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.
How does ResearchGate work?
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:
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.
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 Rather, members can track their publications, store private copies, or make their published or unpublished works publicly available on ResearchGate, assuming they have the rights to do so.
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.
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.
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.
By uploading and publicly displaying your work on ResearchGate, you are making it publicly available to all users of ResearchGate, both logged-in, and logged-out. 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 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 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 to be sure.
No. ResearchGate does not hold copyright for any publications on the platform. That means we can’t grant you permission to re-use any content that you may find in a publication 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 uses, and/or a contact email for requesting permission to use their content.
You are responsible for any content that you upload to ResearchGate. That’s why we display the name of the uploader next to any user-uploaded content.
As we do not have any information about 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 before you do so. If you have any doubts about your ability to upload content, we encourage you to check your license and/or contact your publisher first.