I am told that one of the best ways in which to disseminate information/knowledge/findings from doctoral research is to put your dissertation on-line. By default, many universities make the dissertations of their students available on their websites.

I am wondering what are the merits of putting your dissertation on Facebook. I am unsure whether this is possible or there is just an ability to create a link on Facebook that goes to the university's website.

The above is particularly appealing for anyone who does not want to create their own websites.

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    I think there are social media websites targeted towards those in academia. May be worth making a search for those.
    – user4383
    Apr 12, 2013 at 6:33
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    @JordanMahar I would say that LinkedIn is probably the best bet these days, but I don't think they host files. Apr 12, 2013 at 8:09
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    [Researchgate](www.Reseachgate.net) is an appropriate place for dissertations. In fact, I've shared my dissertation there.
    – user4511
    Apr 12, 2013 at 8:31
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    @VahidShirbisheh: I find researchgate extremely annoying with their aggressive emailing habits. Apr 12, 2013 at 21:00
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    @cbeleites: Yes, it sends one or two email every week, and it might be an issue for some people. However, it gives a statistics of people who visit your profile and view your publications, which is interesting.
    – user4511
    Apr 13, 2013 at 2:57

4 Answers 4


I think the best option is to set up your personal page and have your file hosted there. It is better to have your own independent site (independent from your university) in case you are to move to another university (post-doc, faculty position, etc) and cannot host your file there anymore. Once you have the dissertation hosted somewhere, you can share it through social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn.

If that is not a possibility for you, another option would be to share it online in an open access database like Figshare (http://figshare.com/). Note that you should double check guidelines from your university to ensure it is okay, and consider if you plan to publish your dissertation in a journal in the future (some journals do not like it if the pre-prints are available elsewhere publicly).

Here is an online post about why one decides to have dissertations hosted there. http://sites.tdl.org/fuse/?p=347


Why Facebook, in particular? I know you didn't want to do it, but I do suggest setting up a minimal website with your pertinent information (CV, Bio), and then hosting the dissertation there, with a link. I would be very surprised if you can't get a free website through your university, and setting up a small site is relatively painless. If you're going to link anything on other sites (e.g., Facebook), I would link your homepage. I do not think you will get extra traction by simply hosting your dissertation on a particular website, social or otherwise.

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    Also using FB means it is not accessible from many places which block FB (e.g. work places). And as far as I know FB does not host any files, so you will still need to host the actual files elsewhere.
    – Hennes
    Apr 12, 2013 at 9:24
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    In my humble opinion, Facebook feels unprofessional with regards to serious academic purposes.
    – Legendre
    Apr 15, 2013 at 16:36
  • @Hennes you can certainly upload files to Facebook groups. Not sure if you can do it on personal pages though.
    – emmalgale
    Sep 9, 2014 at 10:35

The suggestion made regarding setting up web sites as a tool to reach out with your research by others is very good so I just want to expand a little on the social media side.

If you want to use social media as a vehicle fryour career I would suggest you join something intended for professionals (in the sense of work oriented) such as LinkedIn. There you will be able to get in contact with people who may be interested in your field and your publications (incl. thesis) more efficiently than with Facebook. Since it is geared towards the work part of your life, it is also taken more seriously than facebook. You would however still need some repository for pdfs etc. but that can be done using for example dropBox or some other free storage service. Using these kind sof services means that nothing can be considered permanent but on the other hand contenst should be updated and refreshed.

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    This may be field-dependent, but I would strongly recommend against LinkedIn as your professional home page. Yes, it's taken more seriously than Facebook, but that's really not saying much. Just set up your own web site.
    – JeffE
    Apr 12, 2013 at 12:45
  • @JeffE Could you elaborate a bit on why you strongly recommend against it? I am always keen to hear the pro's and con's of such "services", not that I am an avid user. Apr 12, 2013 at 12:56
  • I would agree with @JeffE that you should not make a LinkedIn profile your personal home page. It's kind of like using a GMail address as your professional email address -- somewhat tacky and unprofessional. Apr 12, 2013 at 13:41
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    @ChrisGregg I guess I did not mean to say that LinkedIn would replace a home page but to be better than Facebook. In fact I start out by saying it is a good idea with a web page. Apr 12, 2013 at 13:50
  • @PeterJansson Got it -- I didn't mean to criticize your post, and I, too, agree that LinkedIn can be a good place to network. Apr 12, 2013 at 16:43

I would support a suggestion regarding setting up a small website AKA your academic homepage, you can also do it via your university or various free hosting services (googlesites, etc).

And once your dissertation is online, and you have a link to PDF (either on your homepage or in your institutional repository) do use ANY social media to spread the word. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, ResearchGate - they will help you to reach various people (and I do agree that Facebook is probably the least professional out of those).

If your dissertation is superb, you can consider publishing it with a reputable publisher (people and especially evaluation committees do see value in such publications w.r.t. just putting sth online)

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