Why I deleted my ResearchGate account

Several months ago, I was excited to discover ResearchGate, and online community for scientists. I was initially attracted by the discussion boards, which included a lot of useful technical feedback. I set up an account, and proceeded to use the service occasionally and share my expertise. The service was not terribly useful to me, but it seemed to be growing and improving, so I was happy to play along. A couple of months ago, I noticed that I could not see anything on the site without first logging in.

I have finally decided to delete the account. Here’s what I told them:

I was originally attracted to Research Gate due to the discussions. Like any other professional/technical discussion board (e.g. StackOverflow), I expect public discussions to be truly public — not controlled by the service. I am very disappointed that Research Gate has placed a virtual wall around its content.

This is a deal breaker for me. I will not contribute content to any service that tries to take control of that content.

Too many companies are trying to make a buck by gaining control over our social interactions. This is sick, and ResearchGate does not offer nearly enough benefits to keep me on board through this process. I hope they will change their business model and recognize the users and content creators as true “members”, not just a commodity to be fed into a pipeline. If not, good riddance.

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