Amplifying research influence through the social network, open access publishing, and international collaboration: A mediation analysis on nursing studies literature – Tang – Journal of Nursing Scholarship – Wiley Online Library

Abstract:  Introduction

Research impact and influence are commonly measured quantitatively by citation count received by research articles. Many institutes also use citation count as one of the factors in faculty performance appraisal and candidate selection of academic positions. Various strategies were recommended to amplify and accelerate research influence, particularly citation counts, by bringing research articles to a wider reach for potential readers. However, no prior empirical study was conducted to examine and valid effects of those strategies on nursing studies.

This study examines and verifies the direct effects and mediation effects of some strategies, namely, the use of Twitter, international collaboration, the use of ResearchGate, and open access publishing, for amplifying the citation of research and review articles in nursing studies.


Cross-sectional study design.


Articles published in top nursing journals in 2016 were identified in PUBMED and the citation metrics for individual articles until 2021 were extracted from Scopus. The primary outcome was the citation count of the article, while the tweet count on Twitter of the article was considered a mediator. The predictors included paper type, the total number of authors, the proportion of authors with a ResearchGate account in the article, funding support, open-accessed article, and the number of different countries stated in the authors’ affiliation. A mediation analysis was conducted to examine the predictors’ direct and indirect effects (i.e., via tweet count) on the citation count of the article.


A total of 2210 articles were included in this study, of which 223 (10.1%) were review articles. The median (IQR) number of Scopus citations, tweets, countries, and percentage of authors with ResearchGate accounts were 12 (6–21), 2 (0–6), 1 (1–1), and 75% (50%–100%) respectively. In the mediation analysis, tweet count, article type, number of countries, percentage of authors with a ResearchGate account, and journal impact factors in 2014 were positively associated with the Scopus citation count. The effects of article type, open access, and journals’ impact factors in 2014 on Scopus citation count were mediated by the tweet count.


This study provides empirical support for some strategies researchers may employ to amplify the citation count of their research articles. The methodology of our study can be extended to compare research influence between entities (e.g., across countries or institutes).

Clinical Relevance

The citation refers to the research work cited by peers and is one of the indicators for research impact. Higher citations implied the research work is read and used by others, therefore, understanding the associated factors with higher citations is critical.

ResearchGate and EDP Sciences announce content partnership | ResearchGate Newsroom

Berlin (Germany) September 13, 2022 – ResearchGate, the professional network for researchers, and EDP Sciences, an international academic publisher specializing in scientific, technical, and medical disciplines, today announced a content syndication partnership that will see the addition of content from over 30 open access (OA) journals to ResearchGate. 

The agreement will be piloted for a limited duration and involves the syndication of content from EDP Sciences’ open access journals from a range of disciplines, including the Journal of Space Weather and Space Climate, Acta Acustica, and all six Web of Conferences proceedings journals. 

Authors of the content will see their articles added automatically to their publication pages on ResearchGate, giving them access to statistics showing the impact of their work, and enabling them to connect with their readers. As well as simplifying the process of uploading work for authors, this partnership helps make sure that the Version of Record is always available. 

In time, the overall aim of EDP Sciences is to become a full open access publisher and to transition its entire portfolio of journals into full open access journals. Therefore, any initiatives which facilitate the discovery of new research and make science more open and more accessible are well worth pursuing. In doing this, EDP Sciences recognizes changing research habits and shows it is prepared to support researchers wherever they choose to spend their time and conduct their research.

ResearchGate Newsroom | Thieme and ResearchGate launch content syndication partnership

“Thieme and ResearchGate have begun a collaboration to increase the visibility of scientific content. With over 20 million members, ResearchGate provides a platform for researchers to share and discover research, build their networks, and advance their careers. The collaboration will enable direct access on ResearchGate to all scientific articles in the 50 open access journals published by Thieme, whose mission is to improve health and healthcare by providing the key information at the right time and in the right place….”

Going Legit Part 2: The Continuing Path from Piracy to Partnership – The Scholarly Kitchen

“All of this came to mind last month at the Society for Scholarly Publishing’s Annual Meeting, during a session where publishers from Rockefeller University Press (RUP) and Hindawi discussed the results of their trial partnerships with ResearchGate, once the scourge of the scholarly seas, and now increasingly a distribution channel that is being folded into more and more organizations (The Royal Society being the latest) The results from these experiments were interesting — traffic to versions of papers hosted by ResearchGate was significant, but still relatively small as compared to traffic to the same papers on the publishers’ own sites. Something really striking about that traffic though, was that it came from different geographic regions and demographic groups than those that reached the same content directly in the journals. Further investigation of this phenomenon is warranted — is this just a matter of SEO differences among different search tools used by different readers, are these users starting their discovery journey on ResearchGate, or is something else coming into play?

One caveat to all this is that the publishers presenting results only trialed materials that were already available in an open access (OA) manner. Neither has licensed any subscription-access-only content to ResearchGate. Hindawi only publishes OA journals, and RUP makes all articles OA after 6 months (and these were the only types of articles included in their trial). Other publishers, however, are working on gated content with ResearchGate, which is now willing to enforce subscription access restrictions on its users. Scribd created BookID to pre-emptively block the distribution of copyrighted materials, and at the panel, ResearchGate founder Ijad Madisch suggested a willingness to examine GetFTR as a way to readily allocate appropriate user permissions regarding subscription access. Publishers also benefit from ResearchGate usage data, which ideally can be added to COUNTER statistics to inform libraries of their patrons’ activities.

All of which marks an ongoing shift from ResearchGate’s earlier days, where a refusal to pre-filter any uploaded material brought the ire of many major publishers and resulted in a lawsuit that, while still being appealed, placed responsibility on ResearchGate for the materials uploaded to its platform. It’s difficult to tell whether the lawsuit was the most important factor in this shift, as changes in the EU Copyright Directive, making platforms much more responsible for the materials they host, is likely a significant driver of the strategic changes for ResearchGate. It’s probably a combination of these two, along with the lifecycle of a business discussed in the earlier post, where maturation requires some level of integration into the broader community….”

ResearchGate Newsroom | ResearchGate and Royal Society partner to increase accessibility of research

“The Royal Society, the UK’s national science academy, and ResearchGate, the professional network for researchers, announced today a content syndication partnership that will see the addition of 5,000 open access (OA) articles from journals Open Biology and Royal Society Open Science to ResearchGate.

The goal of the partnership is to increase the visibility, accessibility, and consumption of Royal Society gold open access publications in alignment with the Society’s purpose to recognize, promote, and support excellence in science and encourage the development and use of science for the benefit of humanity….”

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

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, 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.