As tools for engaging with the wider research community both Academia.edu and ResearchGate seem more focused than, say, the more generalized, LinkedIn option. ResearchGate certainly looks the cleaner and more user-friendly of the two.
However, the rather over-arching point made about uploading your work to either site being riddled with issues seems to rather restrict the uninitiated user. Certainly, guidance is needed and wonderful teaching programmes and events like this one seem almost essential. Early-career researchers, take note!
As a rule of thumb:
- Upload/publish your work on your own institutional repository (Cambridge University = Apollo).
- Only link to your publications from your ResearchGate and/or your Academia.edu profiles – don’t upload.
- Pat yourself on the back for avoiding this pesky platform pitfall and achieving full Open Access compliance.
Shouldn’t these for-profit sites be themselves highlighting their own potential for controversy with prominent warnings? After all, we are calling their own moral code of conduct into question here. Maybe they do warn users at the point of submission… I stopped digging.
PS: Jaideep’s take on ResearchGate was most informative, especially on the subject of them creating their own reward system for uploading with them. See here: Jaideep on ResearchGate