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Web address
Type of site Social network service for scientists
Owner ResearchGate
Created by Ijad Madisch, Sören Hofmayer, Horst Fickenscher
Launched May 2008

ResearchGate is a social networking site for scientists and researchers to share papers, ask and answer questions, and find collaborators.[1] The site has been described as a mashup of “Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn” that includes “profile pages, comments, groups, job listings, and ‘like’ and ‘follow’ buttons”.[1] Members are encouraged to share raw data and failed experiment results as well as successes, in order to avoid repeating their peers’ scientific research mistakes.[2] Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is among the company's investors.[3] ResearchGate announced in 2013 that the site had two million members.[4]

The company was founded by Ijad Madisch, who has stated that he wishes to win a Nobel Prize through the site by disrupting the way in which science is conducted. Madisch envisions a future in which scientists will publish their positive and negative results and data on his site instead of paying to publish it elsewhere.[2]


Ijad Madisch co-founded ResearchGate in 2008 in Boston. As of 2012, the company was based in Berlin[1] and had offices in Cambridge, Mass.[5]

On September 8, 2010, ResearchGate announced the completion of its Series A financing led by Benchmark Capital.[6] On February 22, 2012, ResearchGate announced the completion of its Series B financing led by Peter Thiel's Founders Fund.[7] On June 4, 2013, it closed Series C financing for $35M from investors including Bill Gates.[8]

As of 2012, ResearchGate's board of directors consisted of Benchmark Capital general partner Matt Cohler, ResearchGate co-founder Madisch, and Founders Fund partner and PayPal co-founder Luke Nosek.[9]

Forbes reported in 2012 that ResearchGate was investigating ways to make money by providing job boards, conference boards for scientists and partnering with companies that manufacture and sell biotech lab equipment.[10][11]


ResearchGate received the 2014 "Digital Innovation of the Year" award from Focus magazine.[12]


Email invitations[edit]

ResearchGate emails unsolicited invitations to the coauthors of its users. These emails are written as if they were personally sent by the user, though often they are sent without the user's knowledge or consent.[13] In order to prevent such emails from being sent on their behalf, users must opt out by unchecking a box in their user settings.[14]

Membership bias[edit]

Some scientists and researchers have expressed skepticism about the need for a social networking site.[10] As quoted in Forbes, neuroscientist Bradley Voytek said, “ResearchGate has its work cut out for them.”[10] In his opinion, senior researchers were likely to baulk.[10] Research at the University of St. Gallen indicated that ResearchGate exhibits a high degree of homophily (and thus largely reaffirms existing social structure, but does not extend it). Junior researchers were found to be most represented, likely because senior researchers exhibit lower online activity. Online activity was found to be unrelated to publication impact or seniority.[15] Another study suggested that the use of ResearchGate varied by country and university, with some using it relatively much (e.g., Brazil, India) and others using it relatively little (e.g., China, South Korea, Russia).[16]

RG score[edit]

Blogger Beatrice Lugger reported in 2012 that her "RG score" reached the top 5% of ResearchGate users although her contributions were restricted to occasional questions.[17]


  1. ^ a b c Lin, Thomas (16 January 2012). "Cracking Open the Scientific Process". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 August 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Dolan, Kerry A. "How Ijad Madisch Aims To Disrupt Science Research With A Social Network". Lists. Forbes. Retrieved 9 August 2012. 
  3. ^ Levy, Ari (4 June 2013). "Bill Gates Joins $35 Million Funding in Startup ResearchGate". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2 July 2013. 
  4. ^,-Two-Million-Stories.html
  5. ^ "Get in touch with us". Contact Page. ResearchGate. Retrieved 9 August 2012. 
  6. ^ "ResearchGate brings in strong funding round for 'scientific Facebook'". The Guardian. 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-09. 
  7. ^ "Founders Fund invests in the Facebook for scientists: Founder Ijad Madisch on confidence, Luke Nosek, and what the world needs more of". VentureVillage. 2012-02-22. 
  8. ^ "Bill Gates, Benchmark And More Pour $35M Into ResearchGate, The Social Network For Scientists". TechCrunch. 2013-06-04. Retrieved 2013-06-08. 
  9. ^ Empson, Rip (1 March 2012). "Armed With New Funding & A Global Mission, ResearchGate Adds PayPal Co-founder To Board". TechCrunch. Retrieved 9 August 2012. 
  10. ^ a b c d Knapp, Alex (15 March 2012). "ResearchGate Wants To Be Facebook For Scientists". Forbes. Retrieved 9 August 2012. 
  11. ^ Levy, Ari (January 8, 2013). "ResearchGate’s 2013 Resolution: Make Money". Bloomberg. 
  12. ^ "Innovationen: ResearchGate, YouPickIt und SAP geehrt". January 21, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Beware of enemies masquerading as friends: ResearchGate and co.". Swinburne Library Blog. Swinburne University of Technology. Retrieved 10 April 2014. "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." 
  14. ^ "Introducing our FAQ - Part II". Web site. ResearchGate. Retrieved 23 December 2013. "If you’d like your co-authors to join you, just ensure that the "Invite my co-authors to ResearchGate box" is checked when you’re adding publications, and where possible, an invitation will be sent. Invitations will only be sent if this box is checked." 
  15. ^ Lutz, Christoph (29 August 2013). "Beyond Citation Counts - The Potential of Academic Social Network Sites for Scientific Impact Assessment". ASNA conference. University of St. Gallen. Retrieved 28 December 2013. 
  16. ^ Thelwall, Mike; Kousha, Kayvan (in press). "ResearchGate: Disseminating, communicating and measuring scholarship?". Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology. Retrieved 11 April 2014. 
  17. ^ "Ein Vergleich für Forscher unter sich: Der Researchgate Score" (in German). 2012-10-09. Retrieved 2012-12-03. 


External links[edit]