ResearchGate and copyright

ResearchGate is a social network site for academic researchers to create their own profiles, list their publications and interact with each other. But is it allowed to upload the full text of your articles on ResearchGate?

Uploading the full text is considered as making it public. If you have published your paper in a journal you should check the publisher’s conditions. The best place to do so is the SHERPA/RoMEO database. ResearchGate attempts to do an automatic check on this database but if you want to be sure better check it yourself.
Of course you can share a copy of your paper personally with a colleague by e-mail. If you get such a request via ResearchGate they may encourage you to upload it to your profile. If you do not feel entitled to do that, make sure that you just send it by email.
Note that Elsevier has recently changed its conditions, putting more restrictions on sharing. This policy change is retrospective, so papers that could be made public in the past can no longer be made public.
ResearchGate is sometimes criticized because they send e-mails to the co-authors of your papers as if they are sent on your behalf. If you do not want that you can turn these notifications off:

Go to > [arrow down icon upper right] > Settings > Notifications > [uncheck things you do not want].

ResearchGate is used very much by researchers in developing and developed countries. India and Brazil are overrepresented, China is underrepresented compared to their contribution to Web of Science. Over 3650 researchers from Wageningen UR have been registered (May 2015).

Do you want to know more about ResearchGate? Check the tutorial from the University of Melbourne.


Mendeley is another option to share your research publications. Before you start sharing your research output on Mendeley please check the Copyright and Intellectual Property Policy.