ResearchGate may have to remove millions of articles from their website as five publishers have created a coalition for forcing ResearchGate remove their articles from the scientific social site. The publishers are of the opinion that the site breaches their copyright. According to estimated, around 7 million papers could be affected, and that a first batch of take-down notices, for around 100,000 articles, would be sent out “imminently”. The members of the coalition, Elsevier and the American Chemical Society, are the first ones to file the lawsuit that might help them prevent the publishing of copyrighted material on ResearchGate in future. Even though the complaint has not been made public, but it was filed in a regional court in Germany and asks “symbolic request for damages”, however its actual goal is to change the site’s behavior. Additionally, it seems that ResearchGate have already begun taking articles down, as the coalition group has noticed that the site removed “a significant number of copyrighted articles“, even though the site did not officially shared any such activity with the publishers. The clash has been a long time coming as researchers are increasingly posting paywalled papers authored by them online, while the site itself scrapes material online and invites researchers to claim and upload these papers. Through this suit, however, this practice might soon come to an end.
Source: Click Copyright issue in ResearchGate.