A Nature survey explores why giant academic social networks have taken off to a degree that no one expected even a few years ago.
More than 88% of scientists and engineers said that they were aware of ResearchGate — slightly more than had heard of Google+ and Twitter. Just under half said that they visit regularly, putting the site second only to Google Scholar, and ahead of Facebook and LinkedIn. Almost 29% of regular visitors had signed up for a profile on ResearchGate in the past year. 29% of scientists in the survey were aware of Academia.edu and just 5% visited regularly