Springer Nature and ResearchGate extend their content sharing pilot project

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Springer Nature and ResearchGate extend their content sharing pilot project

Springer Nature and ResearchGate have announced an extension of their pilot project to share articles from several of the publisher’s journals on the academic networking site ResearchGate. An extremely positive feedback in the initial phase of the pilot resulted in the decision to extend the collaboration until the autumn of 2019. 

Now in the second phase, the publisher will roll out "four times more Springer Nature content" on ResearchGate. In the previous phase, all ResearchGate users could download the articles. As part of the extended phase, however, only researchers with an institutional Springer Nature subscription will be able to download the articles. Meanwhile, users without a subscription will be able to access the articles in a non-downloadable format. Ijad Madisch, CEO of ResearchGate said that this pilot is “a pivotal move for the scientific community around the world.”

Additionally, Springer Nature and ResearchGate will work with librarians to appraise how a comprehensive overview of the use of scientific literature can be provided. The publisher will also assess the viability of this model with the help of "internal research and community feedback." 

The three-month pilot was first launched in March this year, under which 6,000 articles from 23 Nature journals were uploaded on authors’ ResearchGate profiles “as part of a broader goal to improve access to scientific results for everyone.” According to Springer Nature and ResearchGate, the pilot received favorable feedback from the users: of the 700 ResearchGate users surveyed, 97% shared a positive reaction. Moreover, 96% of the users were “comfortable or very comfortable” with their Nature articles being uploaded on ResearchGate automatically. This prompted the collaborators to extend the pilot project.

Commenting on this development, Steven Inchcoombe, Chief Publishing Officer at Springer Nature said:  “This extended pilot will enable us to build on our previous offerings, providing an enriched experience for the scientific community that we serve through enhanced accessibility and reporting.”

ResearchGate has been under scrutiny of various publishers for sharing thousands of copyrighted articles. As of now, ResearchGate pulls down articles after receiving take-down notices from the copyright-holders. In April 2018, Researchgate signed an agreement with publishers Springer Nature, Cambridge University Press, and Thieme which states that ResearchGate will share articles while protecting authors’ and publishers’ rights on their content. As part of this agreement, ResearchGate has also agreed to work with the publishers to educate users about their rights with respect to copyrighted content.

It remains to be seen how the second phase of the pilot is received by the community. Do you have any views on how Springer Nature and ResearchGate can improve this model further? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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Published on: Jul 25, 2019

Junior Content Writer and Editor, Editage Insights
See more from Fatima Qureshi


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