Science Friday: ResearchGate Wants to be Social Media for Scientists

Science Friday: ResearchGate Wants to be Social Media for ScientistsIt would seem like doctors, dentists and scientists alike would naturally see the value of social media.

Social media at its best is the sharing of information and knowledge, which is something the scientific and medial community have been doing for ages.

Science is, after all, about the sharing of information, and scientists often work together so solve problems.

But many would have to agree that social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus don’t exactly lend themselves to being platforms for scientists to share their findings and work together on projects.

According to Forbes.com, Dr. Ijad Madisch, the CEO and co-founder of the social network ResearchGate, hopes to change this.

Researchgate is intended to be a way for scientists to connect with researchers, make their work visible and stay current within their industry. The hope is that by connecting the scientific community through a scientific social network, they will be able to save time on projects and prevent duplicate efforts.

Researchgate was founded in 2008 on the principle that scientific progress always involves obstacles, and they want to provide a way for scientists to discuss their work and methodology, help others and find solutions together.

Dr. Madisch told Forbes.com, “Even more importantly, they can find out what doesn’t work so they can look for alternative solutions or techniques. The problem is that in journals, scientists only publish positive results – not negative ones.”

When asked by Forbes.com what he thinks of Researchgate, neuroscientist Bradley Voytek responded, “ResearchGate has not yet become a ‘checked daily’ site for me, but it does have many useful tools. It’s nice to see updates from colleagues about new papers published, for example.”

“ResearchGate has its work cut out for them,” Voytek added. That’s because, in his opinion, “researchers are quite conservative when it comes to adopting new technologies because time and attention are scarce commodities.” Additionally, he says that, “They need to figure out how to get older, more experienced scientists to use their service. That’s a difficult task.”

Madisch is confident he can do this and make the site popular among the scientific community.

What are your thoughts on having a social media site dedicated to the sharing of scientific research?

For more on this story see: ResearchGate Wants To Be Facebook For Scientists

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