ResearchGate is pretty well placed on Google. But it does not have a lot of contents or active users, despite their constant invitation spam. So they spidered a lot of publications, and provide some metadata on publications and authors on their web page, even when you do not join.
Given the amount of spam I receive from them, I'm considering to file a cease-and-desist letter, disallowing them to use my name or work for advertising their service and for encouraging users to join their site, and instead display a clear statement that I am not a member and disable search indexing for these pages.
Currently, ResearchGate has a pretty bad reputation, see e.g. ResearchGate: an asset or a waste of time? as well as the Wikipedia article.
I'm really annoyed by them:
- They have a fake profile page with my name, affiliation, co-authors, publications, and a big "sign up" button; that does not state that I am not a member, as if they could contact me this way.
- They publish incomplete numbers of citations and impact, which one may consider to give me a bad reputation on their site. (I don't care, but this may be a legal point to make?)
- They have information pages of many of my articles, with a big "request full-text" button, which will not work, as I am not a member and do not get contact information.
- They use a proxy redirector to have their website show up first in Google search results, even when the actual contents are only available on a different website,
Do you think that it is detrimental for my career to have such contents removed (by sending a C&D letter to them), or do you think they will ultimately manage to become a useful platform, and then it would be better to not have my data removed? Even with a C&D, I could probably retract it at some point and join. After all, the real contents are available on my homepage and Google Scholar; and these are the locations I want to show up first (fortunately, most of the time, they do).