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Since when did ResearchGate use community moderators?

The use of volunteer community moderators is a new approach that we're testing since the release of our new COVID-19 research community space.

Why is ResearchGate using community moderators?

Our new COVID-19 research community space was created to help researchers working on this topic stay up-to-date on the latest COVID-19 research as it happens, get help and support others, and contribute to the body of research the international community is using to combat the current crisis.

For the space to be as useful as possible, it's important that the content and discussions made available there are on-topic and of a high quality. We have identified researchers in our community who have the appropriate background and experience to help make recommendations about what content should be displayed in the space. The thinking is that, due to their special knowledge in a relevant field, these moderators are in a great position to help make these decisions.

Who are the community moderators?

The current moderators are identified in the COVID-19 research community space.

What can community moderators do?

For now, community moderators have one simple mission: to recommend whether content and discussions related to the COVID-19 topic should be made available for discovery within the COVID-19 research community space, separate from the rest of the platform.

They don't have the ability to otherwise influence the visibility of content on the platform. Nor do they possess permissions to carry out any of the functions carried out by our Community Support team, who are responsible for reviewing content that is reported to us for violating our terms and standards. More information about how to report content to our Community Support team can be found here.

Volunteer Community Moderator Policy 

Last updated: 23 April 2020

By agreeing to act as a Moderator ("Moderator" or "you") for ResearchGate ("we", "us", or "our"), you agree to be bound by our Terms of Service, Community Guidelines, and this Volunteer Community Moderator Policy ("Policy") at all times. We may update this Policy from time to time, so please check this page periodically. Any capitalized terms not otherwise defined in this Policy have the meaning given to them in our Terms of Service

ResearchGate is trialing an approach whereby specific Members are given a Moderator status, so they can help us to create the best possible experience for our Users ("Moderator Program"). The main function of Moderators operating within the Moderator Program is to limit the Member Submissions available within a dedicated topic area to those submissions that are deemed to be on-topic and of a high quality. Moderators may also contribute by undertaking other similar tasks related to this endeavor.

As a Moderator, you acknowledge and agree that: 

Eligibility and role

  • To be eligible to act as a Moderator, you must, at all times, have a valid and active ResearchGate account. 
  • You will only agree to participate as a Moderator within a topic area for which you have the subject expertise required to carry out proper assessments.
  • Other than assessing Member Submissions within your topic area for relevance and quality, you are not expected to assess whether any Member Submissions may violate our Terms of Service, Community Guidelines or other policies. If you identify content that may violate any of our policies, please report it to our Community Support team to review. 
  • You understand that your participation in the Moderator Program is of a temporary nature. You can stop volunteering and thereby cancel your Moderator status at any time.
  • You are free to choose the amount of time that you contribute to the Moderator Program, and how to structure that time. That said, for you to retain your Moderator status, there is an expectation that you will actively contribute to the Moderator Program on a regular basis, to ensure the Moderator Program operates smoothly and achieves its objectives. 
  • Your contribution to ResearchGate and your participation as a Moderator is entirely voluntary and will not be compensated or rewarded in any way.
  • We will identify you publicly as a Moderator, for example within the topic space you are moderating and/or on your ResearchGate profile.
  • You are not an employee, agent, or representative of ResearchGate and must not, at any time, represent yourself as such. You have no authority to bind ResearchGate in any manner. 

Privacy and confidentiality 

  • We will only use information you provide us in relation to your role as a Moderator for the purposes for which it was given.
  • Our Privacy Policy applies to you while you are acting in your role as Moderator.
  • Even though you won't be granted with any insights, rights, or access to more personal information than a Member could otherwise obtain, we want to stress that, in accordance with our Terms of Service, you must not process any personal information of any other User for any purpose other than the natural purpose of such data being published within the Service by the respective User.
  • To help you fulfill your role as a Moderator, you can request access to a dedicated Slack channel, so you can discuss issues with other Moderators and limited ResearchGate employees. To enable this, you will need to install a third-party software. Please see Slack's Privacy Policy here. Once you have set up a Slack account and joined the designated channel, other Moderators and the ResearchGate employees within the channel will be able to view your profile information. You must not use any information obtained via the Slack Channel, nor from the other channel members' profiles, for any purpose other than the Moderator Program. 
  • You may, in the course of acting as a Moderator, become aware of confidential information, including but not limited to non-public information about our software, technology, product, features, or specifications. You will not disclose such information without our prior written consent. This confidentiality obligation survives any termination of your participation as a Moderator, your ResearchGate account, or the Moderator Program.

General 

  • We are not, in any way, responsible or liable for your contribution as a Moderator, including for any errors, omissions, or for any loss or damage arising from your contribution.
  • You are responsible for complying with all applicable laws, rules and regulations, and all ResearchGate policies, including this Policy. You will not contribute to the Moderator Program in a manner that violates such laws, rules and regulations, or any ResearchGate policies, or in a manner that is deceptive, unethical, false, or misleading.
  • You will be objective and constructive in your decisions as a Moderator, and not allow your decisions to be influenced by the origins of Member Submissions, or by the nationality, religious or political beliefs, gender or other characteristics of the contributing Members, or by commercial considerations.
  • We reserve the right to revoke your Moderator status and associated privileges at any time and for any or no reason, without warning. Abuse or other violative behavior, especially relating to the curation of Member Submissions, may result in termination of your Moderator status and/or termination of your ResearchGate account.
  • We reserve the right to make changes to or discontinue the project you're contributing to and/or any aspect of the Moderator Program, including terminating the entire Moderator Program, at any time. This means, for example, that we may change the criteria for being eligible to act as a Moderator.