ResearchGate turns 12
“Our mission is to connect the world of science and make research open to all”
As we mark the 12th anniversary of ResearchGate today, we would like to take a moment to look back and reflect on what we have accomplished together so far.
Early 2008 was a very different time to today. The financial crisis, although just months away, was inconceivable. The dotcom bubble was behind us and the new tech scene was building innovative products and services on the web.? The first iPhone was launched the summer before and there was a new wave of confidence and optimism in the power of technology to reshape our world for the better. ResearchGate’s first couple of years were a whirlwind of milestones and firsts, and by the time we moved to our offices in Berlin in 2010 we’d secured our first investors and people were starting to take note of us. By 2011 our membership hit 1 million.
The thing that is difficult to grasp twelve years on, is that back then, researchers didn’t openly share information about their work online in the way they do now with ResearchGate. Certain scientific communities, of course, pioneered electronic communications, with the World Wide Web being created to support the global physics community, for instance. But for researchers to share their work openly with colleagues outside their lab or collaboration, or even with colleagues in different fields and with the wider world beyond — that’s new. And it’s something that ResearchGate is not only facilitating but where our members lead.
Throughout the years we have recorded continuous growth in this scientific collaboration, via Q&A-s, peer-reviewed content, and collaboration on all areas of research. Scientists and researchers are more and more open to sharing their work earlier in the research cycle as they see the value of collaboration and getting feedback and input from their peers across the globe.?
We are immensely proud of what ResearchGate achieved so far. Influencing and supporting the behaviour of the world’s researchers is powerful. We’ve helped them to share their work more openly online. This leads the way to so many possibilities.
Twelve years on, it’s a very different world. The COVID-19 pandemic poses an unprecedented challenge to our connected, globalised way of life. It’s also brought out the best in us: solidarity, the will to change things for the better, focus, performance.
Thanks to everyone of you who has been a part of the ResearchGate story so far — all 17+ million of you. There is much to celebrate, even in these challenging times, and there is much to look forward to.