photo courtesy Wired

Matt Cohler, who is known for not investing often in the VC space, and who worked with Facebook and LinkedIn, has led a funding round of ResearchGATE, according to GigaOm.

Could this be a clarion call for investors who have looked at teacher social networks? Scientists build their profession through careful rigor and even the publishing of negative results. Could this be the kind of teacher added-value tool that teachers could operate themselves?

There’s been such hub-bub about added-value lately, what if there was a true social network only for teacher professional development that incorporated research and outside party observations, and allowed the community to tune itself?

The promise of ResearchGATE is that it’s a social network that could help real work get done well. Madisch estimates that nearly 80 percent of research is unpublished, so it’s not shared with the broader scientific community. If the scientific process could be more open and shared, researchers could collaborate with each other, reduce redundancy, and improve their work. The site today contains 500,000 scientist profiles, along with 2,600 collaborative groups and an aggregated index of 35 million scientific articles. It’s already making money through a jobs board. [Dr. Ijad] Madisch said he doesn’t aim to disrupt the traditional research journal model, but rather to help scientists out in the formulation phase before they publish a study. He added that down the line he’d love for ResearchGATE to publish its own “journal of negative results” (which could actually be pretty awesome).

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