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BekahHW for OpenSauced

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ResearchHub: The GitHub of Scientific Research

Today is day 10 of my 29 Days of Open Source Alternatives series, where I'll be exploring open source alternatives to proprietary software in the categories of Game Development and Multimedia, Development Tools and Platforms, Productivity and Collaboration Tools, and more. If you'd like to see the list of the open source alternatives I'll be covering this month, head over to my 29 Days of Open Source Alts Page or check out my bonus lists: open source games and open source learn to code programs.

Before coming into tech, I spent ten years in academia. I always found it frustrating that so much research was guarded behind paywalls. Why were we preventing people from valuable research that could allow us to grow in our areas of expertise? Now, I was in the humanities and not the sciences, but once I learned about ResearchHub, I was intrigued.

ResearchHub's mission is to accelerate the pace of scientific research. Our goal is to make a modern mobile and web application where people can collaborate on scientific research in a more efficient way, similar to what GitHub has done for software engineering.

Researchers should be able to publish articles (preprint or postprint) and discuss the findings in a completely open and accessible forum dedicated solely to the relevant article.

Imagine a world where the latest scientific breakthroughs aren't hidden behind paywalls. They're shared freely and collaboration between academics and non-academics is encouraged. That means that all of us have to potential to contribute to research that shapes the world. ResearchHub is building a platform where the power of open access transforms academia.

ResearchHub · GitHub

ResearchHub has 8 repositories available. Follow their code on GitHub.


The Challenge of Academic Access

Traditionally, accessing academic research has been like trying to enter a locked room without a key. Research is often behind high-cost paywalls or requires academic credentials to access barriers, making it difficult for researchers, students, and non-academics to access.

ResearchHub Features

ResearchHub empowers not only the academic community by providing an open platform for sharing research instantly, but also anyone interested in research, growth, and understanding.

  • Open Access: Free and immediate access to research articles.
  • Real-time Collaboration: A platform for researchers worldwide to collaborate, discuss, and refine ideas.
  • Community Engagement: An open source community driving the platform forward, ensuring that knowledge is shared and accessible to all.
  • Efficient: Research should be completed more quickly by removing red tape to get started and encouraging collaboration and peer reviews.

Another way this differs from traditional academic research is because it's incentivized by ResearchCoin.

ResearchHub platform


This project is kind of a special case. We're looking at both the web and backend repos, which are the ones that are pinned in their org, but you can see the engagement on the site as well - which likens its platform the GitHub of scientific research.

We don't see many contributors over the last thirty days, but we do see positive numbers for PR Velocity and activity.

researchhub dashboard

The engagement of users tells a different story:

research hub community numbers

Getting involved is straightforward. Whether you're a researcher eager to share your findings, a developer looking to contribute to the platform's growth, or someone who believes in open access to knowledge, ResearchHub has opportunities for many different types of contribution.

Open Source Stats (web/backend)

🌠 43/21
👀 8/10
Forks: 27/20
License: User contributions to ResearchHub are shared under the Creative Commons Attribution License

A New Era of Research Collaboration

Comparing ResearchHub with traditional proprietary academic databases reveals a stark contrast in philosophy and functionality:

Feature ResearchHub Elsevier's ScienceDirect Clarivate's Web of Science
Access Open, free for all Restricted, subscription-based Restricted, subscription-based
Collaboration Features Real-time collaboration, open discussions (limited by platform features) Limited collaboration within platform, integration with external tools possible Limited collaboration within platform, integration with external tools possible
Speed of Dissemination Immediate upon submission Weeks to months for peer review Weeks to months for peer review
Community Engagement Open-source community, global collaboration Limited to subscribers, less direct interaction Limited to subscribers, less direct interaction
Content Coverage Primarily preprints and unpublished work Extensive coverage of peer-reviewed journals and books Extensive coverage of peer-reviewed journals and books
Search Features Basic search options Advanced search tools and filters Advanced search tools and filters
Data & Metrics Limited data and basic metrics Extensive citation data and advanced metrics Extensive citation data and advanced metrics
Long-Term Sustainability Relatively new platform, long-term sustainability unproven Established platform with proven track record Established platform with proven track record


What ResearchHub is doing is really interesting, and I'm surprised I haven't heard about it before. In terms of the GitHub open source collaborations, it would be great to see more contributions and issues being addressed. But it does look like they make up for it in the open source research aspect of their project. This is definitely something I'll be watching and diving in deeper to learn more about things like their open source hub.

Top comments (4)

lymah profile image

Thanks for sharing.

bekahhw profile image

Thanks for reading!

michaelxie profile image
Michael-Xie • Edited

Having a paper peer reviewed is analogous to a code review via a pull request. Why is that not part of the Research Hub workflow?

dwinny_21 profile image
Edwin Urey

We do have peer review as part of our workflow. After posting a paper, you can post a RSC bounty on a peer review of that paper. Our workflow roughly looks like this. 1) Post preregistered experiment. 2) Get experiment funded. 3) Publish data and get feedback from community 4) Publish paper manuscript and get it peer reviewed 5) Iron out any issues that may exist in the paper with the peer reviewer.