Academic Take Down Notices and Author Rights: Understanding what’s happening with ResearchGate right now

Last week, the Coalition for Responsible Sharing brought pressure on ResearchGate for hosting material under copyright by publishers. In some ways, this is no different from Sony Music putting pressure on YouTube to take down copyrighted content – while YouTube might not have put up that video of a baby dancing to a Prince song, they certainly have the ability to take it down.

In other ways, however, it is very different, because the people who have put up their papers on ResearchGate are actually the creators. So if we take the YouTube analogy a little further, it might go a little something like this:

  1. Cardi B writes a song.
  2. Cardi B sells the song to Sony Music.
  3. Cardi B uploads the song to YouTube.
  4. Sony Music tells YouTube to take down the song.

Understandably, many users of ResearchGate are alarmed and upset that their work is now inaccessible. Unfortunately, unlike the musician Cardi B, academic authors don’t retain any rights and royalties to their work when they sign contracts with publishers.

It doesn’t have to be this way. While the open access movement and open access publishing has in many ways become synonymous with APC models that are “pay to play,” open access advocates are also working to educate authors on their rights as well.

You can learn more about how USF is supporting open access and author rights this Friday. Please join CRASE and Gleeson Library for a panel discussion of open access publishing at USF, followed by a workshop on how to find and vet journals and publishers to match your publishing needs.

USF Open Access Week Publishing Panel and Workshop

Friday, October 27th

1:30pm – 3pm

Gleeson Library Room 213

There will be snacks!


Jorge A. Aquino is Associate Professor of Theology & Religious Studies, where he teaches Latin American and U.S. Latinx theologies and religious history. He is editorial director of the peer-reviewed Journal of Hispanic / Latino Theology.

Ria DasGupta is Program Manager for USF’s Office of Diversity Engagement and Community Outreach where she proudly works under the leadership of the university’s Chief Diversity Officer, Dr. Mary Wardell-Ghirarduzzi. Ria is a doctoral student in the department of International and Multicultural Education in the School of Education, through which she has has the opportunity to serve as the Managing Editor for the International Journal of Human Rights Education, edited by Professor Monisha Bajaj. In all her spare time, she is also a professional classical Indian dancer.

Naupaka Zimmerman is broadly interested in the intersection of microbial community and ecosystem ecology. His lab research focuses on the ecology of plant-microbe interactions, with a particular focus on asymptomatic foliar fungi (also known as fungal endophytes). He was born and raised on the Big Island of Hawai’i, and continues to conduct some of his research there, focusing on the endemic Hawaiian tree Metrosideros polymorpha. After finishing his PhD, Prof. Zimmerman taught at Stanford and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Arizona before coming to USF.

Charlotte Roh is the Scholarly Communications Librarian and has expertise and a background in academic publishing. She works at the intersection of scholarly communication, social justice, and information literacy to educate and empower the faculty, staff, and students at the University of San Francisco around issues of open access and scholarly intellectual property rights.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s