How scientists are using social media, and the rise of ResearchGate

The idea of open-sourcing science is picking up steam in both academia and the private sector, with social media emerging as one of the key tools to link one researcher with the next. A fascinating Nature article, and set of accompanying interactive infographics, breaks down how academics are using social media these days. ResearchGate was singled […]

The idea of open-sourcing science is picking up steam in both academia and the private sector, with social media emerging as one of the key tools to link one researcher with the next.

A fascinating Nature article, and set of accompanying interactive infographics, breaks down how academics are using social media these days. ResearchGate was singled out in the Nature piece as a useful tool for academicians to post their own papers and work, and seek out other scientists for collaboration. Nature detailed the rise of ResearchGate in the article – the site has more than 5 million users, with about 10,000 new scientists joining each day – and its implications on future research:

(Founder Ijad Madisch) has grand goals for the site: He hopes that it will become a key venue for scientists wanting to engage in collaborative discussion, peer review papers, share negative results that might never otherwise be published, and even upload raw data sets. “With ResearchGate we’re changing science in a way that’s not entirely foreseeable,” he says, telling investors and the media that his aim for the site is to win a Nobel prize.

Here’s a screenshot of one of the interactive infographics detailing ResearchGate’s usage. Many more can be found here.

 

*A previous version of this article stated that ResearchGate was the most popular social media tool among researchers, but Google Scholar is actually the most commonly used.