Research output availability on academic social networks: implications for stakeholders in academic publishing


A recent disruption in academic publishing are Academic Social Networks (ASN), i.e. web platforms such as ResearchGate and that have provided new ways for researchers to disseminate, search for, and retrieve research articles. ASNs are still a grey area in terms of implications for involved stakeholders, and research on them has so far been scarce. In an effort to map out factors related to ASN use this article provides a multi-method case study of one business school (Hanken School of Economics, Finland) that incorporates 1) a bibliometric analysis on the full-text availability of research output on ASNs for research published 2012–2014 by Hanken affiliated authors, 2) semi-structured interviews with faculty active in publishing in order to gain insight into motivations for use and use patterns, and 3) a survey distributed to all research-active faculty and doctoral students in order to gain a wider perspective on ASN use. ASNs have for many become the primary way to provide access to one’s research output, outpacing all other types of online locations such as personal websites and repositories. Based on the case study findings, earlier research, and recent industry developments, the article concludes with a discussion about the implications that the current trajectory of ASN use has on major stakeholders in academic publishing.

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This research was conducted as part of a project funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture in Finland (OKM/40/524/2015 DOCID:252381).

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Correspondence to Mikael Laakso.

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Responsible Editor: Diego Ponte

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Laakso, M., Lindman, J., Shen, C. et al. Research output availability on academic social networks: implications for stakeholders in academic publishing. Electron Markets 27, 125–133 (2017).

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  • Academic social networks
  • ResearchGate
  • Open access

JEL Classification

  • I2 Education and Research Institutions
  • Research and Development
  • Technological Change
  • Intellectual Property Rights
  • L5 Regulation and Industrial Policy