ResearchGate network was founded in 2008 by physicians Dr. Ijad Madisch and Dr. Sören Hofmayer, and computer scientist Horst Fickenscher. Five years later, more than 3 million researchers are already using it to present themselves and make their research visible. They have made it their mission to give science back to the people who make it happen and to help researchers build reputation and accelerate scientific progress.

ResearchGate has several platforms in which you can engage.

Why do I find my profile there?

If you have one or more co-authors who enthusiastically keep up their research profile, ResearchGate generates a basic profile page for you. This page contains the paper you have been identified for as a co-author.

At each paper you can see who added the reference and paper to their and with that to your profile.  

Some authors have a ResearchGate profile they are not aware of until they get questions via the discussion groups or requests for full text articles. Because of the powerful indexing tools used for ResearchGate you may be confronted with this.

You can choose to edit your profile. Maybe only to see to it that your references are at least correct or perhaps engage in discussion groups and make your work available to others by being open to full paper requests.

The user options of ResearchGate are reasonably user friendly and a lot of ITC colleagues are already there. The e-mail settings of ResearchGate in general are, “we’ll inform you of every small thing happening” as soon as your account has been activated, de-activating some of the listed tick-boxes saves you from an e-mail overload.

Go to your profile using the dropdown button next to your picture or picture space


Move on to Notifications and scroll down a long page with notifications you can de-activate.

Making your papers available online

If you want to upload your paper and make it available online we would recommend uploading the latest accepted version, without the publishers editing en final layout. Most publishers do not allow the official version, to be made available online. If you prefer not to put the pdf online you can make it available to colleagues and researchers via your “Request full text” button, but still then you can only send a pre-print edition of the article.

We give the example of Elsevier who states this clearly at the leader page of your 'author copy' article


In general, publishers like Elsevier and IEEE allow pre-print accepted versions of articles to be published on your personal web-page and most of the time also repositories. ResearchGate profiles itself as a personal web space for your research and so dances around the issue of being a repository or even a general (commercial) research database. That is why at the moment most people feel comfortable to make your pre-print / author version or even final published versions of their articles available via ResearchGate.

Publishers however do have a clear set of rules for use of the articles they publish; see for example these individual publishers' sites:

For all major publishers we have seen, your Open Access articles are free for you to upload and make available.

Please be aware of other copyright rules when making papers available online. Consult the ITC library copyright guide or contact Marga Koelen at

Find more on ResearchGate at their FAQ and blog