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Slides from a session, "A Comparison of Research Sharing Tools: The Institutional Repository vs. Academic Social Networking Among University of Rhode Island Faculty." Part of a project briefing session titled Tools for Modern Research Practice presented at the Coalition for Networked Information Fall 2016 Membership Meeting on December 12, 2016 in Washington, District of Columbia.
"In recent years, academic social networking sites such as ResearchGate and Academia.edu have been gaining popularity as a way for scholars to share their work and make connections. For universities with Open Access policies where faculty are expected to deposit their scholarly articles in the institutional repository (IR), this trend presents an interesting problem. On the one hand, growing levels of participation on academic social networks indicate that scholars want to share their work, and that is good news for Open Access. On the other hand, academic social networks may be competing with IRs and are at odds with the mission of Open Access policies to provide researchers with a legal, non-commercial, and long-term method of sharing their work. At the University of Rhode Island (URI) we are asking what motivates faculty authors to share their work through ResearchGate—in many cases violating their publishing contracts—versus participating in our permissions-based OA Policy by depositing in the IR. We will present the preliminary results of our study, which includes data comparing the level of participation of over 550 faculty in ResearchGate and the OA Policy. Our data also include responses from a faculty survey that seeks to capture researchers’ understanding of the difference between distributing their articles through ResearchGate versus the OA Policy and what motivates their decisions. This study will not only help inform URI’s implementation of our OA Policy but will provide broader insight into faculty authors’ attitudes towards these two different types of research sharing tools."
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