Best of 2012 // #84: Facebook for Scientists

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In 2009, Ijad Madisch launched ResearchGate, a social network for researchers, designed to bring scientific collaboration into the social media age.  It rapidly took off, and now has over 2 million members, 100 employees and funding from the likes of Peter Theil and Luke Nosek.
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On the network, researchers can create profiles for their projects, search for collaborations and even share news and updates on their research.  In August, ResearchGate launched it’s most gamechanging feature: a digital peer review.

The social network updated to include a reputation score, letting members review the contributions and input from other member.  Madisch says he wants the system to be able to distrupt the traditional journal system that has been in place for centuries, replacing it with something open, responsive and built for the 21st century.

The system is very inefficient. There’s not a place to share negative findings or raw data. If every scientist is making mistakes others have made before, we’re wasting a lot of time and money. Giving immediate feedback and having transparency are things the old system cannot provide.

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