Posted by Tom Foremski - November 3, 2009
I recently met with Ijad Madisch, the founder and CEO of ResearchGate - an online community of more than 180,000 scientists sharing research results, helping each other with research problems, and networking within and beyond their fields of study.
Mr Madisch is a doctor specializing in virology. He grew up in Germany from Syrian parents. He lives in Boston.
Here are some notes from our meeting.
- ResearchGate was inspired by FaceBook. Mr Madisch noticed that one of his friends listed his research in his profile and that eventually led to another scientist being able to offer helpful information for his research project.
- The goal is to help scientists help each other with research and to prevent duplication of research projects. This can speed up the overall process.
- The site is growing at more than 1,000 new members every day.
- Members are rated on the quality of their comments and contributions.
- ResearchGate wants to encourage scientists to write up their research even if it failed. There is a lot of valuable information in creating a large database of scientific research even if it didn't fulfill expectations. 90% of research is not published. A searchable journal of failed research would be very valuable for designing future research projects.
- ResearchGate offers access to seven databases of scientific research. It also publishes the research papers of scientists. Research periodicals are very expensive but scientists are allowed to publish their research results on their personal sites -- ResearchGate profiles act as the personal sites for scientists. Otherwise you have to pay $35 per research paper.
- Some universities are using ResearchGate for private networks. This is a potential revenue source.
- Other revenue sources are an "Amazon" for lab equipment with user ratings and reviews. And job postings. It will never sell user data.
- ResearchGate plans to offer collaboration tools for scientists.
- The largest research sector is biomedical. Next is computer science.
- Future plans include online scientific conferences; a peer reviewed online journal; and more that cannot be discussed just yet.
- The company is angel funded. It has a development team in Boston and in Berlin.
- Mr Madisch's visit to Silicon Valley was to meet with potential partners such as a video streaming company, and others.
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