I recently published a paper in an open access journal, allowing me to archive the post-print in other platforms, e.g. in my university's repository, or on ResearchGate.

I wonder however whether I should attach the PDF directly on these secondary platforms, or just share a link to the journal's website, where the paper is anyway freely available.

Won't multiplying the sources of the pdf make it more difficult to reflect the actual number of views or downloads of the paper? Although citations should anyway be counted properly, I assume number of reads/downloads also might influence potential readers in finding relevant papers, and I'm not sure if e.g. ResearchGate synchronizes counting with other platforms.

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    One reason not to upload to ResearchGate: it rewrites the PDF file to turn every citation and reference into a prominently underlined link back to a ResearchGate page, breaking existing internal and external links in the process. It also adds a cover page promoting ResearchGate. Linking to the journal's website instead ensures that your readers get a clean PDF.
    – Pont
    Jul 6, 2017 at 9:25
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    @Pont One can opt out of all those modifications though. The option is buried deep in the user settings: it is in the "Privacy settings" for some reason and is a tickbox that states: "Add cover pages to my publications with details such as authors and stats, and enrich the full-text with publication information and clickable links.".
    – plannapus
    Jul 6, 2017 at 9:42
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    @plannapus Thanks, I would never have thought to look there! And "enrich" would not have been my first choice of word to describe the procedure...
    – Pont
    Jul 6, 2017 at 9:51
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    Why are you worried about number of reads and downloads? Do you work for a marketing company?
    – Cape Code
    Jul 6, 2017 at 10:54
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    Thanks for the inputs regarding default "enriching" by RG! I also found a bit odd indeed that the DOI was not clickable on RG, which would make things simpler. I'm not from a marketing company, nor am I really worried about reads/downloads. Just curious of how to best make use of the internet. One comparable concern might be having many duplicates of a (possible) viral video on youtube, which might make it less likely to go viral. Of course, popularity doesn't necessarily mean relevance or quality, but often might, so keeping an accurate count might be beneficial.
    – sc28
    Jul 6, 2017 at 11:13

1 Answer 1


I think this is only a concern if you believe that people choose what to read based on how "popular" it is in terms of reads on sites such as ResearchGate. I really hope that this is not the case.... so long as it's citations that you are tracking (which is itself a flawed metric, but less so, and is one that is commonly used), then it doesn't matter where the paper is hosted - what matters is keeping it as accessible as possible.

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