ResearchGate was started in Germany in 2008 and is meant to be for scientists only. Nevertheless there are 7 million users including, since the end of September, me. For several months, I'd been getting e-mails from ResearchGate telling me that colleagues and co-authors were really anxious for me to sign up so we could all collaborate more vigorously and share data more equally. Aftre ignoring this spam for a long time, I was talking about it with my MSc student and . . . caved. It was a bit of a bore. I had to do a lot of work for RG to help it/them establish just how broad and extensive my research career has been. With many previous sign-ups associated with me, RG had a good idea of which papers were mine but before I could change my photo into something rugged, I had to trawl through a long list of publications by Scientist Bob, Scientist BT, Scientist B, Scientist TB, Scientiste B as increasingly unlikely guesses by the RG robots. Each one of which I had to claim or deny. The default/suggested photo was kind of weird because it was clear that RG had looked for Bob T Scientist on images.google.com and come up with a cartoon of cats from my peripheral involvement with the Irish Times crowd-sourcing cat genetics project from earlier this year. The whole registration process was not without value because I was able to claim as publications a handful of book-reviews I wrote in the later 1990s. Everyone knows that these are not 'real' pubs because they are not peer-reviewed but they were are worth reading nevertheless. on 3rd October I received an email with this banner:
I've been getting 3-4 e-mails daily from RG ever since, trying to stir up my interest in other RG people's doings:
- a chap who wrote a paper with someone I wrote a paper with [I danced with a man who danced with a girl who danced with the Prince of Wales] has written another paper about egg-yolk.
- a chap from India has viewed my profile
- please 'endorse' the expertise of my Head of School at The Institute
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