Social network service for scientists
|Users||25 million (September 2023[update])|
ResearchGate is a European commercial
While reading articles does not require registration, people who wish to become site members need to have an email address at a recognized institution or to be manually confirmed as a published researcher in order to sign up for an account. Members of the site each have a user profile and can upload research output including papers, data, chapters, negative results, patents, research proposals, methods, presentations, and software source code. Users may also follow the activities of other users and engage in discussions with them. Users are also able to block interactions with other users.
The site has been criticized for sending
The New York Times described the site as a mashup of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Site members may follow a research interest, in addition to following other individual members. It has a blogging feature for users to write short reviews on peer-reviewed articles. ResearchGate indexes self-published information on user profiles to suggest members to connect with others who have similar interests. When a member posts a question, it is fielded to others that have identified on their user profile that they have a relevant expertise. It also has private chat rooms where users can share data, edit shared documents, or discuss confidential topics. The site also features a research-focused job board.
As of 2020[update], it has more than 17 million users, with its largest user-bases coming from Europe and North America. Most of ResearchGate's users are involved in medicine or biology, though it also has participants from engineering, computer science, agricultural sciences, and psychology, among others.
ResearchGate published an
ResearchGate was founded in 2008
The company's first round of funding, in 2010, was led by the venture capital firm Benchmark. Benchmark partner Matt Cohler became a member of the board and participated in the decision to move to Berlin.
ResearchGate's competitors include Academia.edu, Google Scholar and Mendeley. In 2016 Academia.edu reportedly had more registered users (about 34 million versus 11 million) and higher web traffic, but ResearchGate was substantially larger in terms of active usage by researchers. The fact that ResearchGate restricts its user accounts to people at recognized institutions and published researchers may explain the disparity in active usage, as a high percentage of the accounts on Academia.edu are lapsed or inactive. In a 2015-2016 survey of academic profile tools, about as many respondents have ResearchGate profiles and Google Scholar profiles, but almost twice as many respondents use Google Scholar for search than use ResearchGate for accessing publications.
Madisch has said the company's business strategy is focused on highly targeted advertising based on analysis of the activities of users, saying "Imagine you could click on a microscope mentioned in a paper and buy it", and estimating the spending on science at $1 trillion per year under the control of a "relatively small number of people".
In November 2015 they acquired additional funding of $52.6 million from a range of investors including
A 2009 article in
Academic reception of ResearchGate remains generally positive, as recent reviews of extant literature show an accepting audience with broad coverage of concepts.
Although ResearchGate is used internationally, its uptake—as of 2014—is uneven, with Brazil having particularly many users and China having few when compared to the number of publishing researchers.
In a 2014 study by Nature, 88 percent of the responding scientists and engineers said that they were aware of ResearchGate: Q1 and would use it when "contacted", but less than 10% said they would use it to actively discuss research with 40% instead preferring to use Twitter when discussing research. ResearchGate was visited regularly by half of those surveyed by Nature, coming second to Google Scholar. 29 percent of regular visitors had signed up for a profile on ResearchGate in the past year, and 35% of the survey participants were invited by email.
A 2016 article in Times Higher Education reported that in a global survey of 20,670 people who use academic social networking sites, ResearchGate was the dominant network and was twice as popular as others: 61 percent of respondents who had published at least one paper had a ResearchGate profile. Another study reported that "relatively few academics appear to post questions and answers", but instead use it only as an "online CV".
In the context of the
ResearchGate has been criticized for emailing unsolicited invitations to the coauthors of its users.
A study published by the
Several studies have looked at the RG score, for which details about how it is calculated are not published. These studies concluded that the RG score was "intransparent and irreproducible",
ResearchGate has been criticized for failing to provide safeguards against "the dark side of academic writing", including such phenomena as fake publishers, "ghost journals", publishers with
In September 2017, lawyers representing the
ResearchGate has managed to achieve an agreement on article uploading with three other major publishers, Springer Nature, Cambridge University Press and Thieme. Under the agreement, the publishers will be notified when their articles are uploaded but will not be able to premoderate uploads.
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ResearchGate automatically emails invitations to your coauthors on your behalf. These invitations are made to look as if they were sent by you but are emailed without your consent.
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