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  • ResearchGate is a social networking site for scientists and researchers to share papers,

  • ask and answer questions, and find collaborators.

  • Corporate history: ResearchGate was founded in 2008 by a virologist

  • and computer scientist, Ijad Madisch. It started in Boston, but moved to Berlin, Germany shortly afterwards.

  • In 2009, the company began a partnership with Seeding Labs, in order to supply third-world

  • countries with surplus lab equipment from the United States. Its first round of funding

  • was announced in September 2010. According to The New York Times the website

  • began with very few features, then developed over time based on input from scientists.

  • Adoption of the site grew rapidly. From 2009 to 2011, the site grew from 25,000 users to

  • more than 1 million. The company grew from 12 employees in 2011 to 70 in 2012.

  • A second round of funding led by Peter Thiel's Founders Fund was announced in February 2012.

  • On June 4, 2013, it closed Series C financing for $35M from investors including Bill Gates.

  • Features: The New York Times described the site as a

  • mashup of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. It has many of the features that are typical

  • among social network sites, such as user profiles, messages that can be public or private, and

  • methods for finding other users with similar interests. It differs from other social networks

  • in that it is designed for researchers and scientists. Conversation strings focus on

  • a research interest or paper and you can "follow" a research interest, in addition to following individual users.

  • 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 those that have similar interests. When a user posts a question, it is fielded

  • to scientists that have identified on their user profile that they have a relevant expertise.

  • It also has private chat rooms where scientists can share data, edit shared documents, or

  • discuss confidential topics. As of 2013, it has 2.6 million users.

  • ResearchGate's largest user-base is in Europe and North America. Most of ResearchGate's users are involved

  • in medicine or biology, though it also has participants from engineering, computer science

  • and agricultural sciences among others. Participants can get a higher "score" which ranks their

  • "scientific reputation" by providing popular answers to questions and other metrics.

  • Members are encouraged to share raw data and failed experiment results. ResearchGate does

  • not require peer review or fees. Since accessing documents usually requires an account,

  • ResearchGate is not considered to be open access. Reception

  • As of 2009, according to BusinessWeek, ResearchGate was influential in promoting innovation in

  • developing countries by connecting scientists from those nations with their peers in industrialized

  • nations. BusinessWeek said the website had become popular largely due to its "navigation"

  • and "ease of use". It also noted that ResearchGate had been involved in "a string" of notable

  • cross-country collaborations between scientists that led to substantive developments. A paper

  • published in the The International Information & Library Review conducted a survey with 160

  • respondents and found that out of those using social networking "for academic purposes",

  • Facebook and ResearchGate were the most popular at the University of Delhi, but also "a majority

  • of respondents said using SNSs [Social Networking Sites] may be a waste of time".

  • In 2011, a University of Florida librarian conducted an evaluation of ResearchGate.

  • The librarian answered 211 questions and obtained 293 followers.

  • According to the Norton Journal of the Medical Library Association, ResearchGate users "provided invaluable feedback" for "evaluating

  • three existing LibGuides" and the experiment found that librarians can develop real-world

  • recognition among their peers for their contributions to the site. In a paper published by the Association

  • for Information Systems an experiment involving a dormant account found that over a 16 month

  • period, using default settings, ResearchGate sent 297 invitations to 38 people.

  • These emails are written as if they were personally sent by the user, but they are automatically sent

  • to co-authors when a user posts an article in their profile unless they opt out.

  • The user profile was automatically attributed to more than 430 publications. It followed

  • or was followed by more than 450 users, though the profile was inactive. Journalists and

  • researchers have found that the "RG score," calculated by ResearchGate via a proprietary

  • algorithm, can reach high values under questionable circumstances.

  • ResearchGate has been criticized for emailing unsolicited invitations to the coauthors of

  • its users as well as for encouraging authors to upload articles to the site, which may

  • infringe the copyright of the publisher. References

  • External links Official website

ResearchGate is a social networking site for scientists and researchers to share papers,

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    Kristi Yang posted on 2016/08/05
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