Talk:ResearchGate/Archive 3

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3

Further discussion regarding criticism section of this article

@Chire: @BlueMoonlet: @JNorman704: @Millionmice: @TomRWells:

Currently, a more succinct and appropriate criticism section posted by TomRWells is gracing this article. Before I leave the editing for good, I must add that I wholeheartedly agree with TomRWells's comments:

"Criticism section belabors its points to the extreme, making this section read like a diatribe against RG. Criticisms (emails, copyright concerns, etc.) could be true for just about any social network".

Indeed, the critique section needs be one-two sentences only and the information therein needs to be up-to-date + balanced. In the future (if criticism is added back), the section should reflect that each ResearchGate member governs his/her own profile, including the addition of articles and email flow. Contemplate that a person's Google Scholar, Academia, and Mendelay profiles and even personal CVs largely operate under the honor system. If the member wants to inflate their information (i.e. superficially enhance their RG scores) or "spam" (email sent to co-workers), they can certainly do so, but this is not unique to ResearchGate. Good luck to all of you! Sjuttiosjuochfjorton (talk) 02:17, 7 May 2014 (UTC)

Undone per previous discussion. Millionmice (talk) 06:17, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
Enlighten us again, why was TomRWells recent edit undone?Sjuttiosjuochfjorton (talk) 06:32, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
Belaboring and diatribe is cause for summarising and neutral language edits, not deletion, because a lot of effort has gone into the decision that it is acceptable content. See the small changes I've just made for an example. Note that the Murray article makes some fairly damning conclusions which have not been included in the wiki page. Strictly we should shorten the RG score section to be just the conclusions, rather than the data as is now. Given the concern raised about the section, this may be a more easily understandable use of the references, and provide a more stable page. Put differently, on reviewing the balance of that section it appears to be less critical of RG than it should be. Millionmice (talk) 06:53, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
Millionmice: Technically speaking, who cares if it the conclusion of a paper is damning if it is outdated? We should be dealing with the current reality. The article, and the critique section specifically, suffers from the use of (a) poorly designed experiment(s) a source(s) (Murray's paper [one "USER X", no impact factor of the journal etc.]), bias (Chire's cherry-picking/omitting of crucial info from the paper and Lugger's blog), and an overall imbalance(the critique is half the page for Pete's sake!). Anyhow, Millionmice...it is a tad better than before...but still... Check ResearchGate, sign up for an account, don't use second-hand info. Take care and good luck with your studies.
The Murray paper is recorded as being published in April of 2014, i.e not outdated. Including info from my own use would be original research. Experimental weakness can be noted in textual description of the critisism, ideally this should be drawn from the paper's self critisism. Balance is not about textual volume. Millionmice (talk) 07:41, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
I have been watching this page for a while and completely agree with @TomRWells: @Sjuttiosjuochfjorton: @JNorman704: and others who feel the criticism section of this article goes overboard and is not in neutral POV. It has always seemed to me that some contributors to this article have an anti-RG agenda, and a close reading of the criticism section to me reflects that. Therefore I feel it necessary to revise this section yet again. BTWheeler (talk) 16:10, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
I'm disappointed by the change in atmosphere at this page. There may well be reasons to reduce the criticism section or add additional perspectives, but I don't see the reason for wholesale deletion of sourced material or accusing each other of harboring an agenda. I certainly have no agenda. I wrote or rewrote parts of this article, and you could consider some pro and some con. This has nothing to do with my personal opinion of the website. The article should be a reflection of the sources, nothing more and nothing less. Does that make sense? Keepcalmandcarryon (talk) 19:06, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
@Sjuttiosjuochfjorton: You may have noticed that Wikipedia describes historical events. It is not only concerned with the current state of things, but also in the state of things in the past. If a source describes a state of things that is no longer current (you have asserted that that is so, though you have not supported that assertion with evidence, but even if you are correct), then the proper course of action is not to delete mention of the source but to discuss the source and then also discuss the (alleged) changes that have occurred in the meantime.
Also, as you are now complaining about the fraction of the article currently taken up by the Criticism section: I think that there is a general agreement that the Criticism could be streamlined and some editors are working on it (though disruptive behavior such as section blanking and tendentious discussion make that difficult). Another way to address that problem, though, would be for you to beef up other aspects of the article! --BlueMoonlet (t/c) 19:11, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
The Criticisms section of this article was about 400 words long. The other part of this article is just under 300 words. I'm all for acknowledging valid criticisms but I believe they can be made much more succinctly. I've attempted to do that. TomRWells (talk) 21:23, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
@TomRWells: Too succint, I think, but perhaps I'll make an attempt presently. --BlueMoonlet (t/c) 02:56, 8 May 2014 (UTC)
@Millionmice:1. I think I have stated this on several occasions, but the information therein is mostly outdated, not the publication date per se. If the member adjusts the settings (or even leave them default in most cases) the "spam" (emails to coworkers) or "inflation of RG scores" (due to the addition of irrelevant publications) do not happen. This is the whole point, the onus is on the member and you accept that, correct? How can this then be turned into a legit critique against RG? Too much freedom for the user to handle? 2. As scholars and researchers, the quality of references are imperative when writing an article. So I ask you, since when does an N = 1 give you enough statistical power to do make broad-sweeping claims? Personally, none of the issues that are being brought up in the article have happened to me, although I agree with the statements about "ghost/dormant profiles". 3. I think the biggest issue is the imbalance of the article, with half of it currently being "historical criticism" dug up in desperation by a biased editor. I ask the same question over and over again, should we include all historical criticisms against Wikipedia itself in its current article Wikipedia? The answer is of course no, but you guys/girls really confuse me :-). What makes the RG article different? 4. Uberlastly, there is a definite bias among particular editors, but it is not a huge deal and I think we all have our big-boy/big-girl pants on. Nevertheless, it was a good lesson for me and I do not see how Wikipedia can remain objective and true to its aim in the future. Anyhow, I suggest all of you start with the RG website in question and check the accuracy of the sources that constantly are being debated.Sjuttiosjuochfjorton (talk) 21:29, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
@Sjuttiosjuochfjorton: 1. I have repeatedly responded to this point, and you repeatedly ignore me and restate your original point. This is tendentious editing and it needs to stop. 2. No "broad sweeping claims" were being made. The text you insist on deleting describes only a single case in the past tense, so your N=1 argument is invalid. 3a & 4a. Please refrain from personal attacks and please assume good faith. While I'm at it, please don't call the kettle black. 3b. Have you seen the article on Criticism of Wikipedia? It's nearly 20x the size of the critical text that you keep deleting, so let's please put that argument to bed. 4b. The onus is on you to demonstrate from reliable sources that descriptions of RG in other RSs are out of date, and you have never done so. Your exhortation to check out RG for ourselves amounts to original research, but even so, Chire has done so and reported that you are mistaken. --BlueMoonlet (t/c) 02:56, 8 May 2014 (UTC)
I've been more closely examining this section, and the sources cited simply don't fall into the WP:RS categories: peer-reviewed journals, books published by university presses, university-level textbooks, magazines, journals, and books published by respected publishing houses and mainstream newspapers.
WP:RS states that Wiki articles should be based on “reliable, third-party, published sources with a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy.” Lugger’s post, for example, is published on SciLogs, which is run by a scientific publishing company. But the blogs are not under editorial control and the posts reflect their author’s opinions. The SciLogs About Us section states (once you translate it via Google Translate from German into English): “The Scilogs are a family of science blogs... our bloggers are completely free in their choice of topics, their language and in the way they address comments from the community. The Scilogs are their portal, and they develop it jointly with the publisher.”
Regarding the Kennesaw University paper used as a source for the RG score and Automated activity sections: The paper is a conference proceeding, which is WP:OR, and not a reliable source, because it is not published in a peer-reviewed journal. It was accepted for publication by an “administrator”; but peer-review means that it would have needed to be checked by third-party scientists. The disclaimer on the paper says: “This material is brought to you by the Southern (SAIS) at AIS Electronic Library (AISeL). It has been accepted for inclusion in SAIS 2014 Proceedings by an authorized administrator of AIS Electronic Library (AISeL). For more information, please contact elibrary@aisnet.org.”
As for the Swinburne blog post, there is no evidence that there is editorial oversight of this blog. It is clearly a group blog. Of group blogs, WP:RS states that "self-published media—whether books, newsletters, personal websites, open wikis, blogs, personal pages on social networking sites, Internet forum postings, or tweets—are largely not acceptable. This includes any website whose content is largely user-generated, including the Internet Movie Database (IMDB), CBDB.com, content farms, collaboratively created websites such as wikis, and so forth, with the exception of material on such sites that is labeled as originating from credentialed members of the sites' editorial staff, rather than users...'Blogs' in this context refers to personal and group blogs."
Based on the unreliable nature of these sources, I feel it is best to remove the Criticism section. TomRWells (talk) 01:45, 17 June 2014 (UTC)
Here are the relevant policies:
"Self-published expert sources may be considered reliable when produced by an established expert on the subject matter, whose work in the relevant field has previously been published by reliable third-party publications. Exercise caution when using such sources" (WP:BLOGS).
"Several newspapers, magazines, and other news organizations host columns on their web sites that they call blogs. These may be acceptable sources if the writers are professionals, but use them with caution" (WP:NEWSBLOG).
As you have just pointed out, the bloggers at Scilogs "develop [their content] jointly with the publisher" and the Kennesaw paper was accepted by the editors of a proceedings. Similarly, the "About Us" tab on the Swinburne site makes it clear that the blog consists of "stories, news, tips, library hacks, and more" with the imprimatur of the Swinburne University Library. It is true that none of these three have undergone the rigorous fact-checking of peer review, which is why both the policies I just quoted warn that such sources must be used with caution. However, they are subject to sufficient editorial control to certify that they were written by reputable professional journalists or librarians. --BlueMoonlet (t/c) 06:53, 17 June 2014 (UTC)
As far as I can tell, the SAIS Proceedings is peer-reviewed. The "accepted by administrator" probably means nothing but that an administrator managed the process, and checked formal requirements (such as: got positive reviews)... to cite the submission website of SAIS: "To facilitate a blind review, please do not include any author or affiliation identification on any page of the document". --Chire (talk) 08:50, 17 June 2014 (UTC)
Neither Rebecca Parker (Swinburne) nor Beatrice Lugger (Scilogs) have previously published anything about ResearchGate, the subject matter in question here, in a reliable third-party source. This indicates that neither is an "established expert on the subject matter, whose work in the relevant field has previously been published by reliable third-party publications." Because WP:BLOGS says to "exercise caution when using such sources," I don't feel they should be used.
Regarding SAIS, I don't think "as far as I can tell" is a strong enough justification for including this as a reliable WP source. TomRWells (talk) 20:30, 18 June 2014 (UTC)
You are not applying the proper criterion. We have argued that these particular online sources are reputable enough to be compared to a publisher, making their content presumptively reliable. We have not argued on the credentials of the authors.
Furthermore, surely we are looking for expertise on science communications and library science in general that can then be applied to ResearchGate, not expertise on ResearchGate in particular.
Do you have any actual complaint about the content of these sources? Is there anything about them that seems not credible? Or are you only wikilawyering about the RS rules? --BlueMoonlet (t/c) 19:37, 19 June 2014 (UTC)

No. of members

"As of 2013, it has 2.6 million users."

Should be updated: according to the website: "ResearchGate today has more than 5 million members." — Preceding unsigned comment added by 193.170.196.53 (talk) 06:02, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

But this number is a WP:Primary Source, which is not particularly trustworthy. Internet companies make up user numbers all the time to inflate their company value. Given the spam accusations, I don't think their self-published user numbers are particularly trustworthy... An external study on the number of active users would be more valueable. --Chire (talk) 07:39, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

Some input

The prior version of this article was embarrassing. It had a dedicated "Criticisms" section, which is often a sign of a POV pusher using the article as an attack page. Many of those criticisms were cited to blogs, to articles that did not actually mention ResearchGate, or to high quality sources that not only did not support the text, but said that opposite (a lot of positive things).

On the flip side, articles that are unfair to the subject of the article often attract poor COI editing in order to "balance" the page (and vica verca). As appears to be the case here, with many promotional or forward-looking statement and excessive use of primary sources from the company website.

In the future, please use high-quality sources from credible publications that directly support the article-text. CorporateM (Talk) 01:20, 20 June 2014 (UTC)

@CorporateM: I see that you are an experienced editor who seems to have done a lot of good work on business- and marketing-related articles, and I appreciate that. However, a several of your main points are not only questionable but non-responsive to arguments that have been repeatedly made in this space, which leads me to suspect that you neglected to familiarize yourself with this article's history before diving in and making wholesale changes (see WP:RECKLESS).
Here are three points, which are not necessarily the only ones I could make: 1) Several of the blogs you deleted should be accounted as WP:RS under the WP:BLOGS and/or WP:NEWSBLOG policies. 2) Paul Knoepfler is a tenured professor whose activities as a blogger are a major focus of his WP article, so his is not "just a personal blog." 3) Sources may be relevant to topics discussed in the article without explicitly mentioning the article subject.
I am strongly inclined to revert your changes under WP:BRD and to then work to address your concerns (many of which are legitimate) in a more cooperative fashion, but I will give you a moment to reply to this first. --BlueMoonlet (t/c) 15:33, 20 June 2014 (UTC)
You must be referring to this source. The blog post is about a paper that happens to have been published on ResearchGate and not on ResearchGate itself. I think the debate on whether it is an appropriate source might be more relevant for an article about the paper or its author, but not here. CorporateM (Talk) 16:03, 20 June 2014 (UTC)
You deleted the source because it was a blog, and I pointed out that that is not an obviously correct argument; you have not here defended that argument. You now argue that the blog post comments on "a paper that happens to have been published on ResearchGate and not on ResearchGate itself," but the argument that was made in adding that content (were you WP:CAREFUL to brush up on that?) was that the paper constitutes an event that is significant in RG's corporate history. You may disagree with that, and you may even be right to disagree, but we need to have the conversation.
You also have not responded to several other points that I just made above. --BlueMoonlet (t/c) 16:20, 20 June 2014 (UTC)
No, we do not need to have a conversation - all editors should edit boldly, especially in the case of overt promotion and poorly-sourced contentious material. You seem to have a battleground mentality, nit-picking apart everything I say and wanting to subject the article to endless discussion in order to prevent changes. This is a common OWN tactic, by insisting overwhelming consensus and extensive discussion are required for every change, which effectively prevents changes to the article at all. Find a single un-involved editor at ANI or some other noticeboard that supports reverting the page to the prior version, and I'll leave it alone. CorporateM (Talk) 16:27, 20 June 2014 (UTC)
Wow, that's an amazing level of unjustified disdain.
Yes, bold is good, but the next step is to discuss when your boldness meets opposition.
Let's review: You did not bother to familiarize yourself with the hard work that many editors have put in to navigate a path between competing viewpoints. You made wholesale changes to the article based on snap judgments, and now you refuse to defend or even discuss them.
The only reason I am not reverting right now is that I want to promote discussion leading to WP:CONSENSUS, and I don't want that to be hijacked by the edit war that you seem to be trying to provoke. Thou hast appealed to ANI; to ANI I shall go. --BlueMoonlet (t/c) 18:12, 20 June 2014 (UTC)
In my opinion you got a little carried away. Using primary sources is okay, if the contents are presented as such (e.g. aims and goals; there will never be a reliable third-party source on such things). Similarly, I believe that there is more than one kind of a blog, and e.g. the library of a university is to be considered an acceptable source, even if they call their web page "blog". The joe-average "blogger.com" blog on the other hand is not a good source, obviously. Otherwise, you would need to entirely zap articles such as New Relic, ZocDoc (and in fact, large other parts of Wikipedia), too. Reality in Wikipedia is that for non-academic contents, we have little academic "reliable sources". We cannot apply the same policy to companies that we apply to Mallards. I appreciate your scrutiny; but I would more appreciate if you attempted to include more sources. In my opinion, many of the sources can - and should - be used; the paragraphs only need appropriate wording. --188.98.216.243 (talk) 17:41, 20 June 2014 (UTC)
The proper way to create a neutral, balanced article is not to find blogs and primary sources with competing viewpoints and balance them ourselves. If there are debates/controversies that are genuinely about ResearchGate, its operations and products, then we need to find credible, independent sources that summarize the debate. The New York Times or the Wall Street Journal are good examples of quality sources. In addition to books or scholarly works published in peer-reviewed journals, etc.. Primary sources can be used to verify headquarters, the current CEO, number of employees, revenues, or to supplement credible, independent sources. However, they should not be used as a means to create most of the article, or even a substantial portion of it. CorporateM (Talk) 18:43, 20 June 2014 (UTC)
That's a nice ideal, I suppose. Unfortunately, WP policy does not agree with you.
You might consider that editors do not start with a desire to support or oppose the article subject and then seek sources that do just that. Instead, you would know if you read the discussions above that, in this case, many editors are seeking sources that document practices of the article subject they know from personal experience to be true. It turns out that the NYT and WSJ have not paid attention to those practices, but that sources that qualify as reliable under WP:BLOGS and WP:NEWSBLOG do. --BlueMoonlet (t/c) 19:29, 20 June 2014 (UTC)
Look, I don't want to do a wholesale revert, nor do I want to take the time to pick apart the good parts of your edit (which were considerable) from the questionable parts. The result of the ANI thread was an affirmation that you indeed should engage in discussion and incidentally that my argument regarding at least the Swinburne source seems sound. Would you please do a partial revert? --BlueMoonlet (t/c) 19:46, 20 June 2014 (UTC)
Blue, you just posted about this at ANI a couple hours ago and another discussion at AN is only a couple days in. I think it's best to let the discussion run their course and see what edits other editors make. I only came to this article after seeing it at AN, so I don't know if I necessarily have a long-term interest in it. However, I would be willing to take some time to find some better sources for a proper Reception section. It's possible stronger sources may have similar comments. That's just my suggestion as it were. CorporateM (Talk) 20:11, 20 June 2014 (UTC)
Here is a secondary source about the spamming http://www.nature.com/news/online-collaboration-scientists-and-the-social-network-1.15711 Martin.uecker (talk) 08:22, 6 November 2014 (UTC)
@Martin.uecker: Thanks! Incorporated into the article. --BlueMoonlet (t/c) 19:49, 6 November 2014 (UTC)

POV and COI

This is an advertisement about a commercial website. It has no place on Wikipedia. Besides, one IP address from Germany, where the company is based, tried to remove criticisms from the lead.Zigzig20s (talk) 02:19, 27 December 2015 (UTC)

ZigZig20s, your efforts to make the article neutral are appreciated but spamming it with pointless tags is not useful. Since the company IP edit has been reverted, there's no point for a COI tag. If despite all the criticism included in the article you still think it sounds like an advertisement, please explain here why. --ELEKHHT 23:03, 27 December 2015 (UTC)

Criticism does not belong in a NPOV introduction. Expedian (talk) 12:27, 5 January 2016 (UTC)

Shouldn't the lead match the entire article? It is supposed to be a summary of the article. We have an entire section about a whole host of criticisms. It would be POV to censor them from the lead.Zigzig20s (talk) 12:36, 5 January 2016 (UTC)
Without having read all the versions of the lead: It is WP:NPOV to acknowledge other opinions. It is not WP:NPOV to only include the self-representation of the company (that is very one-sided). Neutral does not say "hide all criticism", but "integrate different views". Or to quote WP:NPOV: "representing fairly, proportionately, and, as far as possible, without editorial bias, all of the significant views" (emphasis added). The current lead may or may not be "fair", but the criticism appears to qualify as a "significant view" that should have some coverage there, too. HelpUsStopSpam (talk) 16:57, 5 January 2016 (UTC)
Criticism does belong in a NPOV introduction in instances where the criticism is an important part of understanding the notable aspects of the topic, and I believe it is appropriate in this article. —BarrelProof (talk) 19:00, 5 January 2016 (UTC)

Hardly convincing. After checking several entries of internet/tech related companies like Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft it becomes clear that a "criticism section" is rather a minor part of the article and never mentioned in a NPOV introduction. In the case of this article the criticism text already dominates sections like Features or Reception. In total this can hardly be recognized as NPOV. Expedian (talk) 18:13, 6 January 2016 (UTC)

Those examples seem to be selectively chosen. If you look at Google, Apple Inc., Monsanto, SeaWorld, Enron, and many other articles you will see some criticism and scandal described in lead sections. The amount of criticism that appears in a lead should be in proportion to the aspects of the topic that are sufficiently notable as summary information for readers to basically understand the topic. The lead should not intentionally omit any summary-level information that readers would be interested in knowing – and information should especially not be removed from a lead simply because it reflects negatively on a company. Wikipedia is not intended as advertising for the companies it discusses. The one or two sentences involved in this dispute do not seem excessive to me, and the lead does not seem too long and detailed. —BarrelProof (talk) 19:01, 6 January 2016 (UTC)

POV deletion of criticisms

User:Neurodavid2014 has been redacting criticisms, alleging the references are not reliables (even when there is a DOI!) and removing the sentence about the criticisms from the lead twice. The lead needs to reflect the body of the text, as User:BarrelProof agreed earlier. I don't want to edit war, but can we please restore the referenced criticisms? Wikipedia is not supposed to be an advertisement.Zigzig20s (talk) 14:37, 17 March 2016 (UTC)

Even worse, @Neurodavid2014:'s edit e.g. on the Nature article presents things positively that are not at all positive ("slightly more than had heard of Google+ and Twitter" - this at most indicates how bad the spam is they send out, so its more known as Twitter?!? - also parts of that sentence are copied and just marginally rewritten, so it constitutes a WP:COPYVIO?); and also not e.g. the following quotes: “I’ve met basically no academics in my field with a favourable view of ResearchGate,” or "They do send you a lot of spam," or "Some analysts argue that despite their millions of users, massive social academic networking sites have not yet proven their essential worth." from the same article... I'm in favor of reverting his edits. Chire (talk) 16:15, 17 March 2016 (UTC)
User:Chire: Exactly. Would you please make a bold edit?Zigzig20s (talk) 15:06, 18 March 2016 (UTC)
@Neurodavid2014: I have reverted your edits, because they were too massive, and there are issues. Here is another one: the "leeds" source you gave in [1] (which is incorrectly presented as a revert, but adding a new source instead) is actually a flyer published by ResearchGate themselves, that just happens to be copied to the leeds servers. But that does not mean it is endorsed by the University of Leeds at all. The term "influential" is not in the business week source, but e.g. "potentially powerful link" so the "dubious" was appropriate, too. Chire (talk) 16:52, 18 March 2016 (UTC)

@Chire: Thank you for the response. I appreciate the explanation for the businessweek article. However, I must express my strong disagreement with the inclusion (http://www.m-hikari.com/ces/ces2015/ces1-4-2015/515.html) of this link in the text. Please look at the journal's website, it is simply not a credible source. I also take issue take issue with the inclusion of this sentence "A similar, independent study[12] came to similar conclusions: only 6.6% of users were found to have ever asked or answered a question, and only 1.1% then asked a second question." This is blog spam at best and is currently a dead link, it is unreasonable to include this.Neurodavid2014 (talk) 16:42, 21 March 2016 (UTC)

Introduction

Concerning this sentence: However, it has been widely criticized for emailing unsolicited invitations to the coauthors,[5]:Q2, Q3 and for being "intransparent and irreproducible".[6]

Criticism of a subject is a worth mentioning in a sub topic. But certainly not in the first paragraph of an encyclopedia article. There is no evidence that in other company articles a similar procedure is typical. Quite the opposite. The given source for the critics claim is not even transparent and can´t be verified by the reader at the internet. It seems that somebody is very keen to install a defamation campaign. As there is no consensus here to include criticism at the top of the article, there is only one choice: Not including controversial content at all. At least not in the introduction. Best regards Expedian (talk) 14:01, 3 April 2016 (UTC)

User:Expedian: Read User:BarrelProof's reply to your same question in the previous discussion. We've already discussed this. The criticisms are referenced and User:BarrelProof explained that "Wikipedia is not intended as advertising for the companies it discusses.".Zigzig20s (talk) 14:12, 3 April 2016 (UTC)

I completely agree with User:Expedian. There is no evidence that in other company articles a similar procedure is typical. If Zigzig20s would provide such an example I would be interested. User:BarrelProof Mentions: "If you look at Google, Apple Inc., Monsanto, SeaWorld, Enron, and many other articles you will see some criticism and scandal described in lead sections". These are absurd comparisons. ResearchGate is incomparable to all of them. Neurodavid2014 (talk) 14:58, 5 April 2016 (UTC)

These examples are well suited to show the fact that the lead section may contain negative statements (here is another extreme example - just take any dictator...). It is perfectly acceptable to include negative statements, but they must be well-sourced. Nature (journal) is such a well recognized and relevant (academic, so highly relevant for ResearchGate's audience) source. This is the most important quality criterion for Wikipedia: it must be supported by reliable, independent sources. In fact, the WP:LEADPARAGRAPH even says that the lead paragraph should reflect what it is in the article - so your removal of this sentence is contrary to the manual of style, because the critique is a substantial part of the article. There is a lot of critique around ReseachGate (and little else), so the lead section must also mention the critique. If you argue that other similar companies don't have this - they probably don't see as much critique either... ResearchGate clearly has been the bad kid on the block. Chire (talk) 15:37, 5 April 2016 (UTC)

Chire uses an "extreme example" for justification but even Kim Jong-un has no criticism in first paragraph. Actually, there is no criticism of him until paragraph 8. Chire has clearly demonstrated an intention to "install a defamation campaign" as Expedian mentioned. The criticism section of the ResearchGate article is sufficient. Visitcubamuchfun (talk) 12:48, 6 April 2016 (UTC)

User:BarrelProof's comparison to other companies like Google, Apple, Inc. and Monsanto is very fair. Why should this company have a criticism-free lead? There is a very extensive "Criticisms" section in the body of the text, and the lead should reflect that.Zigzig20s (talk) 14:26, 6 April 2016 (UTC)
@Visitcubamuchfun: sorry, I meant to use a different example, but I did not want to do the Reductio ad Hitlerum game. Maybe you agree with Lance Armstrong as an example: "was stripped of his Tour de France victories in 2012 after a protracted doping scandal"? Or Bonnie and Clyde: "were American criminals who traveled the central United States with their gang during the Great Depression, robbing and killing people" - negative enough for you? Either way, it's not proof-by-example, but WP:LEADPARAGRAPH is the relevant guideline. P.S. don't get personal, I'm not taking it personal either. I'm focusing on sourced information, such as published in Nature (journal). If you are paranoid and see a "defamation campagin", you should start at the Nature article not Wikipedia. ResearchGate screwed up; Nature wrote about it, we summarize. Chire (talk) 09:48, 7 April 2016 (UTC)

Chire Thank you for your response. Then in accordance with Google and Apple, Inc., and Kim Jong-un who have the criticisms in the introduction BUT not in the 1st sentence I have moved the criticism to the last paragraph of the introduction. Visitcubamuchfun (talk) 10:44, 7 April 2016 (UTC)

I agree with @Neurodavid2014. Expedian (talk) 14:02, 7 April 2016 (UTC)

User:Expedian has removed referenced criticisms from the lead yet again, with a misleading edit summary. User:Chire: Would you please restore it? This is becoming tedious.Zigzig20s (talk) 15:10, 7 April 2016 (UTC)

User:Chire & User:Zigzig20s the majority of opinion on this Talk page is of the opinion that criticism in in the opening sentence are unreasonable. You have yet to provide a reasonable comparative example that have opening sentence criticisms, NOT even dictators have opening sentence criticism and they use neutral language (see "extreme example") . Google and Apple, Inc. have criticism in the intro but not in the opening paragraph. Criticisms in neutral language are perfectly fine where they are. I am in total agreement with Expedian and Visitcubamuchfun. Neurodavid2014 (talk) 10:33, 8 April 2016 (UTC)

That is misleading. The edit also removed referenced info about ResearchGate's lack of transparency. Failing to disclose this seems ironic, but at this point it is simply annoying. And I would add that all the info from Nature should be in the same paragraph.Zigzig20s (talk) 11:21, 8 April 2016 (UTC)
User:Chire: What could we do? Those recently created accounts keep redacting referenced info about the lack of transparency.Zigzig20s (talk) 13:37, 8 April 2016 (UTC)

User talk:Zigzig20s: You could start by making ONE valid point as to why ResearchGate should have more criticisms in the FRIST paragraph than any other page? Google and Apple, Inc., and Kim Jong-un do not have this. Why should ResearchGate? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Visitcubamuchfun (talkcontribs) 13:45, 8 April 2016 (UTC) Visitcubamuchfun (talk) 13:46, 8 April 2016 (UTC)

Same rationale as the other editors--the lead needs to reflect the body of the text. You also kept "According to a study by Nature it is the largest academic social network.", but you redacted the criticisms from the same Nature reference.Zigzig20s (talk) 14:15, 8 April 2016 (UTC)
Now all criticisms have been redacted from the lead by User:Horst-schlaemma.Zigzig20s (talk) 14:15, 8 April 2016 (UTC)
@Zigzig20s: I don't care enough, actually. I have blacklisted ResearchGate in my email, that is enough for me. In my opinion, the spam problem-as reflected by Nature is substantial and worth mentioning in the lead. If you suspect these accounts are affiliated with ResearchGate and WP:SOCKPUPPETS, then you can call for a sockpuppet investigation. I doubt that User:Horst-schlaemma is affiliated to these fresh accounts. -- Chire (talk) 14:21, 8 April 2016 (UTC)
User:Chire: I agree with you that this is tedious, but I am concerned that they may be setting a precedent for companies to wear out Wikipedia editors and thus redact criticisms from their articles. It would then become PRpedia.Zigzig20s (talk) 14:50, 8 April 2016 (UTC)
@Zigzig20s: several editors have been adding criticism here over time. As long as ResearchGate keeps on spamming people, some will come here and re-add such criticism, too. Right now, they may be paying an agency to "improve" their reputation here, or maybe they just encouraged their users to "improve the article". But next week, someone may be annoyed by their spam again, and add the criticism back. And, honestly: the article currently is still all but good PR for them. Nor is the Nature article, and they are not going to remove it from Nature... people are questioning "Do academic social networks share academics’ interests?", and negative results e.g. on RGScore keep on being published, too [2], "A Critical Look at the ResearchGate Score as a Measure of Scientific Reputation, Peter Kraker, Elisabeth Lex, ASCW'15, 2015" and "Exploring the ResearchGate score as an academic metric: Reflections and implications for practice, Katy Jordan, ASCW'15, 2015" are some recent examples. Since they entered the whole Altmetric and H-index domain, they are bound to be studied and evaluated by scientists (and so far, the results are not very positive). I heard there is some new data and a study being published soon. Apparently it supports the point of being "teh largest", but probably not much more than that.
Even worse, ResearchGate does not appear to have a viable business model either - "ads" is not going to earn them enough money. They might just implode in a few years when they've burned their seed funding cash and not found a way to earn enough to pay their bills. Chire (talk) 16:28, 8 April 2016 (UTC)

A good article presents a subject. In the first place. This is supposed to a priority. In the past the article here obviously lacked such perspective. If someone wants to criticize a subject the subject has to portrayed first. Right now the perception paragraph AND the criticism paragraph are larger then the Features part. This certainly violates most indicators of a comprehensive and neutral description. It seems that some users here have forgotten what kind prefererences a high quality encyclopedia text demand. BTW, user:Barrelproof is obviously in a conflict of interest as he already edited in a positive-only speech for Academia.edu. Expedian (talk) 10:16, 9 April 2016 (UTC)

No, not necessarily. There is nothing personal about editing Wikipedia; it rests upon reliable third-party sources. There may simply not be criticisms in third-party sources about the other website. I have reviewed User:BarrelProof's edits and they look very fair to me.Zigzig20s (talk) 10:33, 9 April 2016 (UTC)

A subject has to be presented in a neutral and broad way first. After this is established criticism can be applied. But not vice versa. Expedian (talk) 10:39, 9 April 2016 (UTC)

I believe User:BarrelProof's version should be restored. His introduction was succinct and to-the-point. User:Expedian's version sounds like a sales pitch for potential investors. Not what Wikipedia is for.Zigzig20s (talk) 11:02, 9 April 2016 (UTC)
The article sees quite some Astroturfing again by User:Expedian and others... Is ResearchGate in need for more financing, up for some investor's "due diligence"? Apparently they need to get rid of some of their negative media?
If you want to have a more positive article, go find some positive stories reported by independent sources... but I don't see many success stories. Even ReseachGate own press coverage list ends in August 2015, (with a self-written article, so not even independent) and most sources just reiterate that hilarious story that the founder wants to win the Nobel price this way over and over again. HelpUsStopSpam (talk) 15:58, 10 April 2016 (UTC)

Its interesting that nobody has yet answered or argued against my comment. A good article needs to establish the scope first before it can criticize the subject. Its am after of logic, isn´t it ? Expedian (talk) 17:43, 11 April 2016 (UTC)

It does. The lead presents "the scope" in the first two sentences. Please stop redacting criticisms from it.Zigzig20s (talk) 17:56, 11 April 2016 (UTC)

The article is called Researchgate and not "Criticism of Researchgate". The scope of a neutral article about this theme has to present the company, the historic development, the website, the features of the website. This article is unbalanced and everyone who is an experienced Wikipedia reader can recognize this. Expedian (talk) 15:02, 13 April 2016 (UTC)

The critisim in the lead is half a sentence. Nothing wrong with that given the quality of sources for this. Your "arguments" don't get more convincing if you attempt to change it every day. Top journal Nature mentioned this (and many others). It's relevant for Wikipedia. This is not a "second homepage" of the company.
As you seem to be really concerned about this and very motivated to change this, are you sure you don't have to declare a WP:COI or even paid editing? HelpUsStopSpam (talk) 20:56, 13 April 2016 (UTC)

I have added a neutral explanation of what ResearchGate is to the introduction similar to Facebook's introduction. I have also added 2 recent publications that have written about ResearchGate https://www.timeshighereducation.com/features/do-academic-social-networks-share-academics-interests & http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0747563215302223. Neurodavid2014 (talk) 09:29, 22 April 2016 (UTC)

Excluding researcher gate

Primative clunky criteria to join Researchgate. I am a leader in my field but cannot join using the forms on the web with android. My papers are mostly to be found if one googles my name and field. My middle initial is needed for hitting listings of my >20 new taxa. John m clark Acarologist (mites) Erythroidea (talk) 13:02, 16 May 2016 (UTC)

Updating numbers

A number of articles have been published with new numbers https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-11-15/bill-gates-backed-research-network-targets-advertising-revenues Neurodavid2014 (talk) 10:53, 29 November 2016 (UTC)

Provided some comparison with Google Scholar, which seems to be neck-and-neck with RG now. Famousdog (c) 12:05, 29 November 2016 (UTC)

Thank you Famousdog. ResearchGate has since stopped the sending invitations "Invitations will not be sent in your name unless you yourself send them. You can always see invitations you have sent here" source: "https://explore.researchgate.net/display/support/Inviting+colleagues+to+ResearchGate". To inform people I have added this at the end of 2 paragraphs. Neurodavid2014 (talk) 16:17, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

That's interesting. It would be nice to find some independent third-party source to cite to describe the modified practices and how the community has responded to the change. A couple of questions that come to mind:
  • It says "Invitations will not be sent [to your coauthors] in your name unless you yourself send them." Does that mean that your coauthors won't be pestered with invitations to join the site, or only that the pestering won't be done in your name?
  • Have they stopped setting up apparent profiles for non-users without their consent? Have they removed the automatically-generated profiles that they created previously?
BarrelProof (talk) 19:50, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
I imagine that their policy of spamming academics to death continues unabated, but that they don't do it in such a misleading and disingenuous manner by pretending that emails are sent from your colleagues. Regarding the profiles, a couple of months ago I asked RG to delete the (wildly inaccurate) profile that they automatically created for me and they did so. Famousdog (c) 11:46, 5 December 2016 (UTC)
I'd assume they have for now suspended the automatic invitation system, because it doesn't yield new users anymore. They probably spammed almost every academic already, and if someone hasn't joined they won't join either if spammed again and again. They would be stupid if they didn't track "conversion rate" and stop if it doesn't work anymore. The last spam I received from ResearchGate was September 2015. But maybe they just ended up on the university spam filter. --Chire (talk) 12:41, 5 December 2016 (UTC)

Does RG really restrict user registration in any meaningful way?

Someone added a statement to the lead section of the article today to say "Users that wish to register need an academic email address or be engaged in research activities." It appears that this was basically true at one time (e.g., I found a record (see comment by Clarinda Cerejo) of someone commenting angrily that when the policy was applied to them, their account was disabled since they were retired and did not have a recognized academic email address), but I wonder whether it really remains true. I don't see any restriction mentioned on the company's "About us" page, and no restriction seems to be mentioned in the new Times Higher Education article, and the site's Terms and Conditions page doesn't seem to say anything about that, and when I pretended to try to sign up for an account, the site seemed to let me skip the relevant questions or select vague responses or say I was just a member of the public that wanted an account (although I did not complete the entire sign-up process, so I don't know for certain). The clarity of what it means to be "engaged in research activities" is also, of course, very vague – any schoolchild may be interpreted as "engaged in research activities" when they look up information about their favorite pop star on the web. At this point I am under the impression that there is nothing that really prevents anyone who wants to register from signing up for an account on the site. I plan to remove that sentence, on the grounds that it is unclear, is unnecessary detail for a lead, and may be basically untrue (or misleading/meaningless). —BarrelProof (talk) 20:40, 22 April 2016 (UTC)

They claim you need an institutional address: https://explore.researchgate.net/display/support/Signing+up+for+ResearchGate — Preceding unsigned comment added by 79.214.32.189 (talk) 22:11, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for locating that. I'll add a citation to the article with a clarified description of the restriction. —BarrelProof (talk) 22:17, 22 April 2016 (UTC)


Just posted on this vein. Not hopeful it will show.... Not being able to join RG does nnot stop me being welcomed at places such as the labs at the London Nat.Hist.Mus. Erythroidea (talk) 13:09, 16 May 2016 (UTC)

I have made a minor edit. You can see here: https://explore.researchgate.net/display/support/Signing+up+for+ResearchGate that all people can access the documents (publications etc) without registering. "If you’re not a researcher, you can still browse ResearchGate and discover content such as publications, jobs, and questions without being registered." You can even try it yourself to see that publications are accessible to all regardless of signing-up. Neurodavid2014 (talk) 15:19, 27 May 2016 (UTC)


Along this subject, I would consider changing this sentence...

"Most of ResearchGate's users are involved in medicine or biology,[11][13] though it also has participants from engineering, computer science, agricultural sciences, and psychology, among others.[11]"

...Because, engineers that are not part of an "institution" or do not have an .edu internet domain email are evidently not welcome on RG. I found this out recently when I tried to join because I am an electronic engineer in the alternative energy field. RG evidently is leaving out a lot of people that actually do real work and innovation in their field. boB boB K7IQ (talk) 06:46, 30 March 2017 (UTC)

@BoBK7IQ: I boycott ResearchGate because of their spam emails. And no high-profile researcher in my domain appears to use RG. That doesn't need we need to remove my field from this list, because the sentence does not claim that everybody from that field is able/welcome/actively using it. I bet you will find at least 1 engineer on ResearchGate. And the lead already clearly states your problem: "need to have an email address at a recognized institution". Just let ResearchGate burn through their money without generating revenue, and they will eventually disappear when they are out of seed funding. Their burn rate must be huge. When having a look at the (actually quite low quality, and mostly from 2014) "topic" discussions on their web site, I get shown exactly two advertisements; one of which is generic travel. I doubt that covers their cost. Given their intake of funding, I'd guess they are wasting $10 million a year... they probably are good for another 4 years then. HelpUsStopSpam (talk) 17:24, 30 March 2017 (UTC)
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