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Scholarly Identity: A Guide

A guide on how to manage, promote, and protect your online scholarly identity as a current or future researcher, academic, or scholar. Features

ResearchGate is a for-profit, professional network site for researchers and academics: 

  • ResearchGate profile includes: a dashboard-like overview, citations to published work, contact and career information, research interests, links to citations of potential interest, and selected impact metrics (RG Score)
  • Users are mainly from sciences or engineering 
  • For-profit company
  • Includes discussion boards so can post questions, provide answers or simply join or track the conversation. 
  • Includes a job board
  • Can create alerts for people, articles, and discussion boards
  • Makes recommendations on who to follow based on your citations, whose cited you, papers, who you follow, top co-authors, and your area of research
  • Compiles stats on your profile, including your reads, recommendations, views, abd requests for full text


ResearchGate Score

The RG Score measures scientific reputation based on how your work is received by your peers. RG Score is calculated based on any contribution you share on ResearchGate or add to your profile, such as published articles, unpublished research, projects, questions, and answers.

RG algorithm looks at how your peers receive and evaluate these contributions, and who they are. The higher the RG Scores of those who interact with your research, the more your own score will increase.

The algorithm and criteria included is not transparent so not clear how the final RG score is calculated. Therefore the RG Score is considered a metric that is "intransparent and irreproducible"


  • Users report a lot of spam from ResearchGate
  • ResearchGate may also spam your connections and peers
  • Encourage people to post the full-text of their articles, even if that violates copyright
  • May include papers from predatory publishers that may also impact RG Score
  • Sends reminder emails to check status of your account and RG score

O’Brien K. (2019). ResearchGate. Journal of the Medical Library Association, 107(2), 284–285.

Kraker, P., & Lex, E. (2015). A critical look at the ResearchGate Score as a measure of scientific reputation. ASCW’15. ‚Äč

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