Despite Growth, Scientific Networking Sites Are Likely to Complement, Not Replace Open Access Repositories

Author: Pablo Markin
Published Online: 2017-10-12

Even though social media performance becomes increasingly important for scientists, questions about the implications that the business models of scholarly networking sites have persist, while leaving institutional repositories and Open Access publishers with a significant role to play in knowledge sharing.


As scholars become increasingly concerned with the visibility and view counts that their scientific articles generate, social networking platforms have been slated to become the primary venues for the dissemination and sharing of scientific knowledge. However, as Jessica Leigh Brown implies, as these scholarly social networking sites, such as ResearchGate and, have sought to achieve both economic sustainability and reputation within different scientific communities, Open Access institutional repositories run by universities and institutes are likely to continue to be important for ensuring content availability in the long term.

In other words, either as open source projects, e.g., Zotero, or startup initiatives, such as ResearchGate, and Mendeley, these scholarly networks depend on either non-profit, donation-based or private funding, which can either limit their scope or involve the privatization of digital commons with possible non-positive responses in the scientific communities. For instance, ResearchGate has had to demonstrate swift reaction to copyright infringement allegations from large journal publishers, has not met with an enthusiastic response from scholars to its attempts to introduce paid-for services and Mendeley, upon its purchase by Elsevier in 2013, has raised concerns that its content sharing practices might deviate from the principles of Open Access.

By Pablo Markin

The full-length original blog article and additional resources can be found at OpenScience blog.

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Cite this blog post
Pablo Markin (2017, October 26). Despite Growth, Scientific Networking Sites Are Likely to Complement, Not Replace Open Access Repositories. Open Economics Blog. Retrieved May 18, 2024, from

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