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Connect with ResearchGATE (PHOTO/ResearchGATE)

Hangover or not, every scientist at Oxford grudgingly drags their poor, shattered body out of their warm beds on a Monday for that dratted 9am – whilst our counterparts in humanities snuggle up for their beauty sleep. For what? To soak up the excellence and brilliance of the genii who walk our hallways. And here’s your chance to give them a token of your appreciation.

ResearchGATE has been described as the scientist’s mash up of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn at 1.9 million users, with profile pages, groups, job listings, comments and like and follow buttons for crowdsourcing research. Members are especially encouraged to share raw data of both successful and failed experiments, for educational purposes.

The traditional scientific publishing model has brought countless innovations and advancements to the scientific world. However, the speed of discovery is hindered by the speed of publishing. ResearchGATE hopes to foster an addition to the current system to help it match the ever increasing pace of science. ResearchGATE lets users publish their results in real time and get feedback from others.

Enter ResearchGATE’s latest development: the RG Score. RG Score is a new metric to measure scientific reputation. The RG Score aims to take user interactions from publishing data, comments and feedback and make it both visible and quantifiable, ideally turning the users’ work into a quantifiable measure of reputation. The RG Score is calculated both on how the rest of the community interact with their content, how often, and who is interacting.

Whether the data is positive, negative or downright inconclusive, there are no restrictions on what can be published or what can contribute to the RG Score of the user. Not only does this help give credit for all work done, but it can help bring transparency across the entire research process. ResearchGATE co-founder and CEO, Dr. Iijad Madisch, points out the need to give science back to the research community: “The RG Score allows for real-time feedback from the people who matter: the scientists themselves … This new metric ensures that reputation is defined and given directly by peers, eliminating the middle man … Scientists can use the metric when applying for Jobs and grants”.

ReasearchGate is a promising sight for speeding up scientific development, from faster publishing to sharing of data. And the RG Score is especially promising to young scientists embarking on their career, hopefully allowing them to earn a reputation for themselves early on with or without being published in journals. However, it is still early days and it will take time to see whether the systems will grow and the RG score will become a widely recognized metric or whether it will discarded away by the scientific community.