Academia.edu is a for-profit American social networking website for
academics. The platform can be used to share papers, monitor
their impact, and follow the research in a particular field. It was
launched in September 2008, with 36 million unique visitors per
month as of December 2017 and over 20 million uploaded texts.
Academia.edu was founded by Richard Price, who raised $600,000 from
Spark Ventures, HOWZAT Partners, Brent Hoberman, and others.
2 Open science
3 Domain name
4 Financial history
7 External links
The website allows its users to create a profile, upload their
work(s), select areas of interests and then the user can browse the
networks of people with similar interests among the almost, as of
December 2017, 58 million users from around the world.
Academia.edu proclaims it supports the open science or open access
movements and, in particular, instant distribution of research, and a
peer-review system that occurs alongside distribution, instead of
prior to it. Accordingly, the company stated its opposition to the
proposed (since withdrawn) 2011 U.S. Research Works Act, which would
have prevented open-access mandates in the U.S.
Academia.edu is not an open access repository and is not
recommended as a way to pursue green open access by
Peter Suber and
experts, who instead invite researchers to use field-specific
repositories or general-purpose repositories like Zenodo.
Academia.edu is not a university or institution for higher learning
and so under current standards it would not qualify for the ".edu"
top-level domain. However, the domain name "Academia.edu" was
registered in 1999, prior to the regulations requiring .edu domain
names to be held solely by accredited post-secondary institutions. All
.edu domain names registered prior to 2001 were grandfathered in, even
if not an accredited post-secondary institution.
A critic, Kathleen Fitzpatrick, the Director of Scholarly
Communication at the Modern Language Association, said she finds the
use of the ".edu" domain name by
Academia.edu to be "extremely
problematic", since the domain name might mislead users into thinking
the site is part of an accredited educational institution rather than
a for-profit company.
On its filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the
company uses the legal name Academia Inc.
In November 2011,
Academia.edu raised $4.5 million from Spark Capital
and True Ventures. Prior to that, it had raised $2.2 million from
Spark Ventures and a range of angel investors including Mark
Shuttleworth, Thomas Lehrman, and Rupert Pennant-Rea. In September
2013, the company raised $11.1 million from Khosla Ventures, True
Ventures, Spark Ventures, Spark Capital and Rupert Pennant-Ream,
bringing its total equity funding to $17.7 million.
Many academics are happy about the increased publicity their research
can garner due to the website, but some are worried about the effect
on research and science in general, especially since Academia.edu
refuses to make its business model public.
TechCrunch remarked that
Academia.edu gives academics a "powerful, efficient way to distribute
their research" and that it "will let researchers keep tabs on
how many people are reading their articles with specialized analytics
tools", and "also does very well in
Google search results".
Academia.edu seems to reflect a combination of social networking norms
and academic norms.
Months after its acquisition of
Academia.edu rival Mendeley, Elsevier
sent thousands of takedown notices to Academia.edu, a practice that
has since ceased, following widespread complaint by academics,
Academia.edu founder and chief executive Richard
In early 2016, some users reported having received e-mails from
Academia.edu where they were asked if they would be interested in
paying a fee to have their papers recommended by the website's
editors. This led some users to start a campaign encouraging users
to cancel their
Other criticisms include the fact that
Academia.edu uses a "vendor
lock-in" model: "It's up to
Academia.edu to decide what you can and
can't do with the information you've given them, and they're not
likely to make it easy for alternative methods to access". This is
in reference to the fact that, although papers can be read by
non-users, a free account is needed in order to download papers: "you
need to be logged in to do most of the useful things on the site (even
as a casual reader)".
A registered user, in order to use advanced search on the site, needs
to subscribe to premium ($100- per year, or $10- per month) as
explained on the site when using basic title search.
In December 2016,
Academia.edu announced new premium features that
includes data analytics on work and the professional rank of the
viewers, which have also received criticism.
^ "About". Academia.edu. Retrieved 2016-05-15.
^ "academia.edu Traffic Statistics". Retrieved 21 January 2018.
^ Academia.edu. "Hiring". Retrieved 2016-07-22.
^ a b Some academics remain skeptical of Academia.edu
^ a b Fortney, Katie; Gonder, Justin (2015-12-01). "A social
networking site is not an open access repository". OSC. Retrieved
^ Cutler, Kim-Mai. "Academia.Edu Overhauls Profiles As The Onus Falls
On Researchers To Manage Their Personal Brands". Techcrunch. Retrieved
^ Academia.edu. "About". Retrieved 2017-12-29.
^ a b c "
Academia.edu CrunchBase Profile". Crunchbase.com. Retrieved
^ a b Bond, Sarah. "Dear Scholars, Delete Your Account At
Academia.Edu". Forbes. Retrieved 2017-01-26.
^ Richard Price (2012-02-05). "The Future of Peer Review". TechCrunch.
^ Richard Price (2012-02-15). "The Dangerous "Research Works Act"".
TechCrunch. Retrieved 2012-02-22.
Peter Suber (2016). "Open Access book §10 self help".
^ "edu Policy Information". Net.educause.edu. 2001-10-29. Retrieved
^ a b McKenna, Laura (17 December 2015). "The Convoluted Profits of
Academic Publishing". The Atlantic.
^ a b "A social networking site is not an open access repository".
University of California Office of Scholarly Communication. Retrieved
7 July 2016.
^ "About Academia.edu". Academia.edu. Retrieved 23 March 2014.
^ "Academia.edu". Crunchbase. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
^ a b "
Academia.edu Raises $4.5 Million To
Help Researchers Share
Their Scholarly Papers". TechCrunch. 2011-11-30. Retrieved
Academia.edu – $4.5M in Funding, 3M Unique Monthly Visitors –
Can They Change Science Publication?". Singularity Hub. 2011-12-11.
^ Thelwall, M.; Kousha, K. (2014). "Academia.edu:
Social network or
Academic Network?". Journal of the Association for Information Science
and Technology. 65 (4): 721. doi:10.1002/asi.23038. Preprint
^ Parr, Chris (June 12, 2014). "Sharing is a way of life for millions
on Academia.edu". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 14 September
^ Howard, Jennifer (December 6, 2013). "Posting Your Latest Article?
You Might Have to Take It Down". The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Retrieved 14 September 2015.
^ "Scholars Criticize
Academia.edu Proposal to Charge Authors for
Recommendations". The Chronicle of Higher Education. 2016-01-29.
^ a b c "Should you #DeleteAcademiaEdu? On the role of commercial
services in scholarly communication". Impact of Social Sciences.
2016-02-01. Retrieved 2017-01-26.
^ Team, The Academia edu (2016-12-20). "How do people find your
Academia.edu Introduces a New Premium Feature". Medium.
^ "Academia, Not Edu". Planned Obsolescence. 2015-10-26. Retrieved
^ "The end of Academia.edu: how business takes over, again". diggit
magazine. 2017-04-26. Retrieved 2017-05-02.
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