Abstract and Figures

Abstract It is generally believed that the number of citations to an article can positively be correlated to its free online availability. In the present study, we investigated the possible impact of academic social networks on the number of citations. We chose the social web service “ResearchGate” as a case. This website acts both as a social network to connect researchers, and at the same time, as an open access repository to publish post-print version of the accepted manuscripts and final versions of open access articles. We collected the data of 1823 articles published by the authors from four different universities. By analyzing these data, we showed that although different levels of full text availability are observed for the four universities, there is always a significant positive correlation between full text availability and the citation count. Moreover, we showed that both post-print version and publisher’s version (i.e., final published version) of the archived manuscripts receive more citations than non-OA articles, and the difference in the citation counts of post-print manuscripts and publisher’s version articles is nonsignificant.
Content may be subject to copyright.
RT. A Journal on Research Policy & Evaluation 5 (2017)
Submitted on 16 January 2017, accepted on 26 July 2017, published on 4 August 2017
Doi: 10.13130/2282-5398/7997
How accessibility influences citation counts: The case of
citations to the full text articles available from ResearchGate
Mohammad Sababi*, Sayed Amir Marashi, Moohebat Pourmajidian, Sana S.
Pourtabatabaei, Faezeh Darki*, Mohammad Reza Sadrzadeh,
Mohsen Dehghani, Amirali Zandieh*, Mohammad Kazem Zim,
Meisam Yousefi, Monireh Jamalkhah, S. Kasra Tabatabaei, Fatemeh Safaeifard,
Andisheh Talaei, Motahareh Sobat, Faezeh Moakedi, Pouyan Nejadi
Abstract: It is generally believed that the number of citations to an article can positively be correlated
to its free online availability. In the present study, we investigated the possible impact of academic
social networks on the number of citations. We chose the social web service “ResearchGate” as a case.
This website acts both as a social network to connect researchers, and at the same time, as an open
access repository to publish post-print version of the accepted manuscripts and final versions of open
access articles. We collected the data of 1823 articles published by the authors from four different
universities. By analyzing these data, we showed that although different levels of full text availability
are observed for the four universities, there is always a significant positive correlation between full
text availability and the citation count. Moreover, we showed that both post-print version and
publisher’s version (i.e., final published version) of the archived manuscripts receive more citations
than non-OA articles, and the difference in the citation counts of post-print manuscripts and
publisher’s version articles is nonsignificant.
Keywords: academic social web services; gold open access; green open access; full text; visibility;
vitation analysis
*School of Biology, College of Science, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran
Department of Biotechnology, College of Science, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran
Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran
School of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science, College of Science, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran
How accessibility influences citation counts:
the case of citations to the full text articles available from ResearchGate
2
1. Introduction
Citation analysis is commonly used as an approach to evaluate quality of research articles and
performance of researchers and journals (Eysenbach, 2006; Garfield, 2006a). Most of the
scientometric measures of publishing performance, including impact factor and h-index, are based on
citation statistics (Garfield, 2006b; Braun et al, 2006). Consequently, it is important to understand how
factors other than scientific merit may influence the number of article citations (Moed, 2009; Falagas
et al, 2008).
Many studies have previously shown the positive impact of free online availability of articles on
their citations (Antelman, 2004; Niyazov et al, 2016). For this reason, it is not surprising that the total
number of open access (OA) scholarly journals and the number of research articles published in these
journals have increased significantly during the last decade (Kamat, 2015; Laakso et al, 2011). In
contrast, some studies showed that there may not be a significant correlation between citation count
and free accessibility of articles (Davis, 2008; Craig et al, 2007) and other factors could affect citation
counts too. For example, Gaule and Maystre suggested that the higher number of citation of OA
articles could be due to self-selecting of higher quality articles to be open-access by authors (Gaule et
al, 2011).
Today, in the era of social networking websites, a striking increase in communication and
collaboration among scientists has occurred (Wren, 2005; Moed et al, 2016). This new way of scientific
communication is now so popular that some scientometric measures, e.g., Altmetrics, are introduced
based on the citations and bookmarkings within social web services (Niyazov et al, 2016; Ale Ebrahim
et al, 2014; Van Noorden, 2015). There are also a number of academic social network websites
designed for people in the field of science and technology, including Academia.edu, Mendeley and
ResearchGate. Such web services are primarily developed to help researchers in communicating and
sharing scientific texts with other scholars in an efficient way (Ovadia, 2014), although they are also
suggested to be used for evaluation purposes (Hoffmann et al, 2016; Min-ChunYu et al, 2016).
ResearchGate, as one of the most popular social networks among academics, currently has over 10
million registered members and has indexed more than 100 million articles. Moreover, ResearchGate
also acts as an open access repository and encourages the researchers to archive a post-print version
of their manuscripts (following the “green OA” model). Despite the fact that this website asks the
members to abide by the laws of copyright, in practice many authors publish the publisher’s version
of their works without permission from publisher (Kamat, 2015; Thelwall et al, 2015; Jamali, 2015).
In the present work, we collected the data of 1823 articles published by the authors from four
different universities, namely King’s College London, University of Cape Town, Peking University,
and University of Tehran. We study whether publishing OA articles or posting manuscripts on
ResearchGate depends on the researcher’s academic affiliation. Furthermore, we investigate how
being OA or being freely available can influence the number of citations to an article.Among
researchers, it sometimes happens that practitioners of a heterodox methodology complain about the
(either real or alleged) tyranny of a mainstream school of thought. Whereas some of these quarrels
depend on private rivalries, it is almost indisputable that, within many disciplines, there actually are
two or more rival schools of thought whose followers periodically engage in disputes and try to
ostracize each other. I argue that, as far as these rivalries are genuine (i.e., as far as they are rooted in
some genuinely epistemological disagreement), such disputes highlight social phenomena that have
important epistemic consequence.
How accessibility influences citation counts:
the case of citations to the full text articles available from ResearchGate
3
2. Materials and Methods
2.1 Analysis of the papers published by four universities
Based on Alexa ranking, United Kingdom, China and Iran are among the top countries with the
highest number of ResearchGate visits.
i
South Africa is a developing country in which English is the
official scientific language. Therefore, we included this country in our study for comparing its
characteristics to the United Kingdom on the one hand, and to Iran and China on the other hand. In
our study, we chose one representative university from each country (Table 1). One should keep in
mind that based on one single university, it is not possible to draw any general conclusion among the
profiles of these countries.
University name
Abbreviation
Country
Number of analyzed
documents
King’s College London
KCL
United Kingdom
505
University of Cape Town
UCT
South Africa
228
Peking University
PU
China
480
University of Tehran
UT
Iran
610
Table 1. List of selected universities in the present study
In June 2015, the profile of the universities was searched at the ResearchGate website
(https://www.researchgate.net), and researchers from different research areas were randomly chosen.
For the University of Cape Town, we considered all of the authors. Altogether, the publication data
of all chosen researchers were obtained, which comprises 1823 articles published from 2012 to 2014.
In some cases, we observed an inconsistency between the publication year reported in the journal
website and the publication year reported in ResearchGate. In such cases, the date reported in the
journal website was considered as correct.
For each article, the following data were collected:
Impact factor of the journal in which the paper is published;
The number of authors;
Availability as an OA article via the journal published website;
Availability of the full text article (as the post-print or publisher’s version) via ResearchGate;
Total citation count based on Google Scholar website (in June 2015)
In the present study, we adopted the following definitions. An article was considered as a gold OA
article if its full text is downloadable from the journal website. If an article is not available as gold OA,
but its full text is available via ResearchGate, then it is considered as a green OA article (Craig et al,
2007; Harnad et al, 2004). Such a green OA article is either available in ResearchGate as a post-print
(that is, the final author’s draft after refereeing ) or as a publisher’s version (the final copy of the peer
reviewed edited full text in the journal layout) (Craig et al, 2007). Finally, if the full text article is
available neither from the journal website not from ResearchGate, then it is considered as a non-OA
article. It should be mentioned that the full text of gold OA articles are almost always (automatically)
available in ResearchGate. Additionally, our definition of green OA might be an underestimation of
How accessibility influences citation counts:
the case of citations to the full text articles available from ResearchGate
4
the real definition, as full texts might be available from other websites and repositories (e.g., ArXiv),
but not ResearchGate.
2.2. Statistical Analysis
In the present work, the data were generally not normally distributed and most of the variables were
integer-valued. Therefore, for comparing two distributions, we used Wilcoxon rank-sum test. To
determine whether there is a significant difference between two observed frequencies in two
categories, we used chi-squared test.
3. Results
Figure 1 shows the number of articles whose full texts are available in ResearchGate (i.e., the circles)
and other articles (i.e., the non-OA articles). Note that the articles which are available as OA in the
journal website were also available from the ResearchGate. Additionally note that in the present work,
the term “green OA” refers to the articles whose full texts are freely available via ResearchGate (but
not the journal website).
Figure 1. Venn diagram representing the number of OA and non-OA articles published by
the four universities. In each panel, the circle represents the articles which are available as full
How accessibility influences citation counts:
the case of citations to the full text articles available from ResearchGate
5
text in ResearchGate, either as gold OA articles (i.e., the internal, strong-yellow circle) or green
OA articles (i.e., the big, green circle). The green OA articles are either archived in the post-
print format or publisher’s version format. Those articles whose full texts are not available in
ResearchGate are counted as non-OA.
3.1. Increased citation count is linked to online availability of the article
In the first part of our analysis, we investigated if the number of citations to gold OA articles is
significantly greater than the number of citations to non-OA ones. A significant difference was found
between these two variables (p=2.5×10-9 in Wilcoxon test; OA mean rank=752 ±591.8; Non OA
mean rank=624.09 ±483.3; SI Table 1) which confirms that gold OA articles attract more citations
compared to non-OA articles.
Full text version of gold OA articles are almost always available in ResearchGate. However, we also
tested whether availability of green OA full text articles (in both post-print and publisher’s version
formats) influences the number of citations. The difference between the citation count to green OA
articles and the citation count of non-OA articles was significant (p=1.1×10-8 in Wilcoxon test; Green
OA mean rank=710.95 ±577.02 Non OA mean rank=601.74 ±440.94; SI Table 2). Such a significant
difference was also present if this analysis was independently repeated for each of the four universities
(data not shown).
We observed that the authors of non-OA articles may publish their works as post-prints or
publisher’s versions. Many journals allow online archiving of the manuscript in post-print form to
make it a green OA article. In contrast, archiving publisher’s version of papers is often not allowed.
We compared the number of citations to post-print and publisher’s version articles. No significant
difference was observed between the medians of the two distributions (p=0.12 in Wilcoxon test; Post
print mean rank=170.7 ±260.4 publisher’s version mean rank=240.8 ±62.8; SI Table 3) , which means
that it is not possible to conclude that publisher’s version of articles attract more citations compared
to the post-print versions. It should be mentioned that because of the low count of the post-print
articles and consequently low power of this test, these results are only preliminary results. Therefor a
more comprehensive study is required to obtain conclusive results.
3.2. Factors which influence full text availability of non-OA articles
In the next step we studied the factors which can influence full text availability of non-gold OA articles.
One important parameter is impact factor of the journal. Briefly, there was conjecture that one
motivation to archive and distribute the full text of an article on ResearchGate might be to
communicate low-quality articles with other researchers with the hope to attract more attention. On
the other hand, researchers may simply want to proudly share their high-quality findings with others.
To test which of the above scenarios might be stronger, the difference between impact factor (IF) of
Green OA and Non OA articles was explored. No significant difference was observed between the
two variables (p=0.079 in Wilcoxon test; Green OA IF mean rank:665.73±577.02; Non OA IF mean
rank=628.14 ±440.94; SI Table 4), suggesting that impact factor, in general, is not a major determinant
of full text archiving and availability. A similar analysis was performed for each of the universities, and
interestingly, only in case of UT and PU a significant difference between impact factor of Green OA
and NonOA articles observed(For PU: p=0.03 in Wilcoxon test; Green OA IF mean
How accessibility influences citation counts:
the case of citations to the full text articles available from ResearchGate
6
rank:201.52±169.6; Non OA IF mean rank=165.95±102.77) and ( For UT: p=0.0001 in Wilcoxon
test; Green OA IF mean rank= 295.40±228.26; Non OA IF mean rank=255.98±209.42; SI Table 5).
It has been previously suggested that there is a positive correlation between number of authors of
an article and its citation count (Borsuk, 2009). In this study we showed that green OA articles may
attract more citations than non-OA articles. Here, we tested the difference between the number of
authors of green OA and non-OA articles to see if such significant difference in the number of authors
of green OA vs. non-OA articles exists. A significant difference was observed in this case (p=1.4×10-
5 in Wilcoxon test; Number of authors for Green OA mean rank=700.11±577.02; Number of authors
for Non OA mean rank=608.06±440.94; SI Table 6).
3.3. Pairwise comparison of the four universities
Nowadays, different ranking of universities are published every year. Some of these university ranking
systems include citation-dependent measures, e.g. h-index, in their analysis. Here, as a side result, we
show that citations to the papers published from a certain university might be linked with the OA-
related policies of that university/country, and the scientific merit of the papers is not the only
determinant of the citation count of each university. Note that due to the small sample size (i.e., only
four universities) and the nature of our analysis (which are to detect correlations and not causes), one
cannot extend the findings of the present analysis to draw explicit conclusions on OA rate for each
institution or their OA advantage.
The gold OA publication rate seems to be considerably different among the four universities (44%
in KCL, 55% in UCT, 27% in PU and 10% in UT). In this step, we compared each pair of universities
to see if OA publication rate is significantly different over these universities. The results are
summarized in Table 2. Interestingly, all of the pairwise differences were found to be significant.
University pair
Chi-square
p
-value
Test Statistic
KCL vs. UCT
6×10-3
7.01
KCL vs. PU
3×10-8
29.80
KCL vs. UT
1×10-37
162.48
UCT vs. PU
7×10-13
50.42
UCT vs. UT
6×10-43
186.29
PU vs. UT
6×10-13
50.61
Table 2. Comparing universities for their OA publication rate. In each case, a 2×2 contingency
table was constructed to summarize the number of OA vs. non-OA articles which are published by
University X vs. University Y. Then, the significance was computed as the chi-square p-value.
The archiving rate was also found to be comparable over the universities except for the case of UT
(17% in KCL, 18% in UCT, 20% in PU and 41% in UT). In the next step, we repeated a similar
analysis to compare the archiving rate of the non-gold OA articles. The results of this analysis are
shown in Table 3.
How accessibility influences citation counts:
the case of citations to the full text articles available from ResearchGate
7
University pair
Chi-square
p
-value
Test Statistic
KCL vs. UCT
0.13
2.198
KCL vs. PU
0.27
1.173
KCL vs. UT
6×10-5
15.889
UCT vs. PU
1×10-2
5.774
UCT vs. UT
0.32
0.992
PU vs. UT
2×10-8
30.273
Nonsignificant at the level of 0.05.
Table 3. Comparing universities for archiving rate of their non-gold OA articles. In each case,
a 2×2 contingency table was constructed to summarize the number of archived vs. not-
archived articles which are published by University X vs. University Y. Then, the significance
was computed as the chi-square p-value.
4. Discussion
4.1. Free full text availability is correlated with increased citation rate
It is suggested that free online availability of an article increases its citation potential (Eysenbach,
2006). In the present study, we showed that a similar pattern is observed for the dataset of articles
selected from ResearchGate. Moreover, some other studies had shown that archiving a manuscript
can increase its citation potential (Kurtz et al, 2005; Davis et al, 2007). Here, we show that full text
availability via ResearchGate has a similar positive effect. This finding can be explained by the fact
that the full text articles are not only available to ResearchGate members, but also accessible to others
via Google or Google Scholar (Jamali et al, 2015). It should be mentioned that in the present article
we only considered those OA articles whose full text version is available from the journal website or
from ResearchGate. In fact, the significant difference that was observed between the citation counts
of OA and non-OA articles might be even stronger, as many articles which are counted as non-OA
here might be in fact available via other platforms (like ArXiv). Therefore, such articles might attract
higher number of citations due to their actual OA availability.
As mentioned above, archiving manuscripts can increase the citation potential of the article. We
showed that such an increase is comparable in case of post-print and publisher’s version of the article.
Therefore, it is reasonable for the traditional non-gold OA publishers to encourage researchers to
archive their works in post-print format, as such availability can increase the citation rates, and
eventually, the journal impact factor.
How accessibility influences citation counts:
the case of citations to the full text articles available from ResearchGate
8
4.2. The relationship between archiving non-gold OA articles and impact factor
In the present work, we showed that at least in case of Peking University and University of Tehran,
there is a significant correlation between impact factor and tendency for archiving their (otherwise
non-OA) articles in ResearchGate (section3.2). Interestingly, these two universities have the lowest
rate of gold OA publication among the four studied universities. This finding can be explained by the
fact that researchers in PU and UT, like other researchers, want to share their high-quality findings
with other investigators. In fact, a 2011 survey on author attitudes toward OA (Kenneway, 2011)
reported that 81.3% and 72.2% of participants from Iran and China, respectively, believed that OA
publishing is important. Interestingly, in developed countries like Japan and the United States, the
values are not as high (69% and 70.8%, respectively). Consequently, researchers in Iran and China
may tend to publish in gold OA journals, but due to non-scientific reasons (e.g., lack of financial
support for gold OA publication) they are not able to do so. In different surveys, it has been shown
that in developing countries, where institutional support is limited, serious concerns may exist for
those who cannot afford to pay normal OA publication fees (Schroter et al, 2005) and this may turn
such a fee into an important factor in selecting the journal (Solomon et al, 2012). Consequently, they
might use ResearchGate to freely share their work with others as gold OA articles.
In the present study, we showed that there is a significant positive correlation between full text
availability and the citation count. Moreover, we showed that both post-print version and publisher’s
version (i.e., final published version) of the archived manuscripts receive more citations than non-OA
articles. A possible drawback of our methodology is that the citation impact of full text and non-full
text articles are not compared among papers of the same discipline. This issue may potentially
influence the results, as both the shares of different access models and citation rates might be dissimilar
among different subject areas. This drawback, however, may be alleviated to some extent by the fact
that in our dataset, the ratio of papers within each subject area is fairly comparable (see Table 4).
Therefore, we believe that our analysis can still provide insight about the citation trends of articles.
Subject area
Percentage
Medical Sciences
19.7%
Agriculture and Biological Sciences
17.6%
Physical and Chemical Science
18.1%
Engineering
13.6%
Art, Social sciences and Humanities
13.1%
Other
17.9%
Table 4. The ratio of papers in our dataset in each major subject area. Note that if all ratios
were the same, one would expect each subject area to include 16.7% of all articles.
How accessibility influences citation counts:
the case of citations to the full text articles available from ResearchGate
9
Conflicts of Interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest.
Abbreviations
The following abbreviations are used in this manuscript:
OA: open access
non-OA: non-open access
IF: impact factor
CC: correlation coefficient
KCL: King’s College London
UCT: University of Cape Town
PU: Peking University
UT: University of Tehran
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... Laakso et al. (2017) also examined which versions were made available in their sample, which also reflected a preference for final published versions, with 75.2% of the full-text articles in the sample hosted on ASNS being published versions. Sababi et al. (2017) sampled the documents on ResearchGate associated with four leading global universities, which demonstrated wide variation in the versions and Open Access status of uploaded documents according to institution. ...
... papers received an average citation boost of 58% after 5 years ( Niyazov et al., 2016). Sababi et al. (2017) examined the citation advantage at ResearchGate through sampling the documents hosted in relation to four universities reflecting locations across the globe. Although the analysis was more limited in scope than Niyazov et al. (2016), the study reports an increased citation rate associated with the availability of Open Access papers through the platform ( Sababi et al., 2017). ...
... Sababi et al. (2017) examined the citation advantage at ResearchGate through sampling the documents hosted in relation to four universities reflecting locations across the globe. Although the analysis was more limited in scope than Niyazov et al. (2016), the study reports an increased citation rate associated with the availability of Open Access papers through the platform ( Sababi et al., 2017). ...
Article
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Social network sites enable people to easily connect to and communicate with others. Following the success of generic platforms such as Facebook, a variety of online services launched during the mid 2000s in order to bring the benefits of online social networking to an academic audience. However, it is not clear whether these academic social network sites (ASNS) are primarily aligned with social networking or alternative publishing, and functionalities continue to change. Now 10 years since the launch of the three main platforms which currently lead the market (Academia.edu, ResearchGate, and Mendeley), it is timely to review how and why ASNS are used. This paper discusses the history and definition of ASNS, before providing a comprehensive review of the empirical research related to ASNS to-date. Five main themes within the research literature are identified, including: the relationship of the platforms to Open Access publishing; metrics; interactions with others through the platforms; platform demographics and social structure; and user perspectives. Discussing the themes in the research both provides academics with a greater understanding of what ASNS can do and their limitations, and identifies gaps in the literature which would be valuable to explore in future research.
... Literature on SSNS has grown in recent years. Research has focused on a wide range of topics like the demographics of SSNS [16][17][18], intention to adopt SSNS [17,19], motivations for using SSNS [20,21], impact on social capital [6]. Academic social networks have been found useful in expanding a researcher's network [17] as well as enhancing a researcher's knowledge sharing behavior [6]. ...
... Another, equally widespread point of view, underlines the use of SSNS as sources of scientific knowledge [21,[40][41][42]. Researchers passively consult documents uploaded by their colleagues [19]-sometimes, unconsciously infringing the copyright [43]-or actively seek the knowledge they need through the use of features like "question and answers" [40]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Scientific social networking sites like ResearchGate or Academia.edu have become part of the work practice of academic researchers. These digital platforms have been designed precisely to encourage the exchange of knowledge between scholars and to help the expansion of collaborative networks among them. Even if studies on this topic have multiplied in recent years, there is a dearth of research on the actual impact of these platforms on scientific production. The goal of this study is to investigate the relationship between the attitude of researchers towards scientific social networks and the use of knowledge in their scientific work. Data from users of the scientific social networking site ResearchGate were collected. A total of 143 valid responses were received and structural equation modeling was applied for data analysis. Findings of this study confirmed that researchers use knowledge obtained from scientific social networking sites both incorporating it within their research products and to acquire new competences. In particular approaching the platform as a scientific community with a shared language and a shared vision was found to have a positive impact on knowledge use. To the best knowledge of the authors this is the first study investigating the actual use of knowledge from scientific social networking sites by academic researchers. Results help us to understand the impact of these platforms on the work practice of a strategic sector like scientific research.
... Batooli et al. (2017), in analysing major Clinical Medicine articles in Asian institutions, showed that publications deposited in ResearchGate increased exposure of scholars leading to increased citation count. In analysing data of 1,823 articles published by the authors from four different universities, Sababi et al. (2017) found a significant positive association between complete text availability and the citation count. Further, publisher's version of the archived manuscripts and post-print versions, received more citations than non-OA articles, and the difference in the citation counts of post-print manuscripts and publisher's version articles was not significant. ...
... The accelerations for both models for RG are statistically significant at p value less than 0.00, just as the difference between the estimates. Whilst the statistically significant magnitude and sign, are in accordance with existing literature (Batooli et al., 2017;Sababi et al., 2017), the significant difference in the parameters imply that the propensity to increase citation linearly is higher than the propensity to move citation from 0 to 1 and beyond. There appears to be some inertia to cite frontier papers in ADE. ...
Article
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A large body of literature exists on analysis of citation and reviews of application of efficiency frontier. However, the reviews that assessed the determinants of citation counts did not focus on frontier applications. We contribute to the literature by identifying the drivers of citations of frontier application publications on Ghana. We employed two-part mixture modelling with inverse hyperbolic sine (IHS) transformation of the second part, which was found to be more appropriate than single equation IHS transformation modelling, for our data. Use of stochastic frontier analysis or data envelopment analysis did not drive citations counts. However, quality of journals in which frontier application studies were published and accessibility of the journals to readers, drive citation counts. Authors, institutions and funders of studies on frontier applications may consider these over collaborations , in seeking growth in citation counts.
... № 30. Р. [185][186][187][188][189][190][191][192]. 314 Borrego identified users who uploaded their articles to ResearchGate but did not publish them in university repositories, and invited them to participate in the study, commenting on a similar strategy for promoting their own texts. ...
Thesis
Full-text available
Scientific communication is an integral part of any scientific activity, which determines the forms of mutual integration of scientific information, and, consequently, the speed and effectiveness of knowledge production. Despite the high degree of autonomy, the system of scientific communication is significantly influenced by technological innovations, which is enhanced by the ongoing search for ways to optimize this type of interaction and tools to overcome the information crisis that has been going on for more than half a century. Today, one of the main factors in the transformation of scientific communication is network and cloud technologies, which determine the process of digitalization of formal and informal interaction between researchers. One of the appearances of this process is academic social network sites, which we define as a type of specialized, professional Internet platforms built in accordance with the Web 2.0 architecture, allowing registered users to have their own page, download and upload various data, form connections with other users, as well as exchange public or private messages and files, and is designed to provide scientific communication on the Internet. The presence in academic social networks has become an important component of the researchers’ professional identity and, as a result, interaction with this type of digital platforms has firmly entered the structure of networking in the science-intensive sector of the economy. Over the 13 years that have passed since its launch, the largest academic social network ResearchGate, being a driver of the digitalization of scientific communication, has united more than 20 million researchers from 193 countries of the world and continues to demonstrate high growth dynamics of key indicators. Academic social networks act simultaneously as a means and environment of communication, a tool for ensuring visibility and building the scientific reputation of researchers. Also, this type of digital platforms, built in the logic of Open Science, can be used as a part of administrative measures to ensure open access - a backbone vector for the transformation of science in the first quarter of the 21st century. Academic social networks are the source of "digital traces" - data arrays, which, due to the high rate of accumulation, diversity and completeness, have an extremely high heuristic potential in the framework of scientific communication studies, showing hitherto unrecorded connections of the "invisible college". In fact, new social realities not only open up new possibilities, but also allow us to reconsider the application of classical methods, in particular the non-reactive strategy of social research In addition to digital traces, academic social networks also generate alternative scientific communication metrics – the so-called “web metrics” or “altmetrics”. These indicators can potentially be applied in the development and provision of new mechanisms for the administration of science in the context of neoliberal management principles. Unfortunately, to date, this type of digital platforms rarely comes to the attention of researchers, as a result of which we can talk about the significant unrealized heuristic potential of such social network platforms.
... This increased exposure may result in increased engagement with ones research, with one study finding a 58% increase in citations for papers uploaded to the Academia. edu platform (Niyazov et al. 2016), a trend that was also seen in another, albeit smaller study (Sababi et al. 2017). ASNs allow researchers to 'follow' other users, and in doing so (by the click of a button), they will see updates about the publications of and other contributions of that user in a more prominent position. ...
Article
Engaging in the international academic environment is now facilitated by a range of Academic Social Networks (ASNs) that are being used by an increasing number of early career and established researchers, in order to build their international profile and to connect with researchers across the globe. A range of studies have noted the benefits of ASNs for individual researchers and institutions, particularly those in emerging academic systems looking to build their international reputation. Missing from the research body are studies of ASN use in Japan, which although has an established higher education system, is experiencing considerable decline in international standing, in part due to a lack of engagement with international researchers. Thus, ASNs provide a potential tool to build international visibility and connections. This case study investigates the adoption and usage of Academia.edu and ResearchGate, the two most popular ASNs in the world today, by 1771 researchers from eight universities in Japan. The findings show that Academia.edu adoption and activity is very low, with ResearchGate adoption at thirty per cent of the sample, indicating moderate knowledge and adoption of the platform. Altmetric analysis shows that use of ResearchGate is largely passive, and the interactive features that might facilitate engagement with international researchers are not being exploited. Language and cultural barriers provide one potential explanation for trends in usage, and there is also a need for further training in the various features available to researchers in Japan.
... This is consistent with the work of Thelwall and Kousha (2017), who found that there was only a weak correlation between views of ResearchGate articles and the number of citations in Scopus. However, it differs from that of Sababi et al. (2017), who found a ''significant positive correlation'' between free online availability of an article (either through publication in a gold open access journal or deposit in ResearchGate) and the number of citations it receives. ...
Article
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Full-text view-only version available: https://rdcu.be/8EzH The Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) implemented an open access policy for its grant recipients in 2008. We used bibliographic data from the Web of Science to find out how CIHR-funded researchers in the physical sciences self-archived their publications. We also examined the self-archiving policies of the journals in which the researchers published, and compared the citation rates of two different self-archiving approaches: the green open access route (deposit in an institutional or subject repository) and the grey open access route (deposit in an academic social network or personal/departmental website). Only 14% of the articles were openly accessible through the green open access route, while 37% could be accessed through the grey open access route. We cannot ascribe the low uptake of green open access to publishers’ self-archiving policies, as almost all journals allowed self-archiving through the green open access route. Authors deposited 31% of their publications in ResearchGate, the most popular self-archiving option in our study, while they deposited only 2.1% of their publications in institutional repositories, the least popular option. The citation rates of the various self-archiving approaches did not differ significantly. Our results suggest that it may be time to rethink how to achieve open access.
Thesis
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Научная коммуникация – неотъемлемая часть научной деятельности, определяющая формы взаимоинтеграции научной информации, а следовательно, скорость и результативность производства знаний. Несмотря на высокую степень автономности, система научной коммуникации существенно подвержена влиянию технологических инноваций извне, что усиливается за счет непрекращающегося поиска путей оптимизации этого типа взаимодействия и инструментов преодоления информационного кризиса, продолжающегося уже более полувека. На сегодняшний день одним из основных факторов трансформации научной коммуникации становятся сетевые и облачные технологии, детерминирующие процесс цифровизации формальных и неформальных форм взаимодействия исследователей. Одним из проявлений этого процесса являются академические социальные сети, которые мы определяем как тип специализированных, профессиональных интернет-платформ, выстроенных в соответствии с архитектурой Web 2.0, позволяющей зарегистрированным пользователям иметь свою собственную страницу, скачивать и загружать различные материалы, формировать связи с другими пользователями, а также обмениваться публичными или же личными сообщениями и файлами и призванной обеспечивать научную коммуникацию в интернете. Присутствие в академических социальных сетях стало важной составляющей профессиональной идентичности исследователей и, как следствие, взаимодействие с этим типом цифровых платформ прочно вошло в структуру сетевой работы в наукоемком секторе экономики. За 13 лет, прошедших с момента запуска, крупнейшая академическая социальная сеть ResearchGate, являясь драйвером цифровизации научной коммуникации, объединила более 20 млн исследователей из 193 государств мира и продолжает демонстрировать высокую динамику роста основных показателей. Академические социальные сети выступают в качестве средства и среды коммуникации, инструмента обеспечения заметности и построения научной репутации исследователей. Также этот тип цифровых платформ, выстроенный в логике Открытой науки, может быть задействован в рамках административных мер по обеспечению открытого доступа – системообразующего вектора трансформации науки первой четверти XXI века. Академические социальные сети являются источником «цифровых следов» – массивов данных, которые вследствие высокой скорости накопления, разнообразия и полноты, обладают чрезвычайно высоким эвристическим потенциалом в рамках исследований научной коммуникации, проявляя до настоящего момента не фиксируемые связи «невидимого колледжа». Фактически, новые социальные реалии не только открывают новые возможности, но и позволяют пересмотреть применение классических методов, в частности нереактивной стратегии социального исследования. Помимо «цифровых следов», академические социальные сети также генерируют альтернативные метрики научной коммуникации – так называемые «вебметрики» или «альтметрики». Эти показатели потенциально могут быть применены при разработке и для обеспечения новых механизмов администрирования науки в условиях неолиберальных принципов управления. К сожалению, на сегодняшний день, этот тип цифровых платформ попадает в поле внимания исследователей весьма редко, вследствие чего мы можем говорить о существенном нереализованном эвристическом потенциале социальных исследований платформ данного типа.
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Scientific social networking sites like Researchgate or Academia.edu have become part of the work practice of academic researchers. These digital platforms have been designed precisely to encourage the exchange of knowledge between scholars and to help the expansion of collaborative networks among them. Even if studies on this topic have multiplied in recent years, there is a dearth of research on the actual impact of these platforms on scientific production. The goal of this study is to investigate the relation between the attitude of researchers towards scientific social networks and the use of knowledge in their scientific work. Data from users of the scientific social networking site Researchgate were collected. A total of 143 valid responses were received and structural equation modeling was applied for data analysis. Findings of this study confirmed that researchers use knowledge obtained from scientific social networking sites both incorporating it within their research products and to acquire new competences. In particular approaching the platform as a scientific community with a shared language and a shared vision was found to have a positive impact on knowledge use. To the best knowledge of the authors this is the first study investigating the actual use of knowledge from scientific social networking sites by academic researchers. Results help to understand the impact of these platforms on the work practice of a strategic sector like scientific research.
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A new methodology is proposed for comparing Google Scholar (GS) with other citation indexes. It focuses on the coverage and citation impact of sources, indexing speed, and data quality, including the effect of duplicate citation counts. The method compares GS with Elsevier's Scopus, and is applied to a limited set of articles published in 12 journals from six subject fields, so that its findings cannot be generalized to all journals or fields. The study is exploratory, and hypothesis generating rather than hypothesis-testing. It confirms findings on source coverage and citation impact obtained in earlier studies. The ratio of GS over Scopus citation varies across subject fields between 1.0 and 4.0, while Open Access journals in the sample show higher ratios than their non-OA counterparts. The linear correlation between GS and Scopus citation counts at the article level is high: Pearson's R is in the range of 0.8-0.9. A median Scopus indexing delay of two months compared to GS is largely though not exclusively due to missing cited references in articles in press in Scopus. The effect of double citation counts in GS due to multiple citations with identical or substantially similar meta-data occurs in less than 2 per cent of cases. Pros and cons of article-based and what is termed as concept-based citation indexes are discussed.
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Full text available via: https://academicworks.cuny.edu/lg_pubs/6/
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