User spotlight: Amanuel Beyin “Academia lets me access papers which my library service does not”

by Helen Sparrow

image Journal subscription prices have rocketed over that last few years, leaving many school libraries unable to afford the journals which researchers require to stay up to date in their field. Even Harvard cannot maintain all of its subscriptions due to rising costs.

As more and more people upload their work to, the site is becoming an increasingly valuable resource for academics who are unable to access the papers they need through their university library, as well as for independent researchers with no library affiliation. I am also finding that even academics who do have access to the papers through their institution often still visit to to download papers, as in many cases it is much simpler than finding and downloading the papers from other websites.

Last week I spoke to Amanuel Beyin a faculty member at the University of Southern Indiana in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice.  He first joined while on the job market to keep in touch with the research in his area.

“I joined academia to find out what is going on in my field, to stay connected with people who do what I do”

But mainly Amanuel now visits to search for papers he wishes to read, as his college library, like many other libraries, does not have a large suite of journal subscriptions. provides him with a simple and free way to access the papers he needs to perform research and follow the progress in his field. He feels very passionately that the internet is invaluable in the future of research and that is going to play a large part of that.

“My college library doesn’t subscribe to a lot of journals, I find it quite difficult to stay up to date with recent research in my field. I use the site to search and find lots of papers, most of my colleagues, say 99%, upload or post links to their papers on Academia”

“With the onset of the digital age, the internet has become an essential tool to access scientific resources. In this regard is a timely innovation with immense potential to facilitating research collaboration and scientific discoveries.”

Amanuel also uploads all of his papers to his profile; finding it useful to keep them all in one place and to share with others, who like himself may not have access to them otherwise. His papers are all available elsewhere, but are often behind paywalls meaning that he cannot even access some of his own papers through the journal sites.

“I upload all of my papers to do a favor to others who also have difficulty accessing journals’

Amanuel also find our analytics feature really useful, especially receiving notifications that someone has read his work and where they are from.

“Looking at the stats gives me a sense of motivation, it encourages me to focus on my work. It is satisfying to learn (almost every day!) that your work has attracted someone’s interest and that your papers might help them with their research”

In case you haven’t checked your stats recently, we just released a few new features - go and take a look and let us know what you think! Contact to send me your feedback and ideas.


by Helen Sparrow, Community Manager

Comments Aug 23, 2012
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