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[Xmca-l] Re: Publishers seek removal of millions of papers from ResearchGate

The trouble we are facing is that ademia.edu and researchgate are not organizations that were formed to serve the public good. They will only function as Open Educational Resources as long as it suits their needs. They are instead being funded by large amounts of venture capital.  Eventually these people are going to want their profits.  What is scary is we cannot know what this means.  What happened with Facebook and the election is the canary in the coal mine (much bigger than a canary though).  For those who don't know what happened not so good sources used targeted advertising of Facebook, and my guess is Google as well, to manipulate outcomes.  Targeted advertising is when you discuss a trip to Bahamas in a gmail discussion and then the next time you log on to gmail there is an advertisement for a hotel in the Bahamas. Up to now it has been freaky but not really dangerous.  There is not much discussion of exactly what happened other than Russian (and my guess is other groups) used targeted advertising.  A guess how that happened. People all over the country were talking about Hillary Clinton's emails in the last few weeks of the campaign. Facebook is able to aggregate the people who were actually talking about this on their Facebook pages. They are also able to locate them according to region. Organizations then use this information to target people specifically in swing states with advertisements that are disguised as news items. So on Monday you write a comment, "I really wonder what is going on with Hillary's emails" and on Tuesday you get a directed advertisement with claims what is happening with Hillary's emails that claims legitimacy. This is incredibly powerful.  Mark Zuckerberg the founder of Facebook as said he won't allow this to happen again (at first he denied it) but I'm not so sure how.  Targeted advertising is how Facebook and Google make a lot of their money.

I worry about the things academia.edu and researchgate.net might do (full disclosure, I am on both because they are becoming the only way to reach many fellow researchers). What happens when the funds that have been feeding them money demand their profit?  Nobody would have predicted what happened with targeted advertising. How will research dissemination be manipulated?  I don't know what the solution to this is but we need to be very careful.

I question why universities did not step into the breach, to create Open Educational Resources that were not beholden to profit. It's not like they didn't know this was coming and OER was a possibility.


-----Original Message-----
From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of PERRET-CLERMONT Anne-Nelly
Sent: Sunday, October 08, 2017 9:20 AM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity <xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu>; xmca-l@ucsd.edu
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Publishers seek removal of millions of papers from ResearchGate

Thanks for these very interesting links.

The new political line of the Swiss National Research Foundation (SNSF) on these issues is very interesting:
"The results of research financed by public funds should be published electronically so that they are freely and immediately available without charge and can thus be reused by third parties, since they are considered as a public good. In support of the principle of Open Access, the SNSF expects grantees to make the results of the research projects it has supported accessible to the public".
This will concern almost all scientists in Switzerland. See:



Prof. em. Anne-Nelly Perret-Clermont
Institut de psychologie et éducation Faculté des lettres et sciences humaines Université de Neuchâtel Espace L. Agassiz 1,  CH- 2000 Neuchâtel (Switzerland) <http://www2.unine.ch/ipe/publications/anne_nelly_perret_clermont>

-----Message d'origine-----
De : <xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu> on behalf of Alfredo Jornet Gil <a.j.gil@iped.uio.no> Répondre à : "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu> Date : dimanche, 8 octobre 2017 13:31 À : "xmca-l@ucsd.edu" <xmca-l@ucsd.edu>, "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu> Objet : [Xmca-l] Re: Publishers seek removal of millions of
papers	from	ResearchGate

That's a complex matter, Peter. Thanks for sharing. I wonder what the views of others are. I am still forming mine, but would like to contribute with another resource to do so, an article from The Guardian on profitable business scientific publishing


From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu <xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu> on behalf of Peter Smagorinsky <smago@uga.edu>
Sent: 07 October 2017 17:31
To: xmca-l@ucsd.edu
Subject: [Xmca-l] Publishers seek removal of millions of papers from ResearchGate


Publishers seek removal of millions of papers from ResearchGate

Academic social network accused of infringing copyright on a massive scale

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 license or copyrights" to, and was "refusing to work with us to solve that problem", he added.

According to a survey of academics released last year, Berlin-based ResearchGate is by some way the world's biggest academic social network, used by about 60 per cent of academics, particularly in the physical and life sciences, and has raised nearly $90 million (£68 million) in funding from investors, according to the website Crunchbase.

Publishers are seeing "anecdotal" evidence that the availability of papers on the site is eating into their revenues, said Dr Milne. "We have heard during the subscriptions renewal process that librarians are occasionally referencing ResearchGate as an alternative to resubscribing to journals,"
he said.

He attacked ResearchGate as being "backed by hundreds of millions of dollars [from venture capitalists,] who are seeking to make a profit from what [ResearchGate] do, which is upload copyright infringed material".

"They put nothing back into the process for generating and validating and curating all that material," he said.

The publisher Elsevier drew a backlash from many academics in 2013 when it told users of Academia.edu, 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. "We will work with ResearchGate on this, not researchers," he said, although the organisation would be communicating "en masse" with academics about how they can share their work properly.

But for the publishers, sending out mass take-down notices is not a permanent solution. "That in itself doesn't solve the problem, because every day ResearchGate is uploading more and more material," said Dr Milne, trapping publishers in a "perpetual loop" of having to identify infringing papers. He argued that this would be confusing for researchers, as "one day there's content, and the next day there isn't", he said.

Elsevier and the American Chemical Society are therefore also taking ResearchGate to court where they hope to obtain a ruling that would stop ResearchGate "scraping content off the web, uploading it...and asking researchers to claim it" so that infringing material "is not in the public domain", he explained. The court claim would be lodged in Europe, he said.

A ResearchGate spokeswoman declined to comment. The company's founder and chief executive, Ijad Madisch, has previously said that he "wouldn't mind"
if copyrighted material was removed from the site, as researchers could continue to share papers privately.