ResearchGate dealt a blow in copyright lawsuit

“A landmark court case in which two major academic publishers sued the popular website ResearchGate for hosting 50 of their copyrighted papers has come to a close — although both sides say that they will appeal. The court in Munich, Germany, has not only prohibited ResearchGate from hosting the papers, but also ruled that it is responsible for copyright-infringing content uploaded on its platform. The decision has the potential to set a precedent for further restrictions on the site, which has 20 million users worldwide.

Neither side emerged a clear winner in this case, says Nancy Sims, a librarian at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis who specializes in copyright issues. “Each party got some pieces that were very favourable to them and some pieces that were less favourable to their claims.” …”

Coalition for Responsible Sharing: Statement – Coalition for Responsible Sharing

“Two members of the Coalition for Responsible Sharing, ACS and Elsevier, have decided to appeal the ruling of the Regional Court in Munich in their case against ResearchGate (31 January, 2022).

Dr. James Milne, Chair of the Coalition for Responsible Sharing and President, ACS Publications, said: “We welcome the Regional Court in Munich’s verdict. It ruled in our favor on the main part of the claim: ResearchGate is responsible for content that is made available illegally on its site in contravention of agreements between publishers and authors, which it does for its own commercial gain. ResearchGate has been ordered by the court to refrain from doing this in the future.

On the secondary element of the claim, the court denied granting damages on separate grounds. The court confirmed that the agreements between publishers and authors, including electronic agreements, are legally valid. However, we disagree with the court’s opinion that we did not sufficiently prove the consent of all authors. The specifics of academic publishing should be taken into account: research is inherently both global and collaborative, often involving a range of authors from myriad backgrounds, locations and stages of their career. Against this background, ACS and Elsevier have decided to appeal.”

Collaborating and exchanging research articles is a critical element of how researchers make progress that benefits society. Members of the Coalition for Responsible Sharing actively enable copyright compliant sharing in many ways. We are pleased the courts have now made it clear that ResearchGate needs to do this in a legally compliant, sustainable way.”

ResearchGate Wins (& Loses) Scientific Publishers’ Copyright Lawsuit * TorrentFreak

“In 2017, publishers Elsevier and American Chemical Society filed a copyright lawsuit against research sharing platform ResearchGate, claiming that 50 of their articles were made available without permission. A court in Germany has now prohibited ResearchGate from making those titles available but refused to award damages due to the plaintiffs’ failure to demonstrate acquisition rights.”

ResearchGate must take down Elsevier articles, court rules – Research Professional News

“Munich chamber decides that online networking platform is responsible

for content uploaded by users

A chamber of the Munich Regional Court has ruled that the research
networking sitResearchGate
has to take down articles uploaded without consent from their original
publishers.

A case was brought forward in 2017 by the Coalition for Responsible
Sharing, a group of publishers that includes Elsevier and the American
Chemical Society. Members of the coalition had sent more than 500,000
takedown notices to ResearchGate in order to remove articles from
paid-for journals that had been uploaded and made available for free
by users of the platform, according to a statement….”

Researchgate unterliegt im Rechtsstreit mit Elsevier

From Google’s English:  “The Munich I District Court has sentenced the Researchgate network of researchers to refrain from making scientific journal articles from publications by Elsevier Verlag and the American Chemical Society (ACS) accessible in the future. The articles in question were shared on the platform without the consent of the publisher….

According to a press release from the Munich I Regional Court , numerous specialist articles that are the intellectual property of publishers have been made available on the platform. Several scientific publishers have sued against this practice and have applied for a ban on publication on the platform. While the court prohibited the distribution of the publisher’s publications through Researchgate, it denied the publishers a claim for damages.

Behind the lawsuit is the “Coalition for Responsible Sharing” (CfRS), which was founded by several scientific publishers in 2017 and to which the plaintiffs Elsevier and the American Chemical Society (ACS) belong, according to a CfRS statement . The initiative, founded by a total of five publishers (in addition to Elsevier and ACS, these are Brill, Wiley and Wolters Kluwer), pursues the common goal of preventing what they consider to be inadmissible distribution of articles from the publishers’ trade journals. A total of 13 scientific publishers, including specialist societies and non-profit companies, now belong to the CfRS. The primary goal of the CfRS is the researcher network Researchgate, which the Coalition estimates makes more than four million articles illegally available on its platform.

In parallel with the legal process, Elsevier and the ACS have taken further steps to hold Researchgate accountable. In October , the platform received a request to remove around 200,000 articles from the two publishers from the website . Researchgate has received multiple takedown requests since the Coalition was formed….

With its judgment, the court recognized the publishers’ claims for injunctive relief , but rejected the claim for damages on the grounds that in this case, according to Section 10 of the Copyright Act (UrhG), there are higher requirements for proof of ownership….”

Statement on litigation in German court with publishers Elsevier and American Chemical Society

“In a judgment Monday, the Regional Court of Munich I dismissed the damages claims filed by the scientific publishers Elsevier and the American Chemical Society (ACS) against ResearchGate in 2017. Remarkably, the court found, based on numerous expert opinions, that the publishers’ standard copyright licensing agreements disclosed in the suit–typically signed by only one of multiple authors–were insufficient to demonstrate their acquisition of rights. In the words of the court, this “should not be difficult for a publisher, whose business basis is the legal acquisition of rights of use of the authors published by it”.* This ruling has potentially far-reaching implications for the plaintiffs’ ability to assert their copyright ownership in the future….

Ijad Madisch, ResearchGate co-founder and CEO: “We built ResearchGate to support researchers. This litigation with Elsevier and ACS–now almost five years old–dates back to a different era when most publishers did not put the interests of the research community front and center. While we now have strong partnerships with many leading publishers, this ruling is a reminder of how resistant to change some actors in the scholarly communications ecosystem remain. Our work is as necessary today as it was when we started ResearchGate.” …”

 

Coalition for Responsible Sharing: Statement – Coalition for Responsible Sharing

“On 31 January 2022, the Regional Court in Munich confirmed that ResearchGate is responsible for content that is made available illegally on its site in contravention of agreements between publishers and authors. ResearchGate has been ordered by the court to refrain from doing this in the future.

Dr. James Milne, Chair of the Coalition for Responsible Sharing and President, ACS Publications, said: “We welcome the court´s decision confirming that it is illegal for ResearchGate to make content available on its site without permission from publishers, which it does for its own commercial gain. ResearchGate’s insistence that publishers should send takedown notices for this content is not in line with the law, and it is highly disruptive to the research community.

Collaborating and exchanging research articles is a critical element of how researchers make progress that benefits society. Members of the Coalition for Responsible Sharing actively enable copyright compliant sharing in many ways. We are pleased the courts have now made it clear that ResearchGate needs to do this in a legally compliant, sustainable way.”

ACS and Elsevier will now review the decision of the court in detail….”

Competitive exposure and existential recognition: Visibility and legitimacy on academic social networking sites | Research Evaluation | Oxford Academic

Abstract:  Over the past decade, academic social networking sites, such as ResearchGate and Academia.edu, have become a common tool in academia for accessing publications and displaying metrics for research evaluation and self-monitoring. In this conceptual article, we discuss how these academic social networking sites, as devices of evaluation that build on both traditional values, objects, and metrics in academic publishing and on social media logics and algorithmic metrics, come to fulfil a need in the current academic (publishing) ecosystem. We approach this issue by identifying key affordances that arise in the interaction between platform and user. We then position these affordances in relation to potential needs of academics in today’s publishing landscape by drawing on Hafermalz’s metaphor of the ‘fear of exile’, which provides an alternative way of understanding the importance of visibility in the networked world, as a combination of competitive exposure and existential recognition. We end by considering the grounds on which the platforms may be attributed some level of legitimacy. This is done in order to understand the inherent contradiction between the broad use of the platforms and the fact that their integrity has been questioned repeatedly. We seek an answer to a legitimacy for the platforms in the fact that a pragmatic, mutual benefit exists between them and the research community; a benefit that is enhanced by the audit society influencing current academia.

 

Opening doors to discovery: Partnerships are key to advancing open science

Abstract. The evolution of scholarly communications has accelerated in recent years, and 2020 for obvious reasons put even more pressure on the sector to evolve and adapt. By opening up access to research publications, by simplifying or customising the digital experience, or by improving the speed of publishing – the focus is firmly placed on the need for publishers to work more in partnership with each other, with institutions, funders, and new players in the market to develop solutions that meet the evolving needs of researchers and the wider community. Partnerships between different actors in the research process address challenges in practice and help advance open science, publishing, and the research system as a whole.

Can altmetric mentions predict later citations? A test of validity on data from ResearchGate and three social media platforms | Emerald Insight

Abstract:  Purpose

The main purpose of this study is to explore and validate the question “whether altmetric mentions can predict citations to scholarly articles”. The paper attempts to explore the nature and degree of correlation between altmetrics (from ResearchGate and three social media platforms) and citations.

Design/methodology/approach

A large size data sample of scholarly articles published from India for the year 2016 is obtained from the Web of Science database and the corresponding altmetric data are obtained from ResearchGate and three social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook and blog through Altmetric.com aggregator). Correlations are computed between early altmetric mentions and later citation counts, for data grouped in different disciplinary groups.

Findings

Results show that the correlation between altmetric mentions and citation counts are positive, but weak. Correlations are relatively higher in the case of data from ResearchGate as compared to the data from the three social media platforms. Further, significant disciplinary differences are observed in the degree of correlations between altmetrics and citations.

Research limitations/implications

The results support the idea that altmetrics do not necessarily reflect the same kind of impact as citations. However, articles that get higher altmetric attention early may actually have a slight citation advantage. Further, altmetrics from academic social networks like ResearchGate are more correlated with citations, as compared to social media platforms.

Originality/value

The paper has novelty in two respects. First, it takes altmetric data for a window of about 1–1.5 years after the article publication and citation counts for a longer citation window of about 3–4 years after the publication of article. Second, it is one of the first studies to analyze data from the ResearchGate platform, a popular academic social network, to understand the type and degree of correlations.

Researchers avoid preprints when possible, publisher’s survey says

“A recent survey by academic publisher Springer Nature suggests academics strongly prefer to read and cite final versions of journal articles over earlier drafts….

Nearly 1,400 ResearchGate users responded to the survey in early 2020. A majority of survey respondents said when given the choice between an earlier version of a journal article and the final published version of record, they would choose the final version, viewing it as the most credible and authoritative source. When citing an article in their own work, 83 percent of respondents said they preferred to use the version of record over earlier versions….

It is not particularly surprising that academics say they would choose version-of-record articles over preprint versions of the same article, said Jessica Polka, executive director of ASAPbio, a group that advocates for the open publication of STEM research.

In a recent analysis of articles published on preprint servers bioRxiv and medRxiv, Polka and her colleagues found relatively few differences between preprint articles and their final published counterparts….

While staff at Springer Nature have worked over the past two years to increase their collaboration with ResearchGate, staff at several other major academic publishers have actively tried to distance their companies from the site and diminish its role in the research information landscape — an interesting division in approach.

In 2018, publishers including Elsevier and the American Chemical Society formed a group called the Coalition for Responsible Sharing. This group sent thousands of take-down notices to ResearchGate demanding the site remove unauthorized copies of journal articles. Elsevier and ACS have also filed copyright infringement lawsuits against ResearchGate, legal battles that are still working their way through American and German courts….”

Version of Record | Open research | Springer Nature

“To what extent does article version matter to researchers? Does the version of record (VOR) offer significantly more value to them, to the extent that it would impact the way a researcher might discover, read or share a research output?

Exploring researcher preference for the version of record is a new white paper by Springer Nature in collaboration with ResearchGate, exploring researcher preference for the VOR, compared to other article versions such as the accepted manuscript (AM) or preprints.

The white paper provides evidence of the value of the VOR and immediate gold open access (OA), bringing together both analysis of VOR usage, and feedback from readers and authors via an online questionnaire….”

ResearchGate Partnership and COUNTER 5 Usage Reporting

“In the first section of this 1-hour webinar, Sebastian Bock, Senior Product Manager in the Product & Platform Group at Springer Nature, will introduce details concerning the finalized agreement between Springer Nature and ResearchGate. In the second section guest speaker Michael Häusler, Head of Engineering Architecture at ResearchGate, will explain the technical aspects of the Springer Nature partnership with ResearchGate including data exchange, authentication and authorization processes. Sebastian will finish with a look at Springer Nature processes to support the agreement including a look at COUNTER 5 usage statistics reporting.”

Role of social networking services for scientists in promoting scientific output on example of Polish representatives of social communication and media sciences | Emerald Insight

Abstract:  Purpose

This paper aims to answer the question of how the Polish representatives of social communication and media sciences communicate the most recent scientific findings in the media space, i.e. what types of publications are shared, what activities do they exemplify (sharing information about their own publications, leading discussions, formulating opinions), what is the form of the scientific communication created by them (publication of reference lists’ descriptions, full papers, preprints and post prints) and what is the audience reception (number of downloads, displays, comments).

Design/methodology/approach

The authors present the results of analysis conducted on the presence of the most recent (2017–2019) publications by the Polish representatives of the widely understood social communication and media sciences in three selected social networking services for scientists: ResearchGate, Google Scholar and Academia.edu. The analyses covered 100 selected representatives of the scientific environment (selected in interval sampling), assigned, according to the OECD classification “Field of Science”, in the “Ludzie nauki” (Men of Science) database to the “media and communication” discipline.

Findings

The conducted analyses prove a low usage level of the potential of three analysed services for scientists by the Polish representatives of social communication and media sciences. Although 60% of them feature profiles in at least one of the services, the rest are not present there at all. From the total of 113 identified scientists’ profiles, as little as 65 feature publications from 2017 to 2019. Small number of alternative metrics established in them, implies, in turn, that if these metrics were to play an important role in evaluation of the value and influence of scientific publications, then this evaluation for the researched Polish representatives of social communication and media sciences would be unfavourable.

Originality/value

The small presence of the Polish representatives of the communication and media sciences in three analysed services shows that these services may be – for the time being – only support the processes of managing own scientific output. Maybe this quite a pessimistic image of scientists’ activities in the analysed services is conditioned by a simple lack of the need to be present in electronic channels of scientific communication or the lack of trust to the analysed services, which, in turn, should be linked to their shortcomings and flaws. However, unequivocal confirmation of these hypotheses might be brought by explorations covering a larger group of scientists, and complemented with survey studies. Thus, this research may constitute merely a starting point for further explorations, including elaboration of good practices with respect to usage of social media by scientists.