Coalition for Responsible Sharing statement on the EU Copyright Directive

Article 17 of the new EU Copyright Directive clarifies the responsibilities of all online platforms, such as ResearchGate, with respect to copyrighted content uploaded to their websites by their users and made available publicly. On 1 August 2021, this became German law that ResearchGate was required to implement. To comply with Article 17, and the corresponding German law, ResearchGate is now removing articles it has been illicitly hosting on its site.

Members of the Coalition for Responsible Sharing welcome ResearchGate’s efforts to comply with the law. While we are sorry to hear about the inconveniences ResearchGate users have experienced as it updates its platform, we appreciate the understanding from authors that this activity is being carried out to conform with the EU Copyright Directive.

ResearchGate continues to host and distribute large numbers of journal articles without permission. Its business model depends on taking this high-quality content, which is written and published by others, and making it available on its site for its own commercial gain without a license. The distribution of these articles generates traffic to the ResearchGate site, which is then monetized through the sale of targeted advertising.

Collaborating and exchanging scholarly articles is a vital element of research. Publishers and societies embrace and actively encourage copyright compliant sharing. To learn more about your sharing options and other rights as an author, you may look at the information on www.howcanishareit.com. More details are explained in your publisher’s sharing guidelines, which are available on their websites.