E-visibility of environmental science researchers at the University of South Africa

Keywords: E-visibility, research e-profiles, online presence, online discoverability, online accessibility


Research e-visibility embodies online presence on the World Wide Web, discoverability via research e-profiles and accessibility of research output available online. The purpose of this study is to report on the e-visibility status phase of a longitudinal e-visibility study (Dec 2014 – April 2017) investigating the e-visibility themes of online presence, researcher discoverability and accessibility of research output of the environmental science researchers at the University of South Africa. Bibliometric and altmetric data were collected via online searches and an online survey was completed by the School of Environmental Sciences during December 2014. The results for online research presence indicate a preference for using free search engines versus fee-based traditional resources. Regarding researcher discoverability via e-profiles, the results indicated a preference for using free websites, with the highest distribution on LinkedIn. A higher distribution of research output on free online resources was reported, with a low percentage of researchers participated in self-archiving on social networking tools, in online archives and in repositories, which resulted in a small percentage of accessible research output online. This research suggests that the development of an e-visibility strategy would support and enable academic e-visibility, therefore increasing online research visibility, discoverability and accessibility of the School of Environmental Sciences researchers at University of South Africa.

Author Biography

Leslie Adriaanse, University of South Africa
Personal Librarian at Unisa Science Library


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