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A New Format for Researchers

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Content originally published on data180.com. Learn more about Interfolio’s acquisition of Data180 here.

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One of the most crucial aspects of the research process is the collaboration between researchers. PDF has been the go-to format for researchers since it’s inception; however, ResearchGate.net, a web-based social networking solution, is innovating upon the tried and true format.

Both Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat allow users to add comments directly in a PDF for others to view and respond. However, this feature can create situations where too many comments can overburden your document. If too many comments are added, there is the potential for some of the content in the document to become obscured.

ResearchGate.net hopes to improve upon the commenting aspect of PDFs with its new RG Format by adding a social dimension to the experience of reviewing a peer’s research paper.

According to the ResearchGate.net web site, the RG Format will transform static documents into interactive ones by allowing reviewers to publicly add direct feedback within the documents found on its web site.

Instead of the usual single column of text, the RG Format will feature a two-column design. Simple text will be on the left side and “enriched content, like clickable citations, feedback and figures,” will be on the right side, according to ResearchGate.net web site.

This feature will be the most beneficial aspect of ResearchGate’s format, as it allows for feedback and comments without having to worry about obscuring the main content of the document.

In addition, because all of the feedback and comments are publicly made on ResearchGate.net, viewers will easily be able to gauge the quality of a paper by looking at the feedback and citations made in the document.

There are over 2 million publications on ResearchGate.net; however, not all of them are supported by the RG Format yet. ResearchGate says it will be gradually rolling out the RG Format to more papers over time. The web site will allow authors to submit requests to make their paper available in RG Format.

To see examples of the new RG Format and how it is used, visit: https://explore.researchgate.net/display/news/2015/02/12/Introducing+the+RG+Format

Content originally published on data180.com. Learn more about Interfolio’s acquisition of Data180 here.