|Headquarters||San Francisco, California|
|Type of site||Platform for sharing research papers|
Academia.edu is a social networking website for academics. It was launched in September 2008 and the site now has over 16 million registered users as of 2014. The platform can be used to share papers, monitor their impact, and follow the research in a particular field. Academia.edu was founded by Richard Price, who raised $600,000 from Spark Ventures, Brent Hoberman, and others.
In November 2011, Academia.edu raised $4.5 million from Spark Capital and True Ventures. Prior to that, it had raised $2.2 million from Spark Ventures and a range of angel investors including Mark Shuttleworth, Thomas Lehrman, and Rupert Pennant-Rea. As of March 2014, Academia.edu claimed to have raised $17.7 million from Khosla Ventures, True Ventures, Spark Ventures, Spark Capital and Rupert Pennant-Rea.
Academia.edu is a participant in the open science or open access movements, responding to a perceived need in science for instant distribution of research and the need for a peer-review system that occurs alongside distribution, instead of occurring before it. Accordingly, the company has stated its opposition to the Research Works Act.
TechCrunch remarked that Academia.edu gives academics a "powerful, efficient way to distribute their research" and that it "will let researchers keep tabs on how many people are reading their articles with specialized analytics tools", and "also does very well in Google search results." Academia.edu seems to reflect a combination of social networking norms and academic norms.
Academia.edu is not a university or institution for higher learning and so under current standards would not qualify for the EDU top level domain. The domain name "Academia.edu" was registered in 1999, prior to the regulations which required .edu domain names to be held by accredited post-secondary institutions. All .edu domain names registered prior to 2001 were grandfathered in and not made subject to the regulation of being an accredited post-secondary institution.
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