A New Social Network For Science Could Change How We Make Discoveries | Co.Exist: World changing ideas and innovation

abernard102@gmail.com 2012-06-22


“The corpses of social networks for scientists litter the internet: Labmeeting, Elsevier’s 2collab, and Nature’s Connotea--all moribund sites whose must active user is silence.   But perhaps there is life here after all. Mendeley, a social reference manager for scientists, reports it has signed up more than 1.7 members during the last few years and is organizing research papers in one convenient place. ResearchGate, a collaborative social network for scientists, is also bursting onto the scene with an ambitious mission. After attracting a devoted following of Ph.D. students, it is entering the mainstream research community with 1.7 million members of its own ... . Ijad Madisch, the founder of ResearchGate and a former genetics researcher at Harvard, is pioneering this new ‘social’ science. His ultimate ambition, he says, is to win the Nobel Prize. His contribution? A global network of scientists who are sharing, collaborating, and building a new generation of scientific research. ‘My professor told me years ago, 'No one is going to use social networks,’ says Madisch. ‘I told [him] this is exactly what I want to change.’ This phase of the scientific method will rely less on geography and journals, and more on the connections made by scientists on social networks. His five-year-old service just announced a new B round of venture funding from Founders Fund, among others, and is aggressively expanding its model. While it has nowhere near the traction of Facebook (now heading toward 1 billion), its global reach is yielding some unlikely scientific endeavors that would never have happened in the hallways of a typical university. One was by Orazio Romeo, an Italian medical researcher tracking down pathological yeasts. He got some unexpected help from Emmanuel Nnadi, a Nigerian scientist he found on ResearchGate, after funding dried up to collect samples. Nnadi helped him isolate new strains from Nigeria and the pair published their findings in Medical Mycology in 2012 on this distribution pathogenic yeasts... its most disruptive idea is to start publishing original scientific research that bypasses the journal system and formal peer review (where scientists vet others’ work before publication). ‘The journal system was never developed for the Internet,’ says Madisch. ‘We want to give [our members] a platform to publish their research results. … I think peer review can be done by community.’ That threatens to upend not only the paywall model that has sustained the multi-billion dollar scholarly publishing industry (under attack by a crowd-driven White House petition) but even challenges open access science publishers such as BioMed Central and PLOS who charge authors (The journal PeerJ is also edging into this space as well). ResearchGate is nowhere near claiming victory, but the network’s numbers are reportedly headed in the right direction: 22% of its members are logging in at least once/month, and weekly engagement among new users has grown from about 1.5 percent in 2010 to 34 percent today. Ultimately, Madisch says, ResearchGate plans to just continue its one secret to success so far. ‘The most important reason, and it sounds simple, is that we always listened to the community.’”




08/16/2012, 06:08

From feeds:

Open Access Tracking Project (OATP) » abernard102@gmail.com


oa.new oa.gold oa.business_models oa.publishers oa.comment oa.plos oa.open_science oa.peer_review oa.crowd oa.social_media oa.funders oa.fees oa.bmc oa.peerj oa.mendeley oa.researchgate oa.face_book oa.facebook oa.journals



Date tagged:

06/22/2012, 22:12

Date published:

06/22/2012, 23:37