19th April 2018. This agreement is the result of several years of talks about working together to further facilitate the sharing of journal articles in a way that protects the rights of authors and publishers.
Commenting on the cooperation agreement jointly announced today by Springer Nature, Cambridge University Press, Thieme and ResearchGate, Ijad Madisch, ResearchGate co-founder and CEO, said:
"We are excited to have reached this agreement with so many respected publishers. It shows we agree on the importance of making scientific results accessible online, both for science and for society. We look forward to working with the participating publishers and welcome any who may want to join us to make Open Science a reality together."
Steven Inchcoombe, Chief Publishing Officer for Springer Nature, one of the publishers participating in the agreement, said: "At Springer Nature we want the research we publish to be discovered, accessed, understood, used, re-used and shared, so it can be used as a springboard for new discoveries. With its 15 million users, ResearchGate is an important partner for us to help facilitate such sharing. This agreement will allow us to maintain the version of record and importantly, given our responsibility to our authors and customers, track and report on how our content is being used. We look forward to developing this partnership further and working together to ensure that the experience users have when they share our content on ResearchGate is a good one."
Since its inception ten years ago, ResearchGate has been a leader in Open Science, the public sharing of scientific research online. On the network, 15 million scientists share more than just their published work. To come to results faster, they connect over their current research, and share feedback on datasets, experimental findings, negative results, and more.
ResearchGate has always respected the rights of authors and publishers, and already has in place a simple system that follows international law and enables rights owners to easily report any problem content. In such cases, ResearchGate removes the content expeditiously and informs the scientist who uploaded it.
The new agreement goes even further, making it easier for scientists and publishers to navigate the practice of sharing journal articles online. We know that scientists need clarity over what they can share to make confident decisions that facilitate Open Science. We will work with the publishers to provide this clarity. While this arrangement provides publishers with better visibility into new content that was originally published in their journals, it does not allow them to pre-emptively block or filter research that scientists upload to the network. Hence, this solution will make reporting problematic content more straight-forward for the publishers, while preserving academic freedom. ResearchGate does not expect an extensive amount of content to be reported by participating publishers.
ResearchGate was founded in 2008 by the physicians Dr. Ijad Madisch and Dr. Sören Hofmayer, along with computer specialist Horst Fickenscher. The company's mission is to connect the world of science and make research open to all. 15 million researchers have made more than 215 million connections on the network, collaborate on current research in two million projects, and share over half a million updates about their research daily. ResearchGate has completed four rounds of financing from Benchmark, Founders Fund, Bill Gates, Tenaya Capital, Wellcome Trust, Goldman Sachs Investment Partners, and Four Rivers Group.