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Motivating scholars’ responses in academic social networking sites: An empirical study on ResearchGate Q&A behavior

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Article number102082
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


The advent of academic social networking sites (ASNS) has offered an unprecedented opportunity for scholars to obtain peer support online. However, little is known about the characteristics that make questions and answers popular among scholars on ASNS. Focused on the statements embedded in questions and answers, this study strives to explore the precursors that motivate scholars to respond, such as reading, following, or recommending a question or an answer. We collected empirical data from ResearchGate and coded the data via the act4teams coding scheme. Our analysis revealed a threshold effect—when the length of question description is over circa 150 words, scholars would quickly lose interest and thus not read the description. In addition, we found that questions, including positive action-oriented statements, are more likely to entice subsequent reads from other scholars. Furthermore, scholars prefer to recommend an answer with positive procedural statements or negative action-oriented statements.


  • Library and information science, ResearchGate, Social Q&A

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland