Would you pay $25 (£19.10) a year to use a not-for-profit alternative to ResearchGate or Academia.edu?
A group of open access campaigners are raising money to build a rival to academia’s biggest social networks, who they say cannot be trusted to put researchers’ interests first.
ScholarlyHub is trying to raise up to €500,000 (£446,000) [$579,000/USD) in order to build a platform that would at once be a social network, publishing platform and repository.
Guy Geltner, a professor of medieval history at the University of Amsterdam who is leading the project, said that academics are caught up in a “capitalist war” between big publishers and venture-capital backed sites such as Academia.edu and ResearchGate. “It’s time we left that battlefield for the sake of science,” he said.
Another plank of the plan is to make ScholarlyHub a publishing platform. “Without that we won’t be sustainable,” he said. The site would not charge article processing charges or arrange peer review, but instead would allow academic communities to move their publishing away from for-profit journals to the platform. They could make the switch without changing their brand or journal “one iota”, Professor Geltner continued.
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