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Three publishing companies have entered into a cooperation agreement with an academic file-sharing platform in efforts to ensure content is shared “responsibly” without violating copyright.
ResearchGate announced the agreement yesterday, April 19.
In the cooperation agreement, the file-sharing site has committed to working collaboratively with publishers Cambridge University Press, Springer Nature, and Thieme in order to protect the rights of authors and publishers.
As part of the agreement, the parties will work together to educate users of the site about their rights in relation to copyrighted content by providing better information about how and when they can share articles on the network.
The publishers will gain greater visibility of new content appearing on the platform if it was originally published in one of their products.
ResearchGate said it will continue to remove infringing content when alerted to the fact by publishers.
According to the file-sharing site, the agreement shows that “cooperation on the sharing of publisher content can be found”. It added that the collaboration “demonstrates the commitment from all parties to ensuring researchers are able to access and share high-quality scholarly research responsibly”.
In response to the announcement, the Coalition for Responsible Sharing, which represents 12 publishers and analytics businesses from around the world, has said its members maintain their position that “no copyright-infringing content should go public on ResearchGate’s site in the first place” and the availability and subsequent removal of unauthorised content is “unsustainable and disruptive”.
Earlier this month the coalition accused ResearchGate of hosting four million illicit articles.
The coalition began its attempt to make the site “copyright-compliant” in October 2017, and ResearchGate removed 1.4 million illicitly distributed articles in response to the coalition’s accusations.
Publishers in the coalition had criticised ResearchGate for its failure to vet papers before hosting them, preferring instead to host content that can later be removed following a takedown notice.
ResearchGate, Cambridge University Press, Springer Nature, Thieme, academic file sharing, online copyright infringement