Harvard trained virologist Ijad Madisch faced a problem when he hit a road block in his research. When he sought help from his colleagues, he was chastised for not projecting enough competence. In an effort to find collaborators with a variety of strengths and specialties, Madisch created ResearchGate. A global scientific community where collaboration is more important than ego, ResearchGate facilitates smart networking between its two million members by creating connections between scientists with different backgrounds. Instead of working on solving the same problem for months, members can find someone to explain the issue to them in a matter of hours.
ResearchGate members must be affiliated with a university, hospital or research institute and provide a detailed education and experience background, making it easier for users to locate the best person to answer their question. Madisch believes that ResearchGate can have a big impact on the efficiency of these scientists, “Scientific research is mainly a matter of solving a series of small problems. The idea is to make these small things that people relied on through their own trial and error to solve happen much more efficiently.” He has also noted that, despite his earlier experiences, most people using the network are more than happy to provide advice and insight.