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I'm planing to setup a personal academic website. From visiting other researchers websites I have a rough idea of the things I want to put on it:

- Research interests    
- List of articles & conference contributions
- CV
- Links to affiliated institutions
- Contact information

Would you agree that this list constitutes the information an academic should put on his/her website? Is there anything else you would hope or expect to find? Would you advise against putting any of these pieces of information on the website?

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At the very least, you should have your name, contact information, and a bio of what you do. That's the minimal advertising necessary to serve as a useful "see my site for more details on what I do".

Given that almost everyone who visits your site will either be looking for someone's name or a paper you've previously published, the next most useful information to include would be: - Lab members contact info & bios - Publications with downloadable links

I would definitely recommend putting pictures up as well, so people will recognize your face when they see you at conferences. Same for lab members.

Links to other affiliations is nice, but almost certainly not important. Practically no one will follow them. Whether to list your CV is up to you; people who need it will often ask you, but it won't hurt to have it live. Depending on your research, you can have a "recent news" section where you advertise any particularly notable publication or mention in the popular press.

Finally, if you teach, I recommend putting links to the course website (which may or may not be part of your academic website), as many students will find your page by googling and will be looking for course info.

  • 2
    eykanal's answer is great. My main addition would be to put up slides for your talk. If you give talks using Latex (Beamer) or Powerpoint, it's almost no work to upload them to your website; and it can be great advertising, because many people are more likely to skim slides than to skim the actual paper. – Dan C Oct 13 '12 at 21:55
9

Just to extend upon eykanal's reply, I'll add a public relations spin to this topic.

IMHO, all depends on the mode in which you operate. If you are an established professor, your website is going to look differently from somebody who is striving to climb the ladder. This also depends slightly on the community you operate in, I'll speak for CS/AI, specifically more applied streams.

As an established member of the community, you rule your time and do not need yourself to be "discovered". Hence you do not need much bragging on your site and can stick to practical info. In the case you are climbing the ladder, your website is your shop-window. You need to have it up for your potential future employers, potential future collaborators, etc. It's can be used as a personal PR shop window. In that case you might want to break down your CV into pieces and include projects you work(ed) on and their descriptions, possibly even attach publications to these entries to document the rate/quality of the deliverables. Many people list Activities section, where they keep a list of academic services they perform, i.e., program/organizing/steering/... committee memberships, refereeing for journals and announcements of edited books, etc. As eykanal pointed out, expanding on teaching activities is important. Now, first and foremost, you want to serve your students, but remember also the (future) hiring committees. They want to see indications of those activities as well.

All in all, anything what can help you in the future, but still won't look as too much bragging about your achievements can be useful, but think about balancing it with practical stuff as well. For example, to add a "human" touch to their academic personas, many people also include "family" section with a handful of links and pictures of their family, pets, hobbies, etc.

  • As an established member of the community, you ... do not need yourself to be "discovered". — Except by prospective graduate students. Unless, you know, you don't need those. – JeffE Oct 14 '12 at 1:48
  • @JeffE: well, that's right. Any thoughts what's good to put up if your target audience are prospective students? I guess, the stuff for the "future" hiring committee's should be fine. Though many people also publish a message to the prospective students, sometimes even a manual for doctoral studies under their supervision. But I guess, that's rather exceptional, isn't it? – walkmanyi Oct 14 '12 at 19:22
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My two cents: Put the things on your homepage that you like to see on the homepages of people like you.

Well, this is probably not the full story since not only people like you will be interested in your homepage. Maybe you also think about hiring committees, potential referee or the like to have a look at you homepage. However, you are probably to look at the homepages of people like you through the eyes of a hiring committee member, reviewer, student (or whatever) and then have a look at you homepage again. This should give you an impression whether you homepage is cool enough or not.

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I'd love to see conjectures and open problems.

This is a good way to advertise for your field, and maybe someone knows a solution/related problem.

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