Monday, October 23, 2017

Journal Publishers Attack ResearchGate

Although ResearchGate is not a journal publisher, and hence not within the usual scope of this blog, it does send a lot of spam to induce authors to post reprints or verify their authorship of previously published articles. It also sends a ton of poorly matched job announcements, but these are balanced to some extent by some useful notices of new papers citing one's work.

Apparently, ResearchGate has been quite successful in amassing a digital depository of publications. A Science news article of October 6, 2017, reports that
Scholarly publishing giants Elsevier and the American Chemical Society (ACS) have filed a lawsuit in Germany against ResearchGate, a popular academic networking site, alleging copyright infringement on a mass scale. The move comes after a larger group of publishers became dissatisfied with ResearchGate’s response to a request to alter its article-sharing practices.

ResearchGate, a for-profit firm based in Berlin that was founded in 2008, is one of the largest social networking sites aimed at the academic community. It claims more than 13 million users, who can use their personal pages to upload and share a wide range of material, including published papers, book chapters, and meeting presentations. Science funders and investors have put substantial funds into the firm; it has raised more than $87 million from the Wellcome Trust charity, Goldman Sachs, and Bill Gates personally.
An article in the news section of Nature provides more background on the publishers' concerns.

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