Branding yourself – developing an online presence

Establishing an online presence is important because research is about sharing work and findings and because being known is important in research. This page provides links to resources and advice to ‘exist’ online.

Using digital tools to develop your research profile

The internet provides the opportunity to ‘brand yourself’ to the world. If you are not convinced check 8 reasons why online reputation building can give academics a competitive advantage.
You (and your work) need to be easily found on the internet. This requires developing an online space:
1.that tells the story about your research
2.that easily comes up internet searches

Many free online tools are available and you need to develop a strategy for using these tools. What tools do you focus on? What platform use:, ResearchGate, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google scholar, Google+? Micro blogging, in the form of short posts e.g. on Google + and Twitter seem to take over blogging.

If you use more than one account, you may need to think about how you will link up different accounts. Some services can almost automatically be linked together e.g. Google, and Linkedin


The most common free blogging and easy to use sites are:

A comparison between blogger and wordpress is available from 23 things for research – thing 2.

Blogs allow you to create your personal space, as well as to collect, publish and share information as you wish. Blogs are a great and easy place to start and can be useful for developing a Portfolio. They are also a great way to develop writing skills.

Check some of the blogs developed by PhD students on


Microblogging is online word of mouth. Common tools used:

Before starting, you really need to think about the purpose of your proposed blog or website. Don’t just create a blog, think about:

  • What it is you want to say on that blog?
  • Who you want to say it to (and what you need to think about to reach this audience)?
  • How much time you can spend on the blog?

If you are not careful the blog can become a great tool to procrastinate.


Dunleavy, P. (2014) Are you an academic hermit? Here’s how to easily change, if you want to.

Dunleavy, Patrick (2016). How to write a blogpost from your journal article in eleven easy steps. The Impact Blog. London School of Economics.

Elsevier (2012) How to use blogging and microblogging to disseminate your research. Elsevier Early Career Resources

Hawkins, Jo (2012) Developing your personal digital marketing strategy: A guide for academics[iv]. Historypunks offers training modules on WordPress.As UC student you can access these for free since UC subscribes to There is a beginners module for WordPress, a module on how to set up a blog in Blogger. The modules and resources offered are extensive and worth looking at.

Marshall, Kelli (2015). ‘How to Curate Your Digital Identity as an Academic . If you don’t manage your online presence, you are allowing search engines to create it for you.’, The Chronicle of Higher Education, January 5 2015.

Patel, Salma (2012) I’m an academic and desperately need an online presence, where do I start? . The Impact Blog. London School of Economics.

University of Oxford: 23 Things for Research. It is a self directed course on using digital communication tools. Thing 2 is on setting up a blog, thing 6 on branding yourself, thing 7 on twitter, thing 8 on RSS feeds…every digital tool used seems to be covered….


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