on promoting connections, control and governance in a not-for-profit environment.

Janneke Adema is a fellow at the Center For Disruptive Media, Coventry University. Her research focuses on the material-discursive practices of scholarly research and communication. In her work, she critically analyzes alternative models of scholarly communication, such as Open Access publishing, and living, liquid and remixed books, publishing experiments that try to challenge ideas of authorship, the fixed text, copyright and originality, as well as the system of material production surrounding the book.

This talk is co-sponsored with UCSB's Graduate Division, Interdisciplinary Humanities Center, and CITS.