Network of Excellence in Internet Science

Bill Gates invests in Research Gate - a new raw data collaboration model?

"According to Madisch, the first task is to refine the product, particularly aspects such as its API. “This will be the interface to the outside world so people can build applications using our data,” he said. “We want to be the telephone for scientists, but we won’t be able to build all the different apps.” ResearchGate already gives universities and specific departments the ability to set up their own pages on the platform. Madisch said the company now wants to build on this and its current private project functionality, providing the opportunity for universities and departments to establish their own private collaboration networks on ResearchGate. “We also want to extend the API to departmental and university pages, so they can create their own apps for problems they want to solve,” he added. ResearchGate isn’t the only platform trying this, of course – Mendeley, which recently got bought by Elsevier (see disclosure), is another. But Madisch used Wednesday’s event to provide his opinion on that purchase, saying Mendeley sold out “because they did not succeed. Every time you get acquired, you just lost,” he said. “You don’t create an open science movement if you sell your company very early on in the process. Our ambition is to create a very long-lasting company. We want to create an independent force in the scientific world which will change what data is shared and how data is shared, in real-time, on a very wide scale.”

"Whether or not ResearchGate does end up taking the IPO route, it seems clear that this company will make a difference. Madisch can already point to examples of this, such as the linking-up of researchers from Italy and Nigeria to help identify a new type of infectious agent, but this is more than just an opportunity for scientists to make connections. This is a platform for collaboration on the raw data level."

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