Academic Social Networks

Academic social networks (ASNs), such as ResearchGate or Academia, are platforms similar to traditional social networks, but dedicated and organised around scientific research. Designed specifically for researchers and their needs, these platforms allow them to create a profile similar to an academic CV, to get in touch and exchange with their peers, etc.

Academic social networking vs. open archive

Academic social networks are commonly used to make scientific articles available in full text. However, there are several problems with this use:

  • firstly, posting the PDF of an article online may infringe the rights of the journal where it was published.
  • secondly, social networks do not ensure the accessibility of content in the long term and are not acceptable solutions for meeting the requirements of sharing research results required by funders and/or institutions.
  • Finally, it should be stressed that the above-mentioned academic networks are run by for-profit companies, which do not necessarily put the interests of their members at the centre of their priorities.

Therefore, academic social networks should mainly be used for networking, scientific exchange and collaboration.


To make publications available, it is therefore recommended to give preference to open archives, such as the Archive ouverte UNIGE. The latter complies with the Open Access policies in force, ensures interoperability between its systems and those of third parties and guarantees the long-term preservation of publications.

See also