After I always found incomplete entries in the bibliography of theses, I investigated the cause and discovered that Researchgate (RG) does not output a booktitle tag for inproceedings in BibTeX, even though the conference and everything else is correctly specified on the paper's page.

My bug report about this was never answered by RG. There is no good way to contact them either. You just can send messages. However, the real problem is: Google Scholar crawls the entries and then often outputs the one from RG as default (although the paper link is to another source, when you change to BibTeX). It's a pity that you can't change anything on Google Scholar, even as an author, but it's only crawled there. This is different with RG, which wants to be a "network", where you enter the papers yourself, but have no possibility to create the BibTeX correctly. This is annoying and makes little sense to me. If Google crawls it from there and rates the entry higher than that of LCNS or your own university, then you automatically get the incomplete one from RG displayed at GS.

This certainly leads to many students receiving point deductions for incomplete bibliographies simply because RG does not produce a complete BibTeX. What can be done about this?

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    Those students are not receiving deductions for incomplete bibliographies just because RG did it wrong; they are receiving them because they used a random .bib entry they found on the internet and didn't double-check it. Jun 19, 2021 at 10:14
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    This is not specific to ResearchGate, but in my experience almost all commercial websites that do provide bibtex entries provide very bad ones. This prominently includes Elsevier and Springer for their own stuff.
    – Arno
    Jun 19, 2021 at 13:15
  • @FedericoPoloni you are right. RG is not to blame for students not checking things and not working properly. But my point is more regarding why they don't care about providing BibTeX properly. Jun 20, 2021 at 11:28

1 Answer 1


Nobody knows why Research Gate does what it does. Most likely, they simply don't care enough about such as secondary feature, since their business model isn't to sell reliable bibliographic information to users, but to sell user data to other companies.

What can be done about this is not to rely on the bibliographic data that Research Gate supplies, but to conduct a proper literature research using more conventional sources.

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