The acquisition – a first for the company – marks a new stage in ResearchGate’s growth as it tops two million members. As of January 10, 2013, Scholarz’s service will be discontinued, and users will be encouraged to migrate over to ResearchGate using a “simple-to-use” export tool.
“Our take-over of ScholarZ will not add to our user base significantly,” ResearchGate spokeswoman Danielle Bengsch said. “What comes with this take-over is a certain market consolidation, from which we believe the scientific community will profit from in the long run. ScholarZ approached us, because they didn’t see any further possibilities to keep up with the necessary pace of innovation.”
Scholarz.net was founded in 2007 by Daniel Koch and Marc Willwacher as a spin-off from a project at the University of Wurzburg. It’s described on the company website as the “first integrated online software for scientific work” – allowing users to create projects and groups, and easily add and organise data, sources and literature to those online projects.
ResearchGate, by comparison, is a more of a professional network, allowing scientists and researchers to share info, stay in touch and easily collaborate. It is now used by 2.2 million researchers and offers access to more than 50 million publications.
It sounds like the acquisition will not change ResearchGate’s core product – a spokesperson told GigaOm the company will not be using Scholarz’s technology.
Founded in 2008 by Ijad Madisch and Sören Hofmayer, with Horst Fickenscher, ResearchGate has so far completed two rounds of financing with the Founders Fund and Benchmark Capital.
Another academic collaboration player is London-based Mendeley, pitched as a reference manager and academic social network, and also claiming about two million users.
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