CU Libraries workshop: Mendeley, ResearchGate,, and VIVO

January 24th, 2014

Interdisciplinary Science Librarian Rebecca Kuglitsch led a workshop at INSTAAR Jan. 14, "Collaboration & research sharing tools: What do they do, what do they mean and who’s responsible?"

She talked about what these tools are for—to make your research more visible to others, including making it searchable by Google. She also explored the murky questions around copyright. Many people have asked if it's okay to post full-text papers on these sites. Rebecca showed us that copyright questions are not thoroughly worked out in these environments, but provided a clear path for you to share your work safely.

See the slides from Rebecca's presentation ( for great information on which tool to choose, how to work with copyright, and how to control the emails you get.

Some insights I found interesting were:

  • Posting full-text papers on research collaboration platforms works in the same copyright framework that the rest of the web does. So there's no need to memorize a whole new set of rules.
  • Unless it's an open access paper, you usually can't post the final journal article as formatted by the publisher—but you can often post a preprint (text before refereeing) or post-print (text after refereeing, just minus the publisher's formatting). Look up what you can post on SHERPA/RoMEO.
  • Some people argue that your profile on a research collaboration platform equals your personal web site, which gives you more of a chance of posting full-text versions of your work without violating copyright. Some people argue the other way. It will be interesting to see who wins that argument.
  • Consequences for posting too much are not overly dreadful: if you've posted too much, you may receive a takedown notice. Not pleasant, but also not life-threatening. You are not responsible if someone else posts your paper in a way that violates copyright. They will receive the takedown notice.

Rebecca shared a number of helpful resources and tutorials during her presentation: