The ACI Scholarly Blog Index offers numerous ways for researchers to engage and collaborate with scholarly blogs authored by the experts and thought leaders who specialize in a given topic or who are scholars in a particular discipline. Of course, there are many ways to have students read and reflect on a scholarly post, and then communicate resulting thoughts, perspectives, and questions through essays, debates, class discussions, and other traditional routes. Our college and university subscribers use ACI’s tools, features, and integrations in a number of ways that work with all of these traditional routes, but that also extend beyond them – allowing students to interact with academic content and their authors in new and innovative ways.

Here are a few ideas that faculty, staff, and even student leaders can use in order to encourage engagement and collaboration with research content found in the ACI Scholarly Blog Index.

Have students share a blog post.

Researchers can share blog posts found in ACI through multiple venues, including social media platforms, professional or research-based networks. Above every blog post in ACI is a comprehensive set of sharing and collaboration options for students to choose from; there are currently 195 options, with new options added on a regular basis. Here are just a few:

  • Social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, or Reddit
  • Professional platforms such as LinkedIn
  • Academic platforms such as ResearchGate or
  • Organization and productivity platforms such as Evernote or Mendeley

There are also other ways students can use ACI tools and integrations as a basis for sharing content. For example, because ACI supports a host of content export options through popular citation and reference management platforms (like RefWorks, Mendeley, Zotero, and EndNote), students can save, organize, and manage their selected posts before sharing them.

Have students curate and share a new ACI list.

An ACI List is a collection of saved posts organized for topical collection or sharing purposes in the ACI Scholarly Blog Index. While bookmarks are ideal for stand-alone posts, the Lists feature allow students to aggregate saved articles, allowing you to create and organize collections of relevant content for use in course assignments, group discussions, and other collaborative efforts.

Lists are ideal for organizing posts into a collection based on a shared topic – such as the course content or major field – or for sharing the list with others – such as course projects or assigned readings within your class. Tags help researchers to organize their lists, allowing them to classify that collection of posts according to given terms; they can later click on these terms to find other posts with the same tag. Students can also add a list description with a summary of list contents or notes about your class or their intended use.

Have students browse and follow curated lists and share interesting finds.

In addition to the RSS options available on search results and list pages, ACI Scholarly Blog Index researchers can also browse public ACI lists by content focus, course/project focus, and more. Individuals who curate lists in ACI can also share those lists with others. For example, faculty can create a list specifically designed for students in a given course or for a particular course project.

Other lists might be curated according to Library of Congress classification. Such LC-based lists can help ensure that students, faculty, and staff can use a recognizable format for subject arrangement and controlled vocabulary, and also offer faculty and staff an easy reference point when recommending specific list subjects for a given course, major, or discipline.

There are several venues for students to access public curated lists:
– Students can search public lists using the search tool on the ACI Lists page.
– Students can browse recommended lists that are institutional and limited to users within your college or university.
– Students can browse and follow suggested lists on the ACI Suggested Lists page.
– Feedly users can search or browse Feedly’s content discovery collections for LC-based ACI feeds.

Have students use ACI’s Disqus tool to start a conversation.

Every blog post has its own page in ACI, and ACI’s Disqus tool can be found below the post text in the lower-left corner. Students can enter comments, questions, and suggestions to begin or further a discussion related to the post. Researchers using ACI’s general resource at can add comments that can be viewed, and engaged by, other researchers who use the site.

Institutional subscribers, however, enjoy a rather unique advantage. For students whose college or university subscribes to ACI, any discussion comments added by students will only be viewable to other users within that institution – in other words, the conversation is institutional and can be engaged in by students, faculty, and staff in that college or university. This makes the Disqus tool an ideal way to encourage internal dialogue and discussion about post content, perspective or point of view, and other components valuable to a scholarly conversation.

Have students visit a blog author’s profile page and explore and/or follow that author in a shared (or open) social media or professional network.

Every blog author indexed in the ACI Scholarly Blog Index has an author profile, and the information provided on an author’s profile page encompasses a wide range of information, content links, and social or professional platforms. Clicking on the blog author’s name on any blog post page takes students to the full author page, or they can browse or search by the author’s name. You can have students visit a blog author’s profile page and explore the information contained there. They can report back on the scholarly activity of that blogger to other students, follow that author in a shared (or open) social media or professional network, or even begin a dialogue with the author directly.

The information that is provided on a blog author’s page will vary depending on the author. In addition to the author’s degrees and affiliated institutions, the profile may include the author’s degree subjects, society memberships, notable awards, and sometimes an author-submitted biography. Students will see links to the author’s ACI posts, and they may also see journal articles and books for those authors with a comprehensive ORCID profile. Finally, students can click right on any social media or professional identifier icon on the author profile page in order to visit that venue and explore the author’s other avenues of content for a fuller picture of their scholarly record and identity.

Visit, or your university’s custom ACI portal, to further explore the tips above. Don’t have an ACI account? Use promo code SPRING2016 to see for yourself, and to discover even more ways that researchers can interact, engage, and collaborate within the ACI Scholarly Blog Index.