Across plenty of social media sites, facts and hard evidence aren't always easy to come by.
On ResearchGate, however, the search for such truths is at the heart of everything the social network does. It's been called a "Facebook-style" platform for a scientists, a place where they can come to share and discuss the studies they're completing and connect with other experts in their field.
With the Tuesday announcement of a $52.6 million raise, the site appears to be experiencing some pretty healthy growth, New York Times reports. That round of funding was actually secured in 2015, but the company couldn't make it public until this week, in accordance with corporate accounting rules in Germany.
Over 1.3 million people now use ResearchGate, which features the work of more than 12 million researchers, including 56 Nobel laureates.
Aside from sharing and discussing academic studies, the people who use ResearchGate can gain the same sorts of things social media networks usually give their users, like social connections with like-minded individuals and public exposure of thoughts and ideas, or in this case, research.
For example, a computer scientist at the University of Maryland named Upal Mahbub has looked to his ResearchGate followers to put together information on how to securely protect people's mobile devices. His research page features details like the number of reads the study has gained and other researchers involved in the work, with links to their own ResearchGate pages if they have them.
When another scientist contacted Mahbub and asked to use his computer code for another project, Mahbub was happy to help. “I had no problem about sharing my code with him,” he told the Times.
Meanwhile, it looks like that pool of viewable research just keeps expanding.
These days, researchers upload about 2.5 million papers to the site each month — that's the same amount of research that was uploaded to the site between 2008 and 2012, as the Times explains. That huge growth appears to come along with larger a trend in the scientific community of embracing the internet in efforts to share and discuss research, with the proliferation of open-access website like the Public Library of Science, or PLoS.
"I want to make science more open. I want to change this," Ijad Madisch, co-founder and CEO of ResearchGate, once told the New York Times.
Don't hold your breath, but there might actually be hope for a more truthful internet.