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This paper explores the way individuals are part of the prestige economy generated by universities as institutions. It explores how the construction of online identities or persona is now an essential activity for the academic both from the perspective of university value and individual/career value. Five distinct types of academic persona are explored primarily through academics working in digital communication areas; through these cases and examples this new communication environment is explored. This paper concludes that institutions and individuals need to develop in the most pragmatic sense, online academic persona and ensure that these online ‘selfs’ are connected with authenticity to the professional work of the academic.