ResearchGate - scientific networkResearchGate.net
ResearchGate is a site offering a social networking service for researchers and scientists from all disciplines. Available free of charge, it allows semantic scientific research as well as a chronicle of shared files. The site also offers a public file server (such as management of literatures by footnotes), a forum, methodological discussions and discussion groups. ResearchGate claims to have more than 15 million researchers and scientists in 192 countries. At the end of 2019, more than 30 million figures and more than 118 million publications are accessible to members according to the site. The site has been criticized for sending unsolicited emails and automatically generating profiles for people who do not use the site.
ResearchGate was created in 2008 by two virologists (Ijad Madisch and Sören Hofmayer) and a computer scientist (Horst Fickenscher). One of the most distinctive features is undoubtedly the search engine allowing simultaneous search in the internal resources of the network as well as in bibliographic databases such as PubMed, CiteSeer, etc. The company prides itself on having 60 million entries giving access to scientific texts. ResearchGate offers a File Similarity Search to help users easily find other individuals and documents related to their research topics. By means of a detailed analysis of the profiles, the site is able to offer its users the opportunity to exchange views with their scientific counterparts, to join targeted groups and to access resources linked to research interests. Several thousand groups have already been created within ResearchGate frameworks. In November 2009, the platform launched ResearchBlog, the official blog of the ResearchGate community. This blog helps to facilitate communication by allowing users to post general notes as well as short scientific articles. ResearchGate also offers a very large international job exchange for scientists offering search by keyword, function, field of activity and country. Some scientific organizations and conferences use ResearchGate as a common meeting point to collaborate and communicate. The platform is launching several new applications, including virtual conferences. Since August 2012, it assigns a score (“RG Score”) to each registrant, a score supposed to reflect the quality and quantity of scientific research carried out by the person. This person's score is based on their interactions with other registrants (article downloads, questions, answers to questions). The more contact a person has with high-scoring researchers, the more their score increases. Although invoking the general principles of open access for marketing purposes, the site is in fact not open access. In particular, it does not allow the automatic retrieval of metadata, while interoperability is a basic principle of open access.
In October 2017, Elsevier and other publishers of scientific journals attacked ResearchGate in a German regional court, accusing it of endangering the sustainability of traditional scientific publishing by the free provision of content subject to copyright. author. In November 2017, Research Gate restricted access to 1.7 million articles available on its site. In October 2018, a similar complaint was also filed in the United States by the American Chemical Society and Elsevier.