“Early last week I uploaded to my Academia.edu homepage a brief note signaling and explaining my decision to close my account on that site. As a medieval historian, I had been an active and enthusiastic member since 2010, with moderately high exposure, and while “On leaving Academia.edu” was meant as a provocative goodbye, I hadn’t expected it to draw much attention. In the four days that elapsed between uploading my note and closing my account, however, the text was accessed more than 22,000 times and the critical discussion board accompanying it (known as a Session) was still going strong, attracting some 2,000 active followers making numerous contributions, including from the site’s founder and CEO, its Product VP, and of course hundreds of engaged scholars and academics from around the world. A flurry of tweets and emails ensued, and colleagues at my home institution accosted me about it around town. At some point someone even created a counter-Session, “On staying with Academia.edu.” …”
“I have been warning junior and senior researchers for the past four years, when promoting open access publishing, that sites such as ResearchGate and Academia.edu and the like should not be considered repositories – and that most of the content offered on these platforms is in violation of copyright agreements.”
“The growing use of SCNs [Scholarly Collaboration Networks], copyright issues aside, is equally troubling. The current business models available for networks that hope to survive outside of just being a feature of some other company’s product, are all based around surveillance and advertising. ResearchGate and Academia.edu want to spy on users to use that data to promote ad sales (or to sell that surveillance data to anyone interested, if such a market exists). As is the case with Facebook, this creates incentives that are at odds with the best interests of their users, who, once again, should not be confused with either site’s real customers.
Do you want your scholarly reading material being chosen based on serving advertiser’s needs? We know Twitter and Facebook have been used to target particular populations and sway their opinions. Will we end up gamifying scholarly articles, including mentions of particular products or ideas in our papers in order to increase our likelihood of visibility and impact?…”
“Academia has teamed up with Encyclopedia Britannica to offer access to all of Britannica’s content to Academia Premium users.
Academia is also inviting its members to contribute as authors on Britannica’s Publisher Partner Program. We’ve joined dozens of institutions including UC Berkeley, Northwestern University, the University of Melbourne and others in support of the initiative, which aims to expand Britannica’s free, open access content.”
“Migrating from Academia.edu to Zenodo.org
I fully advocate leaving Academia.edu, but what purpose does it serve to simply delete your account? You are removing publications that are, in the very least, freely and openly available at the moment. Essentially, the best decision is to migrate documents to Zenodo.org, and allow at least one week for Google to fully index migrated content before deleting the Academia.edu account. My MA thesis entitled ‘Recent Advances in Roman Numismatics,’ about the application of Linked Open Data methodologies toward Roman numismatics with Nomisma.org and Online Coins of the Roman Empire, had been available in both the ANS Digital Library and Academia.edu as of January 28, 2016. Due to our superior use of microdata and full-text indexing, the ANS Digital Library version surpassed Academia days after it was published. I uploaded my thesis to Zenodo.org January 29, 2016, and it was already on the first page of Google three days later.
Many of us have uploaded a substantial number of documents to Academia.edu, and it might be tedious to re-upload these documents into a new system, especially with regard to re-entering publication metadata. I have sought to rectify this by facilitating a more efficient migration system. I have developed a framework that is capable of parsing metadata from an Academia.edu profile (although not all publications are listed when the profile page loads), accepting re-uploaded documents (since these cannot be extracted from Academia.edu directly), and uploading these contents into Zenodo.org. This framework itself is open source and available on Github. I will save the technical discussion for different venue.”
“Using matching and regression analyses, we measure the difference in citations between articles posted to Academia.edu and other articles from similar journals, controlling for field, impact factor, and other variables. Based on a sample size of 31,216 papers, we find that a paper in a median impact factor journal uploaded to Academia.edu receives 16% more citations after one year than a similar article not available online, 51% more citations after three years, and 69% after five years. We also found that articles also posted to Academia.edu had 58% more citations than articles only posted to other online venues, such as personal and departmental home pages, after five years.”
“Academia.edu is a well-known social network for scholars, established in 2008, which currently informs over 30 million registered users. The platform is used to share research papers, monitor their impact and follow up on any research in a particular area of ??expertise. Its repository contains more than 8 million full-text articles published in open access (OA) and receives 36 million visitors per month. In April 2015, a research conducted by six Academia.edu employees and the consulting company Polynumeral1 on the growth of received citations to research publications that were deposited in its open access repository was distributed to 20 million users registered on its website, stating that the articles there deposited increased citations received by 83% within five years …”
“Richard Price always had an entrepreneurial bent. He started a cake business in his mum’s kitchen during a summer break from his doctoral program at Oxford, eventually converting it into a sandwich-delivery service after realizing people only ate cake once a week. Then, when one of his philosophy papers took three years to get published, Price channeled his business interests into a new venture aimed at streamlining that academic process. After finishing his DPhil (the English equivalent of a Ph.D.), Price raised venture capital in London and moved to San Francisco to start Academia.edu in 2008 …”
“For Academia.edu, numbers matter. Numbers are how the website promotes itself — more than 29 million registered users have posted more than eight million academic papers to the site, the “about” page boasts — and numbers are how the site makes money. Despite its domain name, Academia.edu is not an educational institution. It is a for-profit company, but it doesn’t charge academics to post or read research. So far, it has been funded by venture capital and job ads, and its success depends on its large user base. But its business model makes some academics uncomfortable. “Academia.edu and platforms like that are kind of piggybacking off a public university system, but they’re doing nothing to sustain it,” said Gary Hall, a professor of media and performing arts at Coventry University and co-founder of Open Humanities Press. Mr. Hall is part of a small but influential group of doubters. He’s concerned that Academia.edu is profiting from academics’ free labor, and he worries that one company controls access to so much scholarly research….”