Dr. Srijan Aggarwal, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at UAF, brought this up as a Teaching Tip topic and agreed to let me use him as an example. Thankfully, his results look pretty good, so he gets to be an example of what to do.
This is often the very first thing that will come up when someone Googles “Your Name” + “UAF.” However, it’s not uncommon to see headshots that are 20 years out of date, the wrong job title, and no publication history since 2005!
If your information is out of date, contact the webmaster for your department. A specific email is usually listed in the footer of the webpage. If you know the person who updates your website, contact them directly with your request — maybe even suggest they put a call out for everyone in the department to update their information! As UAF websites continue to move from the platform Roxen to OU Campus, now is a great time to make content updates.
Directory Information – https://people.alaska.edu/
This information comes directly from UA Online. You can update directory information upon login in the “Personal Information” tab. If the name of your department changes, however, that may be something your departmental administrator will need to change.
Find an Expert Research Site – https://news.uaf.edu/expertsguide/
This is an important page to be on, and not just for folks in the sciences. The site is “available to help journalists, policymakers, students and educators by providing current and accurate information on a wide variety of topics.” An engaging, public-friendly summary of your scholarship is valuable here. I’ve heard of several people receiving cold calls through this database that resulted in interesting collaborations!
Find an Expert is supposed to be updated by your college or departmental Public Information Officer (PIO) every three months. Find your PIO here. If you do not have one, it may be your departmental admin — it might take some sleuthing, but it’s worth it!
ScholarWorks@UA – https://scholarworks.alaska.edu
This is a UA-wide open-access repository for theses, dissertations, reports, pre-print articles, and other publications by faculty, staff and students. It’s a free and stably-hosted site and submissions can be added through a Google Form on the main page. As opposed to just uploading a PDFof your publication to Google Drive and throwing the link on your site, uploading to ScholarWorks and then linking to it allows your publication to be found through multiple pathways and exist within the context of your department.
Dr. Arggarwal has built a personal site (for free) using Google Sites in order to have more control over his professional information. He links it on his department page and it actually shows up twice on the first page of search results! He explained that he uses it to make more frequent updates and to include details such as images and less-technical descriptions of his research.
Google Sites is one of many options for hosting a personal site. For those interested in the greater design capabilities of WordPress, UAF eCampus hosts a domain that instructors can use for personal sites — https://community.uaf.edu/. In the Contact link, there is a form to request a new site.
It’s good practice to create profiles on multiple public networking sites, based on the nature of your work and the various communities in which you would like to have visibility.
For Business: LinkedIn and Facebook (often a page for an organization, service, or business you are involved in, instead of a personal profile.)
For Research: Google Scholar, ResearchGate, Academia.edu
For Anything: Twitter, but use it wisely.
Improving Your Google Results
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is a much-hyped new field based around understanding how the Google Search algorithm works. It is full of a new genre of sleazy people trying to sell you services that you don’t need. To explore the topic more, here’s a fairly level-headed run-down of the basics.