Launched on 23 May, ResearchGATE is an online social network for researchers
, founded and developed by a group of natural and computer scientists as well as economists from Hannover, Harvard and Leeds. The platform is provided by the German company ResearchGATE GmbH. Just like its popular counterpart “Facebook”, the online service gives registered users a chance to present their work in a personal profile, exchange messages and build individual groups for discussions, as well as to search for specific topics.
The first special application, REstoRY, a file-sharing tool for research collaborations of any kind, has already been launched and four more on other issues such as an integrated voiceover IP system enabling virtual conferencing are under development. A blog featuring press releases and news has also been launched. The European Science Foundation (ESF) has already expressed interest in spreading the idea
of the online community among its scientists and programmes and is set to post job advertisements for researchers on it.
At a later time, the developers hope to discuss the prospect of funding for the network with the European Commission. As we reported in the April edition of ACA Newsletter –Education Europe
, the re-launched European Research Area (ERA) intiative aims to promote cross-sectoral research collaboration processes to further stimulate innovation, so in that sense the platform matches Commission’s intentions.