Last night I did something I’ve been meaning to do for a while – I deleted my academia.edu account. A post by Kris Olds on Twitter linking to this story in Forbes was the spur.
I have a page on this site, called ‘Free Downloads’ which shares almost all my work.
There are separate pages for articles and chapters, books, interviews, audio and video, and reading lists. Some pre-prints of forthcoming pieces are here.
Also see Google Books; and Durham Research Online and Warwick Research Access Portal (WRAP) which have preprints of some articles.
With the exception of the link to Google Books, this site, alternatives in the Forbes article and institutional repositories accomplish what academia.edu is supposed to be for – the free sharing of work – but without the commercial aspects.
Update: See also Gary Hall, ‘Should this be the last thing you read on academia.edu?’ (Thanks to @dubravka for the link)
Thanks for the nudge. Also, as I did this I noticed there was a box to say why. Not sure if it is worth people actually saying that they are doing so because they do not want to support an organization profiting from the sharing of academic knowledge.
Yes, that’s a good idea.
Academia delivers on many fronts, and yes, I am fully aware of the problems of any platform in the platform-capitalistic era we live in. I am hesitant to rely on institutional repositories that nobody uses, nobody maintains and that are user-unfriendly to the point of being useless. Of course there are always other ways of sharing your work, e.g. through your own blog/social media, but visibility matters and some of the features that Academia offers are simply useful-more useful for me than migrating to a pdf-graveyard elsewhere.
I wrote about it on my blog in late 2015 when the first wave of ‘delete your account posts popped up: Why I prefer Academia_edu over Academia_eu:
“To cut a long story short, as much as I am aware of its limitations I appreciate Academia_edu as platform and global community and have doubts that academic-institution-driven ideas or alternatives will come even close to what the platform is right now and what it could achieve in the future.”
Thanks for this – appreciate the different view being shared.
What about ResearchGate?
Not sure about researchgate – I have an account but it’s largely dormant.
Personally, I think ResearchGate is slightly worse than Academia, partly based on discussions with former employees who were treated/paid poorly. But we could discuss which capitalistic model (Silicon Valley or European Start-Up) is ultimately worse…see my post from last year “Keep uploading papers to ResearchGate so its founder can pursue his beach volleyball ambitions”:
Thanks – that’s interesting.
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For the most part, I agree with you but I think that sharing through individual sites like this one is not the best solution.
The repositories mentioned in the Forbes article could be interesting but as they themselves mention they are “admittedly a much smaller network than exists at Academia.edu”. The issue is then to push for something that offers as much diversity and volume
On that vein, what do you think about reasearchgate?
thanks for the info and advice.
The robes article is down for some reason. Here is a link to the (google) cached version. http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:pUKHQwJuRbIJ:www.forbes.com/sites/drsarahbond/2017/01/23/dear-scholars-delete-your-account-at-academia-edu/+&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us
This makes me really angry. I completely fell for the “.edu” domain affiliation. I wonder whether the national government bodies can join forces to create a non-private, global alternative. Likely answer: probably not.
I agree with this; so let me be quite critical.
It’s quite easy giving up Academia and Researchgate when you have… a job in academia; it’s quite harder for those of us in precarious positions who need to be read and cited to hope and get a decent job (by decent I obviously mean permanent) in academia.
Before deleting our accounts, we should then work to create OA, publicly owned instruments – and for that matter fighting against the precarisation and commodification of academia.
And only permanent (and renewed) scholars could lead this endeavor
I am suffering from some form of campaign overload – so much to campaign on, mostly in the US and UK of course, and Academia.edu has not risen to the top of the list. Until they try to charge regular users, we are actually benefiting – stuff does get read from the site and yes, people use it when looking for citations and literature. A very large amount of material there breaches commercial copyright, as it does on Researchgate. You may consider that a bonus,since it is companies that determine it is a breach, not us. there is some strength in numbers and publishers would have to ask thousands (millions) of articles be removed from Academia and Researchgate. another bonus is all the material from the free OA ccby licence journal I run gets mirrored there, and we pay nothing.
The blindingly obvious alternative, though, is just to put things on a website you control. I have one, it is registered with Google, and a search on there for for my articles bring them up. I used to pay about $100 a year but the price seems to drop all the time, and many people just use WordPress to hold publications ,which is free – although that does NOT come up in Google Scholar. Institutional repositories are a bit of a pain unless you stay in the one job. No good for people without a job or moving. . Some (like Melbourne’s) are usefully logged with search engines.
To be more helpful, we are advertising 2 permanent jobs right now – various human geography specialties, at Lancaster.
Yes, these are fair comments. I have done a little to open up material when I worked as an editor, and do try to support open access projects. But there is always more that should be done.
Hi Simon, thanks for the add-up. I agree some of us benefit a lot from Academia and similar instruments – I have reasons to believe I personally do, at the very least. Also my stuff is on the university repository (which is linked to Scholar) and personal webpage on my department’s site: though it seems not many people download them from there.
Overall I believe the “social network” system of Academia and Researchgate is excellent – it allows you following the work of those persons you need to follow and find interesting connections among fields and topics. So, IMHO, we need to replace those systems with publicly owned ones – because I also agree with the concerns Stuart expressed.
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I agree with this
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