A gentle reminder: http://t.co/2yC34HE0cU is a privately owned company funded by venture capital groups that will expect profit from it— Mita Williams (@copystar) June 12, 2015
When this tweet is re-found and re-tweeted, it's usually followed by people following up with questions or challenging what I said.
Hm. As opposed to the academic journals from Springer, etc., which are... ? https://t.co/DdaEOyypZV— Dave Gray (@davegray) November 18, 2015
@ruebot @mrgunn @captain_primate @copystar isn't Twitter the same? Would I stop tweeting my articles on Twitter? Trying to understand— ℳąhą Bąℓi مها بالي (@Bali_Maha) November 18, 2015
So I thought I'd summarize some of the reasons why I think faculty and librarians should not host their academic work on Academic.edu or Researchgate.com.
Academic.edu is not an educational institution
grandfathered in and not made subject to the regulation of being an accredited post-secondary institution" [Wikipedia, Academia.edu, November 20th].
Commercial Repositories use dark-arts user design to encourage the uploading of articles that frequently are not under license of the author
@Bali_Maha @ruebot @mrgunn @captain_primate True, but not in an IR while aca. edu is designed to profit from individual culpability.— Mita Williams (@copystar) November 18, 2015
Institutional repositories admittedly have some pretty bad user interfaces. But it's understood that some of the unpleasant friction that comes with uploading your research into your university's repository is because your institution will not automatically publish uploaded material without assurances that a publisher's right is not being infringed. Commercial repositories have disclaimers that express that they are also concerned that copyright is not being infringed, but the extreme ease by which a user can re-publish articles formally published elsewhere betrays the strength of this concern.
Academia.edu continues to design services so slick that users don't realize that they have triggered them, such as their Sessions feature which they launched and then disabled in May of this year. Also, services like Academia.edu appear to be designed to cannibalize traffic from your official point of publication.
Selective enforcement from publishers keep universities from providing similar services that commercial repositories are trying to fill
@mrgunn while for profit companies like Aca .edu and Mendeley are allowed to grow. This is what I mean by selective enforcement of copyright— Mita Williams (@copystar) November 18, 2015
We need to resist the narrative that commercial repositories are filling a market need that libraries and universities have refused to pursue. We have wanted a more social and inter-connected interface to research for some years now.
But when libraries and universities have responsibly hosted published research articles under fair user / fair dealing and have restricted use to classroom participants in Learning Management Systems (such as Blackboard) or library Course Reserve Systems we have been pursued and sued by publishers. In the Canada, we have had to deal with Access Copyright and the US, libraries have been following The Georgia State Copyright Case with much concern.
In conclusion, this is my new "evergreen tweet" about Academia.edu
@mrgunn @copystar for-profits exploiting selective enforcement to free-ride off work funded by non-profits? I'm okay w/calling that "bad".— Nancy Sims (@CopyrightLibn) November 18, 2015