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

peter.suber's bookmarks 2022-06-27


"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...."



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Date tagged:

06/27/2022, 09:44

Date published:

06/27/2022, 05:44