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Copyright

General principles

Rights in and responsibility for content on ResearchGate

Am I allowed to share or store my research on ResearchGate 

Copyright infringement


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When you upload a full-text to ResearchGate, you can choose to share it publicly or store it privately. In either case, the content will be associated with the corresponding publication page. However, if you choose to store your full-text privately, it will only be available to you and your co-authors. Other users can only access the full-text by requesting it from you. Note that, even if you choose to store a full-text privately, the publication page displaying the publication information will still remain available on your profile. 
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It is not possible for ResearchGate to provide you with advice about copyright or what copyright restrictions may apply to your content - if any. However, we can provide some general information which we hope will be helpful.

For starters, when thinking about copyright issues, it’s important that you understand what ResearchGate is and how it works. To find out more, we encourage you to read the answers to these frequently asked questions:

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titleWhat is ResearchGate?

ResearchGate is a platform designed to facilitate collaboration, communication, and sharing of information among researchers and scientists. Our platform enables the public sharing, private storing and private sharing of various types of content.

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titleIs ResearchGate a publisher?

ResearchGate is not a publisher and does not accept articles or papers for publication. Rather, members can track their publications, store private copies, or make their published or unpublished works publicly available on ResearchGate, assuming they have the rights to do so. 

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titleWhat is a publication page and what is a full-text?

A publication page is a page created either by a user or by ResearchGate using publicly available information. When created, publication pages contain information about particular content (e.g. the title and author names) but no full-text content. 

Generally speaking, a full-text is a full, readable version of the publication. Normally, proprietary full-text content can only be added to a publication page by an author. If a publication has multiple authors, any of those authors can upload content to the publication page. Publication pages can also contain more than one piece of content. This can happen because, for example, an author chooses to upload different versions of the content or other related content. In that sense, a publication page operates merely as a container for content. Although only one full-text is displayed on a publication page at a time, there may be other full-texts available. These are accessible by clicking the downward-facing arrow at the top right of the publication page and selecting ‘Full-text sources’. The full-text that is displayed on a publication page can also change over time. 

In some cases, we may make a full-text available where a publication has a Creative Commons license.

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titleWhat does it mean to "Claim a publication?"

We use advanced technology to identify content which we believe is associated with particular authors on ResearchGate. At various points when using ResearchGate, you may be asked to 'claim' a publication page. In such case, we ask that you confirm that you are in fact an author of the publication and that you want the publication page to appear on your personal profile page. If you are not the author or don’t want the publication to appear on your profile, you need only decline. 

Once you have claimed a publication page, you can change the information on the page, such as the publication type, authors, and date. You can’t, however, delete the page from ResearchGate entirely (unless it is one you created yourself).

Sometimes, authors inadvertently claim publications that are not, in fact, theirs. Members can easily remove publications from their profiles. You can also contact Customer Support if you believe someone has incorrectly claimed your content as their own.

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titleWhat is private storage?
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copyrightoverview
copyrightoverview

ResearchGate was developed by scientists to make collaboration, sharing, and communication between researchers easier. We respect the intellectual property rights of others and ask that you do the same.

ResearchGate lets you:

  • Upload public copies of your full-texts
  • Store private copies of your full-texts that are accessible to you and your co-authors
  • Share private copies of your full-texts with others

You are responsible for any content you upload or share, so it’s important that you check in advance that you have all the necessary rights to do so.

Knowing whether you have the rights to upload or share content isn’t always easy.  If you’ve signed an agreement with a publisher, this will probably define your rights. Usually, these agreements assign the copyright or exclusive licenses to the publisher. However, you may also retain some rights to use and possibly share the work. These rights can vary significantly from publisher to publisher and should always be checked. If you have any doubt about your permission to share, we strongly encourage you to review your license agreement and any information your publisher makes available on its website before you upload the content. 


Specific policies of some publishers can be found here:

Directory of Publisher Copyright Policies

While publisher policies vary, some generalizations can be made. There are often different versions of the publication, including:

  • A preprint (a draft or final version prior to peer review or publication). Learn more about preprints.

  • An accepted manuscript (a final, post-peer-review version, but not yet published).
  • A VOR (Version of Record) (which is the final version that gets published). 

Publishers can define these versions slightly differently, so it is important to check the definitions with the relevant publisher before posting the work. Many publishers do not allow the VOR to be shared publicly at any time. This is true even though you’re the author of the work. Accepted manuscripts and preprints are sometimes subject to different rules. Some publishers allow authors to share these under certain circumstances or within a certain timeframe. Sometimes preprints, accepted manuscripts, and even VORs are subject to “embargo” periods, which only allow you to share after a certain date.


Some licenses may let you share your work privately with others. These rights may be defined in your license agreement, and often require that the recipient be a colleague, fellow researcher, or other group. Even with private sharing, it is important that you make sure that you understand your rights before sharing your full-texts with others.


Copyright compliance is serious. If you upload or share content in a way that infringes a publisher’s rights, the publisher can file a notice claiming copyright infringement. That notice may request removal of the content, or specify a different action. When a copyright or license owner submits a notice in accordance with international law, ResearchGate will comply with their request. If there are repeat instances of infringement, ResearchGate may be required to restrict or permanently lock your account.


In addition to reviewing your publisher’s policies, you can read more about what ResearchGate is and how it works, and learn more about copyright and our policies in this section.

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rightsinandresponsibilities
rightsinandresponsibilities

ResearchGate lets you share various types of content publicly, store it privately, and share it privately.


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titleWho holds copyright in the content made available on ResearchGate?

By uploading and publicly displaying your work on ResearchGate, you are making it publicly available to all users of ResearchGate, both logged-ResearchGate – both to ResearchGate members using the site logged in, and people without an account who access it logged - out. ResearchGate   ResearchGate does not require you to relinquish any rights that you may have in your work. Nor do you transfer or assign copyright to us. You have the right to remove content from any content you've added to your profile from ResearchGate at any time. The copyright ownership in the work is determined by copyright law in various jurisdictions, and by any license agreement that you license agreement you may have signed. In some cases, publishing authors assign all or part of their rights to their publisher, but also retain certain rights. You need to check your license agreement to be sure.

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titleIs ResearchGate a publisher?

ResearchGate is not a publisher and does not accept articles or papers for publication. Rather, members can track their publications, store private copies, and make their published or unpublished work publicly available on ResearchGate – if they have the rights to do so. 

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titleCan ResearchGate give me permission to re-use content I've I’ve found on ResearchGate?

No. ResearchGate does not hold copyright for hold copyright for any publications on the platform. That means we can’t grant you permission to re-use reuse any content that you may find in a publication that has been made available on ResearchGate. To make a copyright permission request, you’ll need to get in touch with the authors of the publication, the journal in which it was published, or the relevant publishing company. Many publishers have information on their websites describing allowable useshow their content can be used, and/or a contact email address for requesting permission to use their content.

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titleWho 's is responsible for content uploaded to on ResearchGate?

You are responsible for any content that you upload to on ResearchGate. That’s  That’s why we display the display your name of the uploader next to any user-uploaded content you upload.

As we do not don't have any information about on the rights you may hold, or any license terms or other restrictions which might apply to your content, we necessarily rely on you to understand your rights and act accordingly. For this reason, we request that you fully investigate and confirm that you have sufficient rights to publicly or privately share your content on ResearchGate (for both public and private sharing) before you do so. If you have any doubts about your ability to your permissions to upload content, we encourage you to check your license agreement and/or contact your publisher first.

Your ability
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titleWhat should I do if I'm unsure about my rights?

If you’re unsure about your rights to share your content on ResearchGate

will depend on the rights you hold in that content, which may be determined by an agreement that

, you should first review the license agreement you signed with your publisher and any policies they may display on their website.  If you still have questions, we recommend that you get in touch with them directly.

If you’ve already made the content publicly available, we recommend that you make it private or remove it while you confirm your rights. You may be allowed to share another version of the content, such as an accepted manuscript, or to privately store a copy on ResearchGate. Again, that will depend on any agreement you have with your publisher.

To get you thinking about the relevant issues, we encourage you to read the answers to these questions: Am I allowed to upload and publicly display content I authored
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title

 

To review which of your publication pages have a full-text publicly available:

  1. Go to your Research tab
  2. Select the Full-texts filter underneath Research Items from the menu on the left-hand side. This filter shows you any of your research items that have publicly available full-texts.
  3. Any research items that have a publicly available full-text added by you will have a green message above the title that says ‘You added a full-text to this item’.

Find out how to make your content private or remove it here.


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amiallowedtoshare
amiallowedtoshare

It is not possible for ResearchGate to

specifically answer this question, but

provide you with advice about copyright or what copyright restrictions may apply to your content – if any. However, we can provide some general information which we hope will be helpful.

Your ability to make content public depends upon

In general, your ability to share your work on ResearchGate will depend on the rights you hold in the content, which may be determined by an agreement that you have with your publisher. 


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titleWho can see content that I upload to ResearchGate?

When you upload content to ResearchGate, you can choose to make it publicly available or to store it privately. Publicly available content can be viewed by anyone, regardless of whether they are registered for ResearchGate or logged in. If you choose to store your content privately, it will only be visible to you and the co-authors.  

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titleAm I allowed to publicly display my work on ResearchGate?

Your permissions to make content public on ResearchGate depends on the rights you hold in the content. If you have published your content in a journal or book, your rights are likely governed by a license agreement between you and the publisher. There are thousands of journals and they each have their own form of licenseof license agreement. We are ResearchGate does not privy to any them.have access to information on this. 

Your right to publicly share content may depend upon the version of the content you want to upload. Some journals allow publication of non-final versions, such as drafts, pre-printspreprints, and Accepted Manuscripts, but accepted manuscripts – but many restrict publication of the final versionspublished version, sometimes called the Version version of Record record (“VOR”).  To learn more about the differences between these versions, check out our section on Understanding the terminology

Some versions of content may be subject to embargo periods imposed by the publisher. This means that after a certain period of time has passed since publication, you may be able to self-archive share the content or otherwise make it publicly available.

Other content is subject to Open Access licenses. Such content is often subject to much more liberal rules regarding publication but may still have certain restrictions. 

Your starting point for understanding any of your options and rights is the agreement you have with your publisher or other rights owner. Read it carefully to determine what rules apply to your content. Many publishers also issue helpful guidelines about their sharing policies and how their content can be used. If you’re unsure about what you’re allowed to share on ResearchGate, we recommend that you get in touch with them first.

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titleAm I allowed to privately store content my work on ResearchGate?

On ResearchGate, it is possible to to upload content for private storage only. In this case, the content will be available only to you and your the co-authors. Even if you're not permitted to publicly share a full-text version of your publicationwork, you may be permitted to store a full-texts text privately for your own use. Again, we recommend that you always fully investigate and confirm that you have sufficient rights to privately store any content before doing so.

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titleAm I allowed to privately share my content work with others?

ResearchGate enables members to ResearchGate lets members share content privately with others. No sharing of content happens automatically. Each author must independently assess whether they have a right the necessary rights to share particular specific content with a particular person before doing so. Some publishers have specific policies that allow a certain amount of private sharing within certain strict confines. However, you must check your license or contact your publisher to determine the precise exact restrictions that apply to you and your content.

When you upload content to ResearchGate, you can choose to make it publicly available or to store it privately. Publicly available content can be viewed by anyone, regardless of whether they are registered for ResearchGate or whether they are logged in to ResearchGate. If you choose to store your content privately, it will only be visible to you and your coauthors.  
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titleWho can see content I upload to ResearchGate?
What should I do if I'm unsure about my rights?

If you’re unsure about your rights to share your content on ResearchGate, you should first review any applicable license agreement that you have signed with your publisher and any policies they may have available on their website. If you still have questions, we recommend that you get in touch with them directly.

If you’ve already made the content publicly available, we recommend that you make it private or remove it while you confirm your rights. You may be allowed to share another version of the content, such as an accepted manuscript, or to privately store a copy on ResearchGate. Again, that will depend on any agreement you have with your publisher. 

To review your publication pages that have a full-text publicly available:

  1. Go to your Research tab
  2. Select the Full-texts filter underneath Research Items from the menu on the left-hand side. This filter shows you any of your research items that have publicly available full-texts.
  3. Any research items that have a publicly available full-text added by you will have a green message above the title that says ‘You added a full-text to this item’.

Find out how to make your content private or remove it here.

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titleIs it safe to share my unpublished work on ResearchGate?

By uploading and publicly displaying your work on ResearchGate, you are making it publicly available to all users of ResearchGate – both to ResearchGate members using the site logged - in members and logged-out users, and people without an account who access it logged out. ResearchGate does not require you to relinquish any rights that you may have in that work. For some types of content, ResearchGate enables you to ResearchGate lets you select a particular license which will apply to your content. For example, you may choose to make your content available subject to a Creative Commons license. If you are planning to eventually publish your work, we recommend that you determine whether pre-publication may affect your ability to have your content later accepted for publication later. 

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titleIf my article is freely available elsewhere online, does that it mean I can share it freely on ResearchGate?

Just because your article is freely available elsewhere online, doesn’t necessarily mean you have the rights to share it on ResearchGate. You’ll still need to make an independent assessment about whether you have sufficient rights to publicly or privately share the content on ResearchGate before you do so.  

For more information, see the above FAQ: Am I allowed to publicly display my work on ResearchGate?

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titleInstead of uploading my full-text, can I post a link to another location where it 's is available online?

There's no place on a publication page to  to include a link redirecting the reader to the journal's or publisher’s own page, as that's not something that we generally allow or encourage on ResearchGate.

If you’re unsure about your rights to share your content on ResearchGate, you should first review any applicable license agreement that you have signed with a publisher and any policies they may post on their website.  If you still have questions, we recommend that you get in touch directly with your publisher. If you’ve already made the content publicly available, we recommend that you remove it (or simply make it private) while you confirm your rights. You may be allowed to share another version of the content, such as an Accepted Manuscript, or to privately store a copy on ResearchGate. Again, that will depend on any agreement you have with your publisher. Here’s how you can review and remove your content:

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titleHow can I review all research on my profile?

You can see a list of the scientific contributions that you have claimed or added to your profile by visiting the Contributions tab on your profile page. Using the menu on the left-hand side, you can filter your contributions by type (e.g. Projects, Research Items, Questions). If you select Research Items you can sort your research by newest, oldest, title, or recently added using the Sorted by drop-down menu at the top of the list.

You can also filter your research items using the menu on the left-hand side (e.g. Article, Conference Paper). If any of your research items have publicly available full-texts, there will be an option to filter by full-texts.

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titleHow do I review my publicly available full-texts?

To review the publication pages where you have made a full-text publicly available:

  1. Go to your Contributions tab
  2. Select the Full-texts filter underneath Research Items from the menu on the left-hand side. This filter shows you any of your research items that have publicly available full-texts.
  3. Any research items that have a publicly available full-text added by you will have a green message above the title that says ‘You added a full-text to this item’.
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titleHow do I remove a publication page or full-text from my profile?

Here’s how you can remove a publication page and/or full-text from your profile or from ResearchGate entirely:

  1. Visit the Contributions tab on your profile and scroll down to the research item
  2. Click on the arrow next to Add resources
  3. Select Remove
  4. Select the relevant option
  5. Select your reason for removing
  6. Proceed by clicking on the relevant button.

Note: If you didn’t create the publication page, you will not have the option to remove it from ResearchGate entirely. You can, however, remove it from your profile. If one of your coauthors uploaded the full-text, it will still be visible on ResearchGate.

There’s an option to make your full-text private rather than removing it entirely from ResearchGate. This means the full-text will no longer be publicly displayed, but a private copy will be available to you and your coauthors. You must always ensure that you have the right to publicly share or privately store your full-text before doing so. For more information see Am I allowed to share my research on ResearchGate?

Copyright infringement 

own webpage. 

Anchor
copyrightinfringement
copyrightinfringement

You are responsible for your own content. That’s  That’s why we display your name above any name next to any content that you have uploaded to ResearchGate. Sometimes  Sometimes we receive reports from copyright owners alleging that content is being made available on ResearchGate in a way that infringes their rights. To find out more about this process, you can read ourour Intellectual Property Policy. We also answer some questions about copyright infringement below:.


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titleWhat can I do if someone is infringing my copyright on ResearchGate?

We have a process for disabling access to any allegedly infringing content when we receive a report from an authorized copyright owner. If you’re not a copyright owner or someone authorized to act on behalf of a copyright owner, we must ask that you contact the copyright owner and ask them to submit a notice of claimed infringement. 

If you are a copyright owner, US, European and , and other laws require that your notice of copyright infringement follow a specific formspecific format. The  The easiest way to do this is to complete our form and to complete our  Notice of Claimed Copyright Infringement form and send it to to copyright@researchgate.net. It provides us with a required signature and information about your company that we’ll keep on file. If you do not wish to use our form, you can use your own form or send an email, as long as it contains all the legally required information. For more information about our reporting policies and the required information, see our our Intellectual Property Policy page page.   

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titleWhat can I do if someone has plagiarized my work?

The term “plagiarism” has different meanings, but it usually includes copying somebody else’s work without permission. If you own your work and someone has copied it, or parts of it, without permission, it may be a copyright infringement. If you are the copyright owner and believe there is copyright infringement, you may report the content and request that it be removed from ResearchGate. To  To do so, you'll need only to submit a notice of claimed infringement, as described above. If your copyright interests have been assigned to a publisher, you may need to the publisher to report any infringements to us.

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titleMy co-author uploaded our work without my permission. What should I do?

If you are concerned that your co-author has uploaded your joint work without your permission, we recommend that you get in touch with them first to try to resolve the issue. If you are unable to resolve the issue with them, the possible solutions will depend on the rights in the work.   

While we cannot provide you with legal advice, national laws often allow a joint owner of a copyright to grant non-exclusive licenses to the work without obtaining the permission of their co-authors. Depending on which laws apply to you and your work, this could mean that your co-author has the right to upload your work to ResearchGate without your permission.  If, on the other hand, the authors signed an agreement with a publisher that assigned copyright in the work to the publisher, it may be that the upload is an infringement of the publisher's rights.

You need to determine what any applicable laws mean in your case. If you conclude that copyright infringement has occurred, and you are prepared to confirm in a sworn statement that you have a good faith belief that publication of the content infringes your rights, you can submit a notice of claimed copyright infringement, as explained above. Please be aware, however, that filing a report of copyright infringement is a serious matter. If you are unsure about whether you have the rights to do so, you may wish to seek legal advice.

Note: If your main concern is that your co-author may be infringing your publisher's copyright by uploading your work, bear in mind that they are the one who is ultimately responsible for the content they have uploaded to ResearchGate. That’s why they are identified as the uploader next to the content.  If the publisher files a notice of claimed copyright infringement, that notice will be directed at the uploader and not all of the authors.

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titleWhat happens if my content is the subject of a notice of claimed copyright infringement?

ResearchGate respects the intellectual property rights of publishers and other owners of content. If a rights owner submits a notice of claimed copyright infringement in accordance with our procedures and international law, we remove the identified content. Failure to do so could possibly expose us and you to legal liability. If this happens, we’ll send you notice of our action by email.

We’re also required by law to implement a suspension policy for repeat infringers. That means we keep a record of all instances of content removal. Additional  Additional infringements can result in further action on your membershipaccount, including blocked uploading rights and your membership account being permanently disabledlocked.

Bear in mind that rights owners can submit notices of claimed copyright infringement at any time, and in relation to content that you may have uploaded in the past. Because of this, you could become a repeat infringer even if you haven’t uploaded any new content since your previous infringement. That’s why it’s important that you you review any content that you have uploaded to ResearchGate and  to ResearchGate and ensure that you have the appropriate rights to share it.

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titleIf ResearchGate removes my content due to a notice of claimed infringement, does it mean that ResearchGate agrees with the publisher?

No. ResearchGate has no knowledge of the rights that might apply to your particular content and is not privy to any has no information about any license agreements you may have with publishers. Thus, we are not in a position to evaluate the correctness of notices of claimed infringement. If a rights owner submits a notice of claimed copyright infringement in accordance with our procedures and international law, we remove the identified content. Failure to do so could possibly expose us and you to legal liability. If this happens, we’ll send you notice of our action by email.

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titleWhat can I do if I disagree with the takedown of my contentI have received a notice of infringement. Do I need to do anything?

If you receive a notice advising that your content has been identified by a rights owner as infringing their copyright, that means the content has already been removed. No immediate action is required by you.

However, we do recommend that you take the time to review any content that you have uploaded and make sure you have the necessary rights to share it. Because rights owners can submit notices of claimed copyright infringement at any time, you could become a repeat infringer even if you haven’t uploaded anything new since your previous infringement. Further infringement notices could result in your account being permanently locked.   

Please also make sure that you have the necessary rights to upload any new content before doing so. If you’re unsure about what you’re allowed to share on ResearchGate, we recommend that you get in touch with your publisher first. 

You may wish to make your existing content private while you review your rights, or remove it altogether.  Find out how to remove content or make it private here.

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titleI have received a notice of infringement. Will anything happen to my account?

Each time you receive an infringement notice, we keep a record of this on your account. We need this record because we are required by law to implement a repeat infringer policy.

Further infringements may result in action being taken on your account, which could include your account being permanently locked.

Please be aware that because rights owners can report content at any time, including content that you may have uploaded in the past, you can become a repeat infringer quite quickly and without uploading any new content. We therefore suggest that you review any content that you have uploaded and make sure you have the appropriate rights to share it. If you’re unsure about what you’re allowed to share on ResearchGate, we recommend that you get in touch with your publisher first.   

You may wish to make your existing content private while you review your rights, or remove it altogether.  Find out how to remove content or make it private here

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titleI disagree with my notice of infringement. What can I do?

ResearchGate cannot and does not independently assess the merits of the claims made. We do not have any information about rights you may hold, or any license terms or other restrictions which might apply to your content. Failure to remove the content can possibly expose us and you to legal liability.

We recognize, however, that rights owners sometimes make mistakes in reporting content. If you believe that access to your content should not have been disabled, or your content was removed in error, you should contact the reporting party directly to explain the situation. We usually provide you with their contact email address in our notice of infringement. In general, if the rights owner acknowledges their that an error has been made, you can ask them to email us directly and retract their notice of infringement. We can then enable you to re-upload the content.

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titleMy account has been locked. What can I do?

We are required by law to have a repeat infringer policy. Our policy provides for the locking of accounts, in appropriate circumstances.

If your account has been permanently locked due to repeat copyright infringement, this action is generally irreversible unless a mistake has been made. If you feel that a mistake has been made in relation to a previous removal of your content, we strongly encourage you to contact the rights owner who reported that content. Their email address is provided in the applicable notice of infringement (but please let us know if you’re unable to find it). If the rights owner acknowledges their error, you can ask them to email us directly and retract their notice of infringement. In such cases, we may be able to remove the infringement from your account and enable you to upload the content again.

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titleWhy am I being prevented from uploading a file due to "copyright restrictions"?

If you’re unable to publicly share a file on ResearchGate due to “copyright restrictions,” that generally means we have previously received a notice of claimed copyright infringement from a copyright owner, stating that the display of the particular content infringed their copyright. As such, you’re now prevented from publicly sharing this particular file. You  You may be able to share a different file or a different version, but only if it does not violate any agreements you made with the copyright owner. If you have any doubts about your rights in particular content, please check first.

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