What to do if you receive a takedown notice from ResearchGate.
Periodically, major publishers stir themselves to take action against academic social sharing platforms, rallying against the use of copyrighted full text documents. Last time this happened, takedown notices were sent to authors warning them of legal repercussions if they didn’t remove their work from the site. As it’s happening again, this time with ResearchGate we thought it would be a good idea to provide a list of actions you should take if you are sent a takedown notice:
- If you are asked to take a copy of your work down, do so immediately. If you are unsure how, contact ResearchGate for assistance. If you do not have a backup copy, remember to download one before you do so.
- Look at the file you had uploaded. Is it the Final Published Version as it appears on the publisher’s website? If so, does it have a Creative Commons Licence? You may be legally allowed to upload the work to ResearchGate. Query this with whoever sent you the takedown notice. If it does not have a Creative Commons Licence then you probably have uploaded an infringing version.
- Look up the journal in Sherpa Romeo. This will tell you:
- Which online platforms you are allowed to upload to (personal website, institutional repository, academic social sharing site etc.)
- Which version you are allowed to upload (Usually your authors’ accepted manuscript)
- How long has to pass before you can upload a copy. (aka the Embargo Period)
- If you have a version you can upload legally then upload that one to ResearchGate instead.
- Alternatively, upload your Authors’ Accepted Manuscript to Pure.
- If you did step 5, make a Word document that contains a reference and a link to the file in our repository and save it as a PDF. Upload this to ResearchGate so everyone who looks for your work there gets a handy link to our professionally managed research repository.
ResearchGate does provide a useful service that many academics have told us helps to extend their professional networks and offers opportunity for collaboration. If this is where your network is strong, thenyou should take advantage of this opportunity, but remember that there may be restrictions on disseminating your work. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch via openaccess at bath.ac.uk you’d like more details or discussion.