Technology-based communications are rapidly evolving and have fundamentally changed the way we interact with others in professional as well as personal settings. Many employers have embraced web-based professional networks as their primary source to seek the next generation of their employees. Consequently, it is only fitting that we carefully build a professional presence across the web that truly reflects our potential as researchers and collaborators. Below is a sampling of online resources that allow you to build your professional network of collaborators, colleagues, and references, for free.
eScholarship In collaboration with The Berkley Electronic Press, UMASS Library offers all UMASS researchers the ability to create a free profile that showcases their research interests and lists all their publications. This is an excellent resource, especially for postdocs and junior faculty, who do not have their own webpages on the UMASS website. http://escholarship.umassmed.edu/
LinkedIn Often considered the "Facebook" for professionals, LinkedIn is a streamlined, web-based resource to keep in touch with your professional colleagues, seek references, or build new collaborations. You can share your thoughts and presentation with your contacts, join research groups that are relevant to your scientific interests, and can post and search for jobs. http://www.linkedin.com/
Mendeley Mendeley applies a unique approach to help you find collaborators and research colleagues. Using your publications and keywords, Mendeley finds researchers across the web who either have published in the same research area or use similar keywords to define their research interests. http://www.mendeley.com/
BioMedExperts BiomedExperts applies a similar approach in helping you find collaborators and research colleague as Mendeley. Using the list of co-authors on your publications, BioMedExperts generates a "network map" of your collaborators and colleagues. Using interlinked functionalities of the network map, you can find new researchers who are working on similar biological issues. http://www.biomedexperts.com/
Community of Science Community of Science provides an excellent aggregated resource for finding research grants that interest you the most. You can setup automated alerts when a grant is posted on any of the NIH institutes. You can also create an extensive research profile that is searchable in Google, Yahoo and Bing search engines. http://www.cos.com/