[ciência aberta] Publishers seek removal of millions of papers from ResearchGate

Sarita Albagli sarita.albagli em gmail.com
Sábado Outubro 7 17:50:44 UTC 2017

Publicado en *Times Higher Education*: https://www.
Publishers seek removal of millions of papers from ResearchGate

Academic social network accused of infringing copyright on a massive scale
October 5, 2017

Leading publishers are stepping up their fight against ResearchGate by
ordering the academic social network to take down papers that they say
infringe copyright.

The move could see millions of articles removed from the site, as the
publishers say up to 40 per cent of papers on ResearchGate are copyrighted.
Do academic social networks share academics’ interests?

James Milne, a spokesman for the group of five  academic publishers, which
includes Elsevier, Wiley and Brill, said that the first batch of take-down
notices would be sent “imminently”.

“We’re not doing this in any way against the researchers, we’re doing this
against ResearchGate,” he told *Times Higher Education. *​The site was
“clearly hosting and happily uploading material that they know they don’t
have the licence or copyrights” to, and was “refusing to work with us to
solve that problem”, he added.

According to a survey
academics released last year, Berlin-based ResearchGate is by some way the
world’s biggest academic social network, used by about 60 per cent of
academics, particularly in the physical and life sciences, and has raised
nearly $90 million (£68 million) in funding from investors, according to
the website Crunchbase

Publishers are seeing “anecdotal” evidence that the availability of papers
on the site is eating into their revenues, said Dr Milne. “We have heard
during the subscriptions renewal process that librarians are occasionally
referencing ResearchGate as an alternative to resubscribing to journals,”
he said.

He attacked ResearchGate as being “backed by hundreds of millions of
dollars [from venture capitalists,] who are seeking to make a profit from
what [ResearchGate] do, which is upload copyright infringed material”.

“They put nothing back into the process for generating and validating and
curating all that material,” he said.

The publisher Elsevier drew a backlash from many academics in 2013 when it
told users of Academia.edu, a rival to ResearchGate, to take down papers to
which it had rights. Dr Milne stressed that this time, the publishers would
not directly send take-down notices to academics. “We will work with
ResearchGate on this, not researchers,” he said, although the organisation
would be communicating “en masse” with academics about how they can share
their work properly.

But for the publishers, sending out mass take-down notices is not a
permanent solution. “That in itself doesn’t solve the problem, because
every day ResearchGate is uploading more and more material,” said Dr Milne,
trapping publishers in a “perpetual loop” of having to identify infringing
papers. He argued that this would be confusing for researchers, as “one day
there’s content, and the next day there isn’t”, he said.

Elsevier and the American Chemical Society are therefore also taking
ResearchGate to court where they hope to obtain a ruling that would stop
ResearchGate “scraping content off the web, uploading it...and asking
researchers to claim it” so that infringing material “is not in the public
domain”, he explained. The court claim would be lodged in Europe, he said.

A ResearchGate spokeswoman declined to comment. The company’s founder and
chief executive, Ijad Madisch, has previously said that he “wouldn’t mind”
if copyrighted material was removed from the site, as researchers could
continue to share papers privately.
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