|Type of site||Social network service for scientists|
|Created by||Ijad Madisch, Sören Hofmayer, Horst Fickenscher|
ResearchGate is a social networking site for scientists and researchers to share papers, ask and answer questions, and find collaborators. 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”. 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. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is among the company's investors. ResearchGate announced in 2013 that the site had two million members.
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.
On September 8, 2010, ResearchGate announced the completion of its Series A financing led by Benchmark Capital. On February 22, 2012, ResearchGate announced the completion of its Series B financing led by Peter Thiel's Founders Fund. On June 4, 2013, it closed Series C financing for $35M from investors including Bill Gates.
As of 2012[update], 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.
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.
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. In order to prevent such emails from being sent on their behalf, users must opt out by unchecking a box in their user settings.
Some scientists and researchers have expressed skepticism about the need for a social networking site. As quoted in Forbes, neuroscientist Bradley Voytek said, “ResearchGate has its work cut out for them.” In his opinion, senior researchers were likely to baulk. 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. 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).
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.
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- Empson, Rip (1 March 2012). "Armed With New Funding & A Global Mission, ResearchGate Adds PayPal Co-founder To Board". TechCrunch. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
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- "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."
- "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."
- 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.
- 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.
- "Ein Vergleich für Forscher unter sich: Der Researchgate Score" (in German). 2012-10-09. Retrieved 2012-12-03.