May 28, 2022

Report: Publishers Seek Removal of Millions of Papers From ResearchGate

UPDATE October 18, 2017  Members of Coalition for Responsible Sharing Begin Sending Take Down Notices to ResearchGate to Address Remaining Violations
Coalition Members: ACS, Brill, Elsevier, Wiley, Wolters Kluwer

UPDATE October 10, 2017 Statement: Coalition For Responsible Sharing (Publishers Group) Welcomes ResearchGate Removal of Significant Number Of Copyrighted Articles

UPDATE October 9, 2017 SpringerNature (NOT a Member of the Coalition For Responsible Sharing) Says They’re Working with ResearchGate to Find Solutions that Work for All Parties, Invites Other Publishers to Join Them

Official Statement

ResearchGate and Springer Nature have been in serious discussions for some time about finding solutions to sharing scientific journal articles online, while at the same time protecting intellectual property rights. The companies are cautiously optimistic that a solution can be found, and we invite other publishers and societies to join the talks.



From Times Higher Education:

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.

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.


The publisher Elsevier drew a backlash from many academics in 2013 when it told users of, 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.

Learn More, Read the Complete Article


Coalition For Responsible Sharing

Following unsuccessful attempts to jointly find ways for scholarly collaboration network ResearchGate to run its service in a copyright-compliant way, information analytics businesses, scholarly and scientific publishers and societies are now left with no other choice but to take formal steps to remedy the illicit dissemination of millions of published articles on the ResearchGate site.

Formal Statement

Coalition For Responsible Sharing on Twitter

OF SPECIAL NOTE…From September 17, 2017

ACS and Elsevier Support Solution Proposed to ResearchGate by International Association of Scientific, Technical, and Medical Publishers (STM)
Includes full text of letter from publishers to ReasearchGate.

See Also: Elsevier Clamps Down on Academics Posting Their Own Papers Online (December 17, 2013)

See Also: Elsevier Statement (December 6, 2013): A Comment on Takedown Notices (with Update)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.