ResearchGate: Publishers Take Formal Steps to Force Copyright Compliance

Robert Harington, The Scholarly Kitchen, Oct 06, 2017
Commentary by Stephen Downes

A time-honoured principle among researchers is the sharing of individual copies of published papers. One researcher says to the other, "Oh, could I have a copy of that?" and the other happily obliges. Like everything else that is good, this was automated and commodified on the internet and turned into sites like ResearchGate and Academia. Now requests for papers go through these centralized social networks, and the networks, in turn, ask you to upload your published papers. The sites also aggregate copies of open access publications. I don't like it because they force readers to log in to access the papers. Publishers don't like it because they think it's piracy, and they have formed a coalition to fight the practice: "the Coalition for Responsible Sharing, which includes publishers and societies ready to take action, ranging from legal requests asking ResearchGate to remove infringing articles, to litigation.

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