WEB 2.O TOOL EVALUATION: Research Gate
LOCATION ON THE WEB: www.researchgate.net
CATEGORY: Social Networking & Collaboration Tool
This program was designed by researchers, for researchers. This program is a social networking tool for faculty performing research. One of the goals by the Ijad Madisch, the scientist who created this online forum, is to allow fellow scientists to collaborate on research projects by asking questions online which allows other researchers to participate in the overall project.
For more information about the program, watch and listen to the slide show @ SlideRocket.
PREREQUISITES TO USAGE:
1. Set up a free user account
Access to a computer and the internet.
Ability to operate a computer
Desire to pursue Research projects
STEP BY STEP ACCESS:
1. Log in
2. Complete personal profile
To see my profile, please login to the program and search my name (Lana Coble).
POTENTIAL EDUCATION APPLICATION:
This product could be utilized by students who are working on longer term research projects to gain insight into other more established researchers and their approach to similar topics. Shorter term research papers probably wouldn’t provide a wealth of resources as this database is not as populated with actual research findings.
The more conventional and beneficial application would be for faculty members who want to connect with fellow researchers on long term research projects.
It’s FREE! The developer is committed to the idea of collaboration.
CONNECTION TO FELLOW RESEARCHERS
This program is specifically designed for the purpose of connecting researchers. The original sector was aimed at medical research, but as the word spreads more disciplines are joining.
RANKING INDEX OF RESEARCHERS
One of the more interesting features of the program is a ranking index of each participants activity based upon the number of questions they pose to fellow researchers, the number of publications, the number of answers provided to fellow researchers questions and the number of followers within ResearchGate. This is an interesting concept and promotes activity and allows beginners to identify who to follow within the program.
LIVE FEED OF COLLABORATION
This aspect of the program follows the same model for both linkedin and facebook with the obvious exception being the content.
NOT WIDELY USED BY U.S. RESEARCHERS
This program seems to be more heavily used by European and Middle Eastern scientists. When investigating the program there were not many United States members within the program. This is a bit of a disadvantage in that some of the more significant issues to the U.S. may be overlooked within the program. This is a bit of a disappointment. I can only hypothesize that U.S. researchers are not as willing to share in their research until they have published.
JOURNALS ARE LIMITED TO MORE POPULAR FIELDS OF STUDY
I did an exhaustive search within the program to find journals that are relevant to the construction management field of study and only found two journals. It appears as the more popular journals, i.e. education and medicine, are more available within ResearchGate.