So I lost the struggle with my temptations – like I always do – and got myself the paid subscription to Academia.edu. Google Scholar is ridiculously bad for finding my citations, plus I’m an obsessive measurement and tracking fanatic.
And folks, it’s totally worth it. Just for the psychological reasons alone because it gives you a great boost of feeling important and not alone. Aside from the citations, there is a page where you can see everybody who accessed your work. You see the name, the photo, the map of where they are, the University affiliation, the position (grad student, professor, Chair, etc.) You see which of your articles they read or downloaded. You even see how many pages they read. It’s fascinating. I discovered, for instance, that for one of my articles most people read until page 6 and then they download. This might seem like a bizarre thing to care about but for those of us who are obsessive about measurements, it’s priceless.
It’s very rare that one feels in the midst of something busy and active as a researcher. Usually, you just sit there alone with your writing. This website (which I hope they will finally take in the direction of an app) helps one feel less isolated.