Strategies for using ResearchGate to improve institutional research outcomes

Muhammad Yousuf Ali (Faculty of Health Sciences, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan)
Malcolm Wolski (Office of Digital Solutions, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia)
Joanna Richardson (Library and Learning Services, Griffith University – Logan Campus, Meadowbrook, Australia)

Library Review

ISSN: 0024-2535

Publication date: 7 November 2017



The purpose of this paper is to investigate how to help improve a higher education institution’s research profile by using existing resources and existing research outputs.


This study was based on quantitative data extracted manually from QS University Rankings-Asia 2016, the 2015 Ranking of Pakistani higher education institutions (HEI) and ResearchGate (RG). Resultant data were loaded into Excel and analyzed in SPSS version 21.


The results of this study indicate that, while there is no direct correlation between an institution’s national/international ranking and its respective RG score, there is a tendency for lower-ranked institutions to have a lower RG score.

Research limitations/implications

This study was limited to data extracted from RG; however, it would be useful to apply the same methodology to other relevant academic scholarly network sites (ASNS).

Practical implications

This paper has suggested strategies which may be of relevance to those institutions in other countries which are aspiring to lift their national ranking through improved research profiles. Libraries are important contributors to the support of institutional research goals.


There have been no previous published research studies on either the potential for ASNS to contribute to enhancing research outcomes for Pakistani HEI or the role that libraries could play in supporting these outcomes.



Ali, M., Wolski, M. and Richardson, J. (2017), "Strategies for using ResearchGate to improve institutional research outcomes", Library Review, Vol. 66 No. 8/9, pp. 726-739.

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