Friday, August 06, 2010

Starting to like Academia.Edu, except for annoying emails re: who is searching for me

Well, I am continuing to play around with Academia.Edu. I created a profile there for myself and am also building one for my father Howard Eisen as part of my campaign to "Free my father's publications." Academia.Edu has some nice features. I think I still like Mendeley more, but am reserving judgement.

That being said, the default setting at Academia.Edu for email updates is really annoying --- I keep getting messages like

Hi Jonathan,

Someone just searched for you on Google, and found your page on

To see the search query they used, what rank you are on Google for this query, and what country the search came from, follow the link below

Link removed by me


The team


To ensure that your page appears high up on Google, link to it from the website of your department, college, university or blog. 88% of people on who link to their page like this appear #1 on Google for searches for their name + university, e.g. 'Richard Price Oxford'.

First of all, getting emails like this should be Opt In not Opt Out. Second, I find this to be a bit too earnest an attempt to manipulate google rankings to help out Academia.Edu. (I note, while creating this post, I did a search for myself and Academia.Edu and got the links above and then I got an email again, telling me someone searched for me. I know. It was me. I mean, I guess link trading is a real thing, but telling me to add a link do that my Academia.Edu profile might move up in searches is I guess annoying to me.

Anyway - still playing with Academia.Edu. Still liking much of it. But if you search for me on the web and go to Academia.Edu I am sorry but I will not know as I will be disabling email messages from them.


  1. What I am stunned by is that has an .edu address. I thought that was pretty tightly regulated to just be actual educational institutions or at least research institutions like the Smithsonian. It's not supposed to be like .com where anybody can register a domain if they want.

    1. They acquired their .edu domain name before the regulations limiting them to educational institutions had been put in place, so they were grandfathered in.

  2. I originally wondered that too and then forgot about it. How did they get one?

  3. I don't know. It's a bit disturbing because many software download pages are set up to allow anyone coming from a .edu address to have free access with others having to buy a license (not that I'm a big fan of those sites, being from a .org that many people don't understand is a non-profit). So anybody working this company could download things as if they were academics.

    Still, if there is a loophole allowing general .edu registration, I could see how you in particular might find it useful near April...

  4. Jonathan, you can opt out of getting those emails by unchecking the box in the notification section of your accounts tab.

  5. thanks cameron - i know - that is what i meant at the end when i said " But if you search for me on the web and go to Academia.Edu I am sorry but I will not know as I will be disabling email messages from them." --- should have been more explicit

  6. haha- or I should have read to the end!

  7. What bothers me about is not just that one must "opt out" in order to stop receiving their annoying email notifications, but that one must CREATE AN ACCOUNT in order to opt out. To me, this takes spam to a new level of intrusiveness. Is anyone else bothered by this?


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