‘Are Books Going to Be Replaced by Technology?’

By Jim Shimabukuro

With so many professional services competing for our interest online, I couldn’t remember when, why, or how I signed up for eblasts from ResearchGate (RG), but, last night, as I was pruning my list of incoming email, their subject line caught my eye: “Q&A Highlights for James Shimabukuro.” I moved the cursor from the garbage can icon to the subject line and clicked. This is what I found:

RG 102419

The second and third questions grabbed my attention — especially the third. I clicked and went to the RG site. I had to log in. I couldn’t remember the password I used, so I requested a change. Once that was out of the way, I joined the discussion and posted a reply (Oct. 23). Here’s a capture of the question, posted by Beverly Dawn Metcalfe, Holy Spirit University of Kaslik, on 15 Oct. 2019:

This afternoon (Oct. 24), when I logged in to the discussion, I couldn’t find my reply. I thought I had clicked on the “add” button, but I guess I didn’t. In any case, I had saved a copy, so I resubmitted it. This is how it appears in the forum:

I should have reviewed it for errors before submitting it. There’s no editing window after publishing.

The topic, by itself, is interesting, but the platform is even moreso. All professional forums, to some extent, serve or should serve as resources for further research, but ResearchGate has formalized this function. A quick review of questions posed by our colleagues from around the world (RG claims “15 million members” in its efforts “to connect the world of science and make research open to all”1) reveals topics that are both intriguing and timely.

If you can make the time, consider dropping in on the Q&A forum if you’re a member or joining (it’s free) to explore discussions on topics that might raise your adrenalin.

1 From the RG “about” page. Look for the link at the bottom of the webpage.

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