Page tree

Certain publishers are now requiring that ResearchGate block the public sharing of certain full-text content, and remove identified content.

Why was the upload of my content blocked on ResearchGate?

When you try to upload a public full-text to your publication page, ResearchGate is now required by certain publishers to check if the file you’re uploading matches a list of content that they demand be blocked from being shared. If it does match, they require that ResearchGate block the uploading of the file. If your upload is blocked, we’ll display the name of the publisher who requested the block at the end of the process. 

Does ResearchGate decide which content to remove from its platform on behalf of publishers?

Contrary to the suggestion or implication by some publishers, ResearchGate does not independently decide what content to remove. Depending upon the nature of the request made by the publisher, the publisher either identifies the precise link to a file, or it provides specific identifiers and precise instructions to remove content when the identifiers appear in the file. ResearchGate carefully implements such requests and disables access to the identified content. If there is a question about whether content was properly removed, it should be directed to the responsible publisher. Only they are privy to the license terms and conditions that govern how content may be shared.

Which publishers are currently requiring ResearchGate to block some full-text uploads?

  • Elsevier 
  • The American Chemical Society 
  • IEEE
  • American Medical Association (AMA)

If your upload is blocked, we’ll display the name of the publisher who requested the block at the end of the process.  

If I cannot publicly upload a file, am I allowed to upload a file for private storage?

Requests by publishers to block uploads do not apply to the private storage of files. However, as always, before uploading any content to ResearchGate, you should confirm that you have rights to do so. Your rights to do so may be explained in a license agreement with your publisher or other publisher guidance. If in doubt, you should contact your publisher to clarify your rights.

I think my upload was incorrectly blocked or my file was incorrectly removed. What can I do? 

ResearchGate does not possess any information about rights you may hold, or any license terms or other restrictions which might apply to your content. Blocking and removal actions are based entirely upon the requests of publishers, not any independent assessment of your rights by ResearchGate. We know, however, that publishers sometimes make mistakes when they report content. If you believe that a mistake has been made in your case, we strongly encourage you to contact the publisher directly to explain the situation. 

You can contact the publisher responsible for blocking your content by emailing article17[at]

If the publisher acknowledges their error, you can ask them to email us directly to retract their blocking request. In such cases, you may be able to re-upload the content. We regret that such situations may cause inconvenience or frustration, and we hope that any issues can be resolved directly with the relevant publisher.

My publisher said they have retracted their request for ResearchGate to remove or block my content. Why can't I upload it now?

We are aware that certain publishers who previously asked us to remove identified content or block uploads of identified content have now retracted those requests. We played no part in their decisions and have no insights into their reasoning; however, we're sorry if this has been disruptive or inconvenient for you. You can read more about our thoughts on takedown requests here.

If we have received a notification regarding one of your publications, please rest assured that we will process it as quickly as possible. However, because of the number of retractions we received, and the way in which retractions are communicated to us bu the publishers, it is a technically challenging and time-consuming process. Thanks for your patience in the meantime.

My upload was successful. Does that mean I’m allowed to share my content on ResearchGate?

Not necessarily. ResearchGate is only checking full-text uploads using copyright information provided to us by certain publishers. The list of content they have provided may not be exhaustive, meaning it may not cover all works that they own.  

Therefore, the fact that your upload was successful (not blocked) does not mean that a publisher cannot later identify and report your content as a copyright infringement. The particular content may not have been included in the blocking instructions we received, or the content may be owned by a non-participating publisher. As always, you should check the conditions of any applicable policy and copyright transfer agreement you entered into before sharing content on ResearchGate.  

Is ResearchGate sharing any personal data with publishers as part of the blocking process?

No. Certain publishers have provided us with a list of content and requested that we block public uploads of content matching that information. We do not share private information about our users with publishers or other third parties as part of this process.  

Will the blocking of my attempted upload(s) have any impact on my ResearchGate account?

If your attempted upload is blocked, that instance will not be counted as an “infringement” for purposes of our repeat infringer policy. However, if you upload content that is later identified by a publisher as infringing and therefore removed, that instance may count as part of our repeat infringer policy. Under that policy, if we receive repeated copyright infringement notices related to your content, your ResearchGate account may be permanently locked. This policy is implemented in accordance with international law. For more information, please see our Intellectual Property Policy and the Copyright section of our Help Center.