About Research Hub

Our Mission is to Accelerate the Pace of Scientific Research.

We Believe Scientific Research Should Be:
Accessible to everyone
Scientific journals are prohibitively expensive. We hope to change this over time by providing a free place for researchers to publish, review, and collaborate.
We ask the community to rate papers on reproducibility, since this is one of the biggest issues in academic research today.
There are several million academic papers published each year, but only a handful of them are probably relevant to you. We try to help breakthrough papers get greater visibility, with a new type of crowdsourced peer review.
Easy to understand
We provide bite sized plain English summaries, and bulleted take-aways, so you can more easily skim papers before deciding whether to read a whole paper.
We would like to make it easier over time for research to be licensed, so that it can lead to commercial applications, with royalties going to researchers.
Research is too siloed today. We would like to help labs and teams collaborate in the future.
It can take 3-5 years today to go through the process of applying for funding, completing the research, submitting a paper to journals, having it reviewed, and finally getting it published. We believe research could be completed at least one order of magnitude more efficiently.

A GitHub For Science

ResearchHub’s mission is to accelerate the pace of scientific research. Our goal is to make a modern mobile and web application where people can begin to collaborate on scientific research in a much more efficient way, similar to what GitHub has done for software engineering. The first version of ResearchHub is mainly about uploading, summarizing, discussing, and prioritizing papers in each area. In future versions, we will continue to strive to accelerate science by hosting datasets and lab notebook software.

"Hubs" as an Alternative to Journals

We try to group papers by areas of research, which we call “hubs”. You can think of a hub like a journal that focuses on one area of research, or like tags on other websites. Anyone can propose creating a new “hub” on ResearchHub, and if there is enough interest from the community, it will go live. We hope to see a wide variety of hubs created over time, in both mainstream and very niche areas of research.

A Community Powered by ResearchCoin

To help bring this nascent community together, we’ve created something called ResearchCoin. ResearchCoin is a digital token that you can earn by contributing content to ResearchHub, whether this is a paper you find interesting, a plain English summary, or insightful discussion. We want to reward everyone who helps the ResearchHub community grow. Every time you “up vote” some content on the site, you are awarding one ResearchCoin to the creator of that content. In other words, one vote always equals one coin. Coins are awarded from the general pool of available coins that were minted. In addition to financial incentives, earning ResearchCoin is also the way you generate reputation in the community (your reputation is equal to your lifetime earnings of ResearchCoin). Having more reputation unlocks additional privileges in the community, such as the ability to moderate content. We also hope to use ResearchCoin to make grants in the future, and members with more reputation will be able to vote on which research projects get funded. ResearchHub is planning to be set up as a DAO on the Ethereum network, so all the governance and voting of the community can be done transparently. This work is still in progress.

Frequently Asked Questions

- Is content created on ResearchHub open?

Yes. The scientific record is too important to be hidden behind paywalls. Science should be open, not only for reading, but also for reusing.

That's why user contributions to ResearchHub are shared under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0). This license allows anyone to reuse the content for any purpose, as long as attribution is provided. We consider a hyperlink or URL back to the source page on ResearchHub sufficient attribution.

The CC BY license is the gold standard of open licenses for scholarly content. It is used by publishers such as PLOS, eLife, Distill, and BMC. By choosing CC BY, ResearchHub ensures user content can be reused to further science, by way of text mining, sharing, translation, and many other forms of reuse. This sets ResearchHub apart from other places to discuss science, like ResearchGate or Reddit, which do not apply an open license to all user-contributed content.

- What papers can I legally upload to ResearchHub?

Users can create a ResearchHub page for any paper, allowing for summary and discussion. However, due to copyright, only certain papers are eligible for fulltext PDF upload. Specifically, please only upload fulltexts of papers released under one of the following open licenses: CC BY or CC0.

To determine whether an article is released under one of these licenses, check for any text in the PDF stating a license or refer to the webpage where you downloaded the PDF. If you are the author of a paper and would like to upload the fulltext to ResearchHub, apply a supported license to the paper at an existing publicly available location. In other words, PDFs uploaded to ResearchHub should be available elsewhere on the web with a supported license. We do not currently publish original articles that are not available elsewhere.

Disappointed that you cannot upload a paper's PDF due to copyright? We are too. While open access publishing is growing in popularity, many papers are still published in toll access journals without open licenses. We can change this by encouraging scientists to publish in open access journals and use platforms like ResearchHub that remove legal barriers from science.

- Who created this site?

ResearchHub is being developed by a small team of passionate founders working in San Francisco, CA. The idea for the site was initially proposed in this blog post.

- How can I help?

The easiest way to help the community grow is to sign up and start contributing content. 1. Sign up Create your account in just a few clicks, using Google Sign In. 2. Upload a paper Is there a research paper you thought was particularly insightful? 3. Write/edit a summary Is there a paper that you can help explain in plain English? 4. Upvote (or downvote) a paper Is there a paper already on the site that you have an opinion on? 5. Start a discussion. Is there a question you have about a paper? 6. Follow us on Twitter Hear our latest updates as we make progress.

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