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 help researchers build a reputation and accelerate scientific progress.
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 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 unaware 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, deactivating some of the listed tick-boxes saves you from an e-mail overload.
Make your papers available online
If you want to upload your paper and make it available online we would recommend uploading the author 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 again you can only send an author version of the 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 making their pre-print / author version or even final published versions of their articles available via ResearchGate.
Publishers, however, have a clear set of rules for use of the articles they publish; see individual publishers' sites for more information.
For all major publishers, your Open Access articles are free for you to upload and make available.