Who Is Competing to Own Researcher Identity? – The Scholarly Kitchen

“To date, ResearchGate appears to be winning the battle to build a sector-wide identity instance for researchers, regardless of university or publisher, with Academia.edu as its primary competition. Though many have predicted the demise of these academic social networks, their continued growth cannot be dismissed. 

ResearchGate reports having 15 million members worldwide. Some portion of these “members” are presumably inactive, or active only in limited ways. Even so, there is reason to believe that ResearchGate represents a substantial share of the global scientific community. While it is difficult to know exactly what its members are doing on the platform — anything from reading articles to engaging with collaborators to searching for jobs — the amount of traffic they generate is enormous. According to data from SimilarWeb, in a recent three month period, ResearchGate’s traffic was nearly equal to that of ScienceDirect, SpringerLink, and Nature.com combined. Or, to provide another comparative, ResearchGate’s usage was almost equivalent to that of a basket of major Elsevier properties, including ScienceDirect and all its other major STM properties, including Mendeley, bepress, SSRN, and Pure. 

There is power to this scale. ResearchGate has been able to associate much of the scientific literature with its authors, enabling a variety of analytics that it is able to turn into services and in some cases to monetize. Even though ResearchGate is one of the largest sources of leakage and is therefore being sued by an array of the major publishing houses, the power of ResearchGate’s data has been sufficient to enable it to develop a partnership with  Springer Nature, at least on a pilot basis, in which Springer Nature content is freely distributed on ResearchGate. …”

What to Expect in the Publishing World in 2020 | The Scientist Magazine®

“Earlier this month, a rumor began to circulate that the US government was planning on passing an executive order that would mandate all papers from federally funded research be open access immediately upon publication—abolishing the 12-month paywall allowed under current rules.

In response, more than 135 scientific societies and academic publishers penned an open letter to President Donald Trump’s Administration strongly opposing such a policy, warning that the proposed changes would “jeopardize the intellectual property of American organizations engaged in the creation of high-quality peer-reviewed journals and research articles and would potentially delay the publication of new research results.” The letter has been widely criticized by academics and open-access advocates on social media….”

Whose Research is it Anyway? Academic Social Networks Versus Institutional Repositories

Abstract:  INTRODUCTION Looking for ways to increase deposits into their institutional repository (IR), researchers at one institution started to mine academic social networks (ASNs) (namely, ResearchGate and Academia.edu) to discover which researchers might already be predisposed to providing open access to their work. METHODS Researchers compared the numbers of institutionally affiliated faculty members appearing in the ASNs to those appearing in their institutional repositories. They also looked at how these numbers compared to overall faculty numbers. RESULTS Faculty were much more likely to have deposited their work in an ASN than in the IR. However, the number of researchers who deposited in both the IR and at least one ASN exceeded that of those who deposited their research solely in an ASN. Unexpected findings occurred as well, such as numerous false or unverified accounts claiming affiliation with the institution. ResearchGate was found to be the favored ASN at this particular institution. DISCUSSION The results of this study confirm earlier studies’ findings indicating that those researchers who are willing to make their research open access are more disposed to do so over multiple channels, showing that those who already self-archive elsewhere are prime targets for inclusion in the IR. CONCLUSION Rather than seeing ASNs as a threat to IRs, they may be seen as a potential site of identifying likely contributors to the IR.

Whose Research is it Anyway? Academic Social Networks Versus Institutional Repositories

Abstract:  INTRODUCTION Looking for ways to increase deposits into their institutional repository (IR), researchers at one institution started to mine academic social networks (ASNs) (namely, ResearchGate and Academia.edu) to discover which researchers might already be predisposed to providing open access to their work. METHODS Researchers compared the numbers of institutionally affiliated faculty members appearing in the ASNs to those appearing in their institutional repositories. They also looked at how these numbers compared to overall faculty numbers. RESULTS Faculty were much more likely to have deposited their work in an ASN than in the IR. However, the number of researchers who deposited in both the IR and at least one ASN exceeded that of those who deposited their research solely in an ASN. Unexpected findings occurred as well, such as numerous false or unverified accounts claiming affiliation with the institution. ResearchGate was found to be the favored ASN at this particular institution. DISCUSSION The results of this study confirm earlier studies’ findings indicating that those researchers who are willing to make their research open access are more disposed to do so over multiple channels, showing that those who already self-archive elsewhere are prime targets for inclusion in the IR. CONCLUSION Rather than seeing ASNs as a threat to IRs, they may be seen as a potential site of identifying likely contributors to the IR.

United States Patent: 10282424: Linking documents using citations

Abstract:  Aspects of the present disclosure relate to linking documents using citations. A server accesses a stored document in a data repository. The server determines a set of candidate citing documents that cite the stored document. The server obtains, for each candidate citing document from the set, first information representing an impact of the candidate citing document taken as a whole and second information representing a citation context within the candidate citing document. The server determines a subset of citing documents, from the set of candidate citing documents, based on the obtained first information and the obtained second information. The server provides a digital transmission of the stored document, including visible indicia of the subset of citing documents, for display at a client device.

Diverting Leakage to the Library Subscription Channel – The Scholarly Kitchen

“Likewise, we’ve known for some time that, while some publishers take a highly contentious stance towards ResearchGate, others have taken a different approach. Whatever one might have thought about ResearchGate earlier in its development, it has clearly arrived as a major service for researchers. ResearchGate is one of the most trafficked science websites globally and has more than twice the traffic of Google Scholar and many more times that of Sci-Hub. ResearchGate is also without question a site of leakage and that is precisely what also makes it an attractive platform for syndication. …

ResearchGate users without entitlements via a Springer Nature institutional subscription will continue to have access to articles in a non-downloadable format. It is worth noting that this is the version of record, which diverges from Elsevier’s tactic of providing an author manuscript to the non-entitled, and so all users (entitled and non-entitled) have access to the version of record….

The code behind the rendered web pages did not seem to show that the entitlements information was being passed from Springer Nature, but rather that ResearchGate is determining authorization using a database it accesses directly or perhaps via API. …

We also noted that the PDFs one downloads from ResearchGate are different files than the PDFs that are downloaded from the Springer Nature platform. Both platforms provide the version of record PDF but the files from ResearchGate had different watermarks in the footer than those from the Springer Nature platform. This makes even clearer that this is truly a case of syndication to the ResearchGate platform and not linking out from ResearchGate to the publisher platform, such as is done from library discovery layers. …

Bringing library-subscribed resources into the scholar’s workflow on ResearchGate helps to ensure that scholars have easy and seamless access to licensed materials and bypasses the cumbersome process of moving from a citation on ResearchGate, back to the library website, only to then be required to navigate the link resolver, authentication mechanisms, and the publisher platform before getting the PDF. With syndication, discovery is delivery. …”

Springer Nature and ResearchGate extend content sharing pilot following positive feedback | Group | Springer Nature

Springer Nature and ResearchGate today extend their content sharing pilot. The second iteration of the pilot will now see four times more Springer Nature content being rolled out across the ResearchGate platform, including content from specialized Springer journals. This enhanced accessibility means more Springer Nature authors will benefit from this partnership along with more Springer Nature-published content on the ResearchGate platform for ResearchGate users to access, download and share.

In addition, solutions will be assessed and tested to improve access to research literature for researchers off campus and on different devices. ResearchGate users without a Springer Nature institutional subscription will have access to articles in a non-downloadable format. This will be assessed via internal research and community feedback to see whether it is a sustainable model for the future.

The continuation of the pilot is the result of positive feedback from users during the first phase, which launched on March 7th, 2019 and provided full-text articles from 23 Nature-branded journals to ResearchGate so they could be made automatically available on authors’ profiles for all ResearchGate users to access, read and share on or off campus….”

What does local use of Sci-Hub look like? – iNode

“Mindful of privacy issues, I asked a friend in campus IT to take a list of 6 or 7 domains and derive an extract file from the DNS query logs, providing just date, time and query string for anything that matched the domain information I provided.  Here’s an excerpt of the result: …

Producing this extract is now part of a weekly cron job so I’ll be able to monitor the relative use of these sites over the coming months.  In this one particular instance, I can’t wait for the Fall term to begin…

So what did I find by monitoring DNS queries between July 3rd and July 10th?

 

The graph shows activity for users on the campus network.  A better name for this post might be, “What does local use of ResearchGate look like?”…

Here are the numbers if you include off-campus traffic to subscription sites (DNS resolution happens here since our proxy server is on the campus network):

  • Sci-Hub (includes the .tw, .se, and .ren domains): 87
  • ResearchGate: 1186
  • Springer-Link: 551 (391 on-campus users; 160 via campus proxy server)
  • Google Scholar: 977
  • ScienceDirect: 1730 (1306 on-campus users; 424 via campus proxy server)
  • Engineering Village: 129 (111 on-campus users; 18 via campus proxy server)….”

Publishers fail to stem tide of illicit ResearchGate uploads | Times Higher Education (THE)

Publishers say that tens of thousands of copyright-infringing research papers are still being uploaded to the online academic network ResearchGate every month, making it easier for universities to ditch their journal subscription contacts because so many articles are now available for free.

Since October 2017, the Coalition for Responsible Sharing, which includes Wiley, Elsevier and Oxford University Press, have tried to pressure ResearchGate into taking down what they say are millions of copyrighted articles on the platform, including launching legal action in the US and Germany.

But their latest report shows that since then, close to 1 million copyright-infringing articles have been uploaded to ResearchGate, an average of 58,000 a month….”

Same Question, Different World: Replicating an Open Access Research Impact Study | Arendt | College & Research Libraries

“To examine changes in the open access landscape over time, this study partially replicated Kristin Antelman’s 2004 study of open access citation advantage. Results indicated open access articles still have a citation advantage. For three of the four disciplines examined, the most common sites hosting freely available articles were independent sites, such as academic social networks or article-sharing sites. For the same three disciplines, more than 70 percent of the open access copies were publishers’ PDFs. The major difference from Antelman’s is the increase in the number of freely available articles that appear to be in violation of publisher policies….”