Research Article: “Institutional Repositories and Academic Social Networks: Competition or Complement? A Study of Open Access Policy Compliance vs. ResearchGate Participation”
The following article was recently published by the Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication (JLSC).
Institutional Repositories and Academic Social Networks: Competition or Complement? A Study of Open Access Policy Compliance vs. ResearchGate Participation
University of Rhode Island
Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication
INTRODUCTION The popularity of academic social networks like ResearchGate and Academia.edu indicates that scholars want to share their work, yet for universities with Open Access (OA) policies, these sites may be competing with institutional repositories (IRs) for content. This article seeks to reveal researcher practices, attitudes, and motivations around uploading their work to ResearchGate and complying with an institutional OA Policy through a study of faculty at the University of Rhode Island (URI).
METHODS We conducted a population study to examine the participation by 558 full-time URI faculty members in the OA Policy and ResearchGate followed by a survey of 728 full-time URI faculty members about their participation in the two services.
DISCUSSION The majority of URI faculty does not participate in the OA Policy or use ResearchGate. Authors’ primary motivations for participation are sharing their work more broadly and increasing its visibility and impact. Faculty who participate in ResearchGate are more likely to participate in the OA Policy, and vice versa. The fact that the OA Policy targets the author manuscript and not the final published article constitutes a significant barrier to participation.
CONCLUSION Librarians should not view academic social networks as a threat to Open Access. Authors’ strong preference for sharing the final, published version of their articles provides support for calls to hasten the transition to a Gold OA publishing system. Misunderstandings about the OA Policy and copyright indicate a need for librarians to conduct greater education and outreach to authors about options for legally sharing articles.
Direct to Full Text Article
36 pages; PDF
See Also: Conference Presentation: “Deposit in Local IR v. Deposit in ResearchGate”
Slides from a July 2017 presentation by two co-authors of JLSC article.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.