Why I am Ditching Academia.edu

Over the past years, I have written several papers that I am proud of. I wanted to put all of these papers in a place where people would be able to find them and learn about the arguments I was making. I found academia.edu, which seemed to be exactly what I was looking for.

Since posting my papers to Academia, their views have skyrocketed. I have also been contacted by several people thanking me for my work. The interactions between papers, data, and readers that Academia provide are extremely interesting.

However, it seems that Academia has recently changed its mindset. When I first started using them, their landing page was a place to search for papers and see the most popular pieces of research. Recently, their landing page changed to something else: A simple prompt to register for an account.

Academia.edu's new landing page, emphasizing account-creation over paper-finding

Academia.edu’s new landing page, emphasizing account-creation over knowledge-finding

The new landing page sends a clear message: Academia.edu’s goals have changed. Instead of wanting their users to find free research in the quickest way possible, they want their users to make an account. They do not want to spread free knowledge, they want to increase the number of people who are registered on their website.

Further, Academia.edu now requires an Academia.edu account to download papers.

These are not values that I would like my papers to be associated with. Although Academia’s high search engine rankings are beneficial to the popularity of my papers, sacrifices must be made to ensure that my papers are free to access (Both in the sense of cost and in the sense of accessibility). Blocking curious minds behind an account creation process is not free.

In the coming days, I will be moving all of my papers to a specific “Papers” page of this website. Unless Academia changes its ways, I will no longer be using them to host my research.

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