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Academic social networks


Academic social networks: how to use them?  


ResearchGate,, MyScienceWork, ... researchers, many of you are registered on these academic social networks that contribute to your international visibility.

But it is important to remain vigilant about how you use it. Here are the reasons and good practices to adopt.


Make a clear distinction between open repositories and academic social networks.

These platforms are by no means comparable to open repositories and institutional repositories.  ResearchGate,, etc. are commercial sites that provide visibility and establish networks of researchers.

But they are not considered as open access reservoirs because these platforms do not meet the principles of "open, equitable, sustainable and research and culture-driven academic communication".

By depositing your full texts on these networks, you do not meet the requirements of institutional and European Open Access policies.


In addition, the authorizations granted by publishers to deposit full text in open institutional archives do not cover deposit on these academic social networks... It is therefore your responsibility to check whether the publisher explicitly authorizes the deposit of full text on this type of platform. The large number of articles illegally placed on these networks has caused legal tensions between some major publishers and these platforms.  


Institutional repositories, such as, are designed to ensure the long-term preservation of your data and scientific work. This is not the case for ResearchGate,, etc..... which can at any time remove the information you have submitted without even having to notify you (which happened in 2013 on, for example, following Elsevier's requests to delete a significant number of articles due to a violation of the right of distribution).  Please be aware that by registering on these networks, you grant them rights to the ownership and use of the data and scientific works you post on them, which may be modified, transferred, stored against your will, deleted or used for commercial purposes.


In order to ensure the international visibility of institutions and their researchers, institutional repositories aim to disseminate scientific knowledge and production as widely as possible. is referenced and allows the deposited data to be retrieved and indexed by general and specialized search engines (e. g. GoogleScholar) and by search engines specialized in Open Access (Core, OpenAire, etc.). also facilitates distribution on social networks, with each new reference added to being automatically shared on twitter (@dialbiblio).

Thanks to this data referencing, academic social networks will easily find the bibliographic data you have already deposited on and propose a list of publications belonging to you, which you can then display on the platform in question without having to encode them manually.

On the contrary, these academic social networks are closed websites that do not share their data. These data are only visible inside the site, access to the site also requires prior registration. As a result, users are not allowed to retrieve their data for reuse elsewhere, and institutional repositories are not allowed to extract this data to feed the institutional repository on behalf of an author.  

Note that social networks can retrieve metadata from institutional repositories but not associated full texts. If you were thinking of uploading them to ResearchGate or, you would have to upload them manually. But this is very strongly discouraged, as you will have understood from the previous paragraphs!

On these social networks, it is good practice to provide the link to the document hosted on, which you will have put in open access (according to the publisher's conditions, in particular concerning the version of the document that can be deposited on an open archive: preprint, postprint or pdf from the publisher).


Finally, a small table highlighting some differences between academic social networks and institutional repositories:


Some resources: 

Réseaux sociaux académiques : fonctionnalités principales et enjeux 

Protection et propriété des données sur et ResearchGate

Réseaux sociaux pour chercheurs, la visibilité à quel prix? 

Pour une utilisation critique des réseaux sociaux académiques

Réseaux sociaux académiques ... Le débat !

A social network site is not an open access repository