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Anh ngữ đặc biệt: Social Network for Scientists

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This is the VOA Special English Education Report.

A few years ago, a university researcher was having problems with an experiment that involved medical imaging. His adviser and his friends had no solutions. The researcher was Ijad Madisch at Harvard in Massachusetts. "I was so frustrated," he says.

His solution was to start a scientific network for researchers. It lets them connect with each other and share information about their research and their publications. ResearchGate is similar to another social network developed at Harvard -- Facebook. But Mr. Madisch says the purpose of his site is to make scientists more productive.

He says his goal is to win a Nobel Prize: "If we think that ResearchGate will accelerate research in all the different fields, it will change the speed of science significantly in the future. So I definitely do believe that ResearchGate could win the Nobel Prize for that one day."

Mr. Madisch received the support of investors including a former Facebook executive and the same investment group that put money into Twitter. So far, nine hundred thousand people have signed up as members of ResearchGate.

One of those users is Caroline Moore-Kochlacs at Boston University. Her profile page shows her picture and her specialty -- neuroscience. It also lists her doctoral adviser and the work she has published. She can follow other researchers and click onto group pages that discuss different subjects.

She also uses Facebook but says people almost never discuss science there. She says on ResearchGate she can ask questions and learn about what other researchers are working on before they publish their results. She can also learn about recently published science. She says: "The scientific literature is so huge at this point, that it's really impossible to get through everything in your topic area. People really rely on hearing it from other people."

But not every user is pleased with ResearchGate. Kim Bertrand at the Harvard School of Public Health is an epidemiologist -- someone who studies the spread and control of diseases. Ms. Bertrand says she finds more value in her own offline network of researchers and advisers than in this online network.

She says: "Sometimes I get these e-mails that are like: 'Dear Sirs: I'm writing a dissertation on public health. Any suggestions? Please advise.' I don't need that."