In March 2019, Springer Nature formed a partnership with ResearchGate, a professional network for scientists and researchers. This partnership enables researchers to access scientific content, licenced by their institution, directly through the ResearchGate platform, offering direct access to relevant content, legitimate VoR (Version of Record) for articles and improved discoverability. The Springer Nature content on ResearchGate contains about 1,000 journals which is equivalent to around 1 million articles. Until the end of 2021, we will make the entire portfolio, containing of about 3,000 journals in total, accessible on ResearchGate.
This is a summary of our webinar about the ResearchGate partnership and COUNTER 5 reporting which was presented by out guest speakers Sebastian Bock, Senior Product Manager at Springer Nature in the Institutional Customer Experience Development team and Michael Häusler, Head of Engineering Architecture at ResearchGate. Our panelists gave insights on the nature of the collaboration as well technical aspects of the content syndication.
The overall goal of the partnership is to improve discovery and access to research papers for researchers while enhancing the reader experience. For ResearchGate, this means making it as easy as possible for authors to share work on the platform, whereas for Springer Nature, the partnership forms part of a broader approach to improving user and customer experience by providing content and services directly on the platforms used by the communities. After the completion of the pilot phase of the partnership, we conducted an in-depth evaluation of its impact. Summaries of key findings and considerations on how this and similar partnerships can be developed in the future were published in a jointly written white paper with the title “Researchers at the Centre”.
Findings showed that 99% of authors reported a positive first reaction when hearing about the partnership. A total of 96% of authors reported being "comfortable" or even "very comfortable" with their Nature full-texts being automatically added to their publication pages on ResearchGate. For libraries the partnership is maximizing the utilization of journal subscriptions, as it is an additional place for patrons to access subscribed content. It also includes access control for Springer Nature subscription content and richer insights into content usage.
"It’s been a pleasure to present the outcome of years of collaborative work together with Michael. I am particularly pleased that we were able to clarify a lot of questions and received very positive feedback both in and after the webinar," Sebastian Bock told us after the session.
ResearchGate’s vision is to increase scientific productivity by connecting researchers with all the people, research, and resources they need to advance their science. It has 19 million registered members and covers all countries, disciplines, seniority levels, including 79 Nobel prize winners.
Users will experience various discovery journeys leveraging both context as well as network, including citations notification, updates from followed authors, labs and research projects as well as recommendations from the researcher’s network search. Authenticated access is granted through IP recognition or ResearchGate profile affiliation information. This reduces access barriers, brings the value of the library subscription to the patrons and eases the workload for librarians.
"It was a privilege for me to engage directly with the library community. In this webinar, Sebastian and I presented how Springer Nature and ResearchGate create additional value for researchers and libraries with our joint content syndication efforts. It was a pleasure to experience the interest and positive feedback from librarians firsthand. This partnership is an example of how collaboration and innovation in the scientific communications ecosystem can facilitate researcher access to content, which ultimately helps further discovery and enriches the academic record," said ResearchGate's Michael Häusler.
Download the presentations by Michael Häusler and Sebastian Bock from our webinar session to find out more about technical aspects and the impact of the partnership. For further reading check out our interview with Sebastian Bock and latest updates on COUNTER 5.