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If you’re as excited about this idea as I am, you should check out Academia.edu’s Jobs page. Right now they’re looking for a Software Engineer.

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I always thought that .edu domains were reserved for accredited colleges and universities. It seems as though those restriction may have loosened (or they may have never been as tight as I thought they were). Lately I’ve seen some dodgy online education sites built on .edu domain names, so when I came across Academia.edu, I assumed that’s what they were. A closer look showed me that they’re nothing of the sort; in fact, they’re not an academic institution at all. They’re actually a San Francisco based startup that is building an online portal to help people find out “who’s researching what.” It’s kind of like LinkedIn meets a Wiki, but it’s only focused on academia. If you’re a PhD student, you can use it to track down other researchers in your field for collaboration. If you’re a journalist, you can use the site to find sources for articles. If you’re a high school student looking at colleges, you can use it to find professors who will help you achieve your ambitions. It’s a really cool idea, and it seems to be gaining some traction.

It’s All Academic

We all know that academics are generally resistant to change (which is interesting, since professors usually have the reputation of being very liberal and open-minded). I did a little extra research on Academia.edu and found people voicing opinions that they won’t join because the site doesn’t do a good enough job of verifying credentials and keeping out impostors. Yes, that’s important, but these people are overlooking the huge potential value of the site while nitpicking about problems that will almost certainly be fixed in the future. This “ivory tower” mindset of keeping out outsiders isn’t good for academia, and it isn’t good for Academia.edu either. Still, we must remember that the Internet was originally created to link researchers, and was widely adopted first in academia. Lately, things seem to have stalled out as academics have been slow to embrace Web 2.0 technologies. Academia.edu offers the potential to reinvigorate researchers and drive more collaboration. I think that Academia.edu will get better at executing as time passes, and as long as they stick with their winning idea of helping people find out “who’s researching what,” they have a winner. If you’re as excited about this idea as I am, you should check out Academia.edu’s Jobs page. Right now they’re looking for a Software Engineer, but there will probably be more openings in the future. They do currently have Marketing Interns, so maybe there will be some full-time positions in Marketing down the road.

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One response to “Academia.edu”

  1. Entry Level Jobs With Academia.edu…

    I always thought that .edu domains were reserved for accredited colleges and universities. It seems as though those restriction may have loosened (or they may have never been as tight as I thought they were). Lately I’ve seen some……

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