Academic Social Media: ResearchGate Financials

In one of my writing workshops this semester, my students asked me to provide an overview of the academic social media landscape. One of the surprising things for students to consider in such discussions is the fact that social media outlets (including very “solid” looking enterprises such as LinkedIn and ResearchGate) are actually subject to the whims of the marketplace, and their future is by no means as secure as the tools may appear.

Thus this morning, scanning my work Twitter (which I find functions quite well for staying aware of global scholarly publishing trends), I was not surprised to find a discussion by the American scholarly publishing community regarding ResearchGate and its current financial status. A brief analysis of this is provided by german startups at:

To make a long story short, ResearchGate is losing money and its path towards “profitability” is unclear.

What does this mean for students? I feel it’s important to continue stressing that such tools – while very useful – may disappear or have certain functionalities “gated” in the future. That it’s still important to keep one’s own personal archive.

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The Movie You’ve Been Waiting For…

Coming September 2018 to NYC – October 9 to Rotterdam (Erasmus University, Netherlands) – is Paywall: The Business of Scholarship. Featuring interviews by academics and publishers alike.


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Springer Nature IPO Withdrawn

Why Was Springer Nature’s IPO Withdrawn?

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Towards an Access and Discovery “Supercontinent”?

Roger Schonfeld paints the current picture of access and discovery in a must-read article for everyone interested the so-called researcher experience:

Will a supercontinent emerge for discovery and access? Time will tell. Meanwhile, users have long become impatient of the wait.

Additional Reading

Green, Toby (2018). Let’s Hear It for Readers. Fiesole Retreat: Serving Learning & Scholarship.

Schonfeld, Roger C. (2018). The Supercontinent of Scholarly Publishing? The Scholarly Kitchen.

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Springer Nature Announces IPO

From Reuters:

Springer Nature, the publisher of science magazines Nature and Scientific American, is planning to raise 1.2 billion euros ($1.5 billion) by selling new shares in an initial public offering (IPO).


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Clarivate Acquires Discovery Startup Kopernio

Kopernio, a startup aiming to make acquiring PDFs more seamless, has been acquired by Clarivate (owner of Web of Science, Publons, and more):

Kopernio underscores one truism remarkably clearly: You cannot serve as a starting point for discovery, as Web of Science proposes to do, if you cannot provide seamless access to content resources. Trust, authority, starting point, and seamlessness begin to blend together in ways that all discovery providers should take note.

Additional commentary:

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Tighter Rules for Nature: Non-Financial Conflicts Declaration

Nature and all Nature Research journals now require authors to declare any non-financial conflicts of interest:

Competing interests (both financial and non-financial) are defined as a secondary interest that could directly undermine, or be perceived to undermine, the objectivity, integrity and value of a publication through a potential influence on the judgments and actions of authors with regard to objective data presentation, analysis and interpretation. Non-financial competing interests can include a range of personal and/or professional relationships with organizations and individuals, including membership of governmental, non-governmental, advocacy or lobbying organizations, or serving as an expert witness.

Read more:

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What is Blockchain?

There’s a new buzzword on the block, blockchain. Discussion has emerged regarding blockchain and its possible applicability to the next-generation of persistent document identifiers (PIDs; like ORCIDs, DOIs):

Blockchain is a technology for decentralized, self-regulating data which can be managed and organized in a revolutionary new way: open, permanent, verified and shared, without the need of a central authority.

Read more at Scholarly Kitchen and in this presentation.

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“Predation” Update: Beall’s Archive Up and Running

An anonymous scholar is now maintaining an archive of Beall’s List:

Additional Reading

Derek Lowe provides an update, generally, on “predation”:

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Dr. Martin Grötschel Speaks Out on Scholarly Publishing

Dr. Martin Grötschel, President of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities

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