This paper focuses on the issue of academic social networks as means of changing the openaccess reality. Nowadays a free, direct and permanent access to digital scientific content isnecessary for every student and researcher. The need for human communication has made socialnetworks popular to the public, resulting in their rapid development, for example, ResearchGateand The study is motivated by one main research question: What is their role andutilization in digital publishing? Through observational research and secondary quantitative andqualitative data analysis, the key objectives of the study are to highlight the role of internationalacademic social networks in digital publishing and present the benefits and limitations ofexisting networks. In conclusion, the active use of academic social networks enables researchersto expand their knowledge but on the other hand limitations on digital publishing ariseregarding to copyrights and licensing barriers.