Do users need an account (on Research Gate) to view papers on the site? Or, are these papers available to anyone who finds the page for a paper (i.e., through Google Scholar)? Doing some investigating with different browsers and computers is a bit inconclusive to me.

  • What did your investigation reveal?
    – user2768
    Jan 11, 2018 at 16:40
  • If you visit a page (i.e., this page, then you can download the paper. But the pubs don't seem to be listed in Google Scholar search results unless you're logged in? Jan 11, 2018 at 16:47
  • This seems a bit odd, but it looks like Google Scholar includes in search results ResearchGate papers that are published versions of papers, but not pre-print versions. For example this paper on Research Gate is a pre-print Jan 11, 2018 at 16:53
  • 1
    Google has stopped indexing pre-prints that appear on GitHub: academia.stackexchange.com/questions/100232/… Perhaps it has stopped indexing pre-prints on ResearchGate too.
    – user2768
    Jan 11, 2018 at 17:15
  • 1
    You might like to incorporate my first comment and your responses into your question (or just your responses, with some explanation). (Comments regularly get purged, questions don't.)
    – user2768
    Jan 11, 2018 at 17:18

2 Answers 2


In my experience, the papers are often not online, but RG let's you "request" a paper, meaning the website sends a canned email to the author, which they may or may not respond to. This is regardless of whether or not the user has an account. RG infamously listed authors with their publications who never registered, and these would thus receive all sorts of spam. I'm not sure if that is still the case.

  • thanks! I'm specifically thinking of papers that are uploaded, i.e. this one. Can you view that without logging in / having an account? Jan 11, 2018 at 16:46
  • @JoshuaRosenberg No, I'm not registered, but yes, I can download the file regardless. (It has only three pages, so I'm not sure if its truncated.) Jan 11, 2018 at 16:48

It seems to depend on which version of the paper is uploaded. Google Scholar appears to no longer index pre-prints on Google Scholar (h/t user2768) but it does index papers that are the final, published versions. These final published versions are available both via direct links and via Google Scholar search results without the need for a ResearchGate account.

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