epernicus: the linkedin for scientist

April 15, 2009 at 7:58 am | | science community, wild web

I’ve been waiting for a LinkedIn for scientists. I’ve finally found one: Epernicus. It’s professional, clean, easy, and standardized. Most importantly, Epernicus recognizes that the scientific community already has a concrete network, which is defined by professor-student, coauthor, and colleague relationships. The site has a “geneology” feature and automatically connects you to your coauthors.

Epernicus profiles are focused on scientific network, research skills and background, and papers. This is what the LinkedIn for scientist should look like. (It’s not perfect: I don’t think there’s enough emphasis on finding and sharing articles. See my idea below.)

Of course, there are many versions of online networks for scientist. Here is a sampling of the ones I’ve found: Labmeeting, Nature Network, Research Gate, Sciorbis, Mendeley, Scientific Commons, Scilink, CiteULike, ACS Member Network, 2Collab, Graduate Junction, and the list goes on. None of these I’ve tested really hit the nail on the head. They all have their own cool features, but they either neglect some essential aspect or are just too clunky to use like I want to use it (i.e. like I use LinkedIn or Facebook).

For instance, I use CiteULike to organize interesting articles, and the site does a good job of linking you to similar readers. But the networking is limited on the site. If CiteULike and Epernicus connected, they could make an awesome site! Just imagine: when your former labmate or coauthor reads a paper, it shows up in a list of papers you might want to read. Articles could be weighted by many factors based on your reading habits, interests, and network, giving you a prioritized list of relevant papers. Data about articles and reading habits could be mined from CiteULike, while geneology and network information are inherent in Epernicus. The way we read papers is bound to change dramatically someday, and Epernicus + CiteULike should tackle that paradigm shift today.

Anyway, if you’re on Epernicus, feel free to connect with me here.


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  1. Another online organizing site that is pretty good is Connotea (www.connotea.com). It’s Nature’s version of CiteULike so it’s primarily used by biologists, but it’s clean and easy to use as well.

    Comment by Noel — April 15, 2009 #

  2. yes, that’s right. i much prefer CUL, though.

    Comment by sam — April 15, 2009 #

  3. just joined :)

    Comment by psi*psi — April 15, 2009 #

  4. Hi!

    Thanks for your article highlighting different sites that are addressing the important problem of helping scientists collaborate effectively. I am the co-founder of a start-up, Quartzy (https://www.quartzy.com) that tackles a related problem.

    On Quartzy, scientists can manage and maintain their reagent and chemical inventories online and share/network their inventories with their lab-mates. They can also send orders to their lab-manager with a few clicks and lab-managers can respond to orders from all lab-mates in a convenient fashion.

    Quartzy allows scientists to find things quickly in their lab, save time while ordering, avoid duplicate orders and more. We also have similar functionality for managing shared facilities and protocols.

    There is nothing to install since the software is all online. Quartzy has been active for more than a year and has thousands of scientists using the site to manage their labs!

    Comment by Adam — October 2, 2010 #

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