I'm hosting an academic competition, and I need to get the word out to any peers that may be interested in participating. My advisor told me to search for academic mailing lists, but I can't find any. What are the best venues to get the word out about academic information? I'm particularly interested in publicizing the competition throughout the USA and Brazil, but any advice is warmly welcomed.

Clarification: My objective is not spamming or any kind of malicious activities. The same way that conferences and activities are spread by someone inside the universities, I would like to reach to reach a wide audience to invite them to participate in the competition, with pure academic interests---specially since the competition is part of an international conference.

The topic is related to machine learning. But any tips for any kind of topic are welcome.

  • Welcome to Academia.SE. Please don't post promotional links here—they are not actually relevant to your question, and in this case will become "stale."
    – aeismail
    Commented May 14, 2018 at 16:37
  • 1
    Perhaps I'm cynical, but you seem to be asking how to get hold of a mailing list so you can spam folks. Please clarify how you would identify people who are interested vs those who would not be interested.
    – Jon Custer
    Commented May 14, 2018 at 16:52
  • 3
    If you do manage to get a hold of a list, not everyone on it will be interested. So I'd suggest emailing some universities and sending posters and such for display. Those interested might contact you. Commented May 14, 2018 at 17:23
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    "Academic" is rather vague. Would there be questions on mathematics, on Chinese history, and on the Philosophy of Kant?
    – GEdgar
    Commented May 14, 2018 at 17:28

2 Answers 2


If you are aiming to reach out to members of a specific field, then I'd suggest reaching out to the department chairs of universities that offer it. For example, if you are looking into something designed for communications majors, professors, etc., then perhaps look up colleges with communications programs. Then find the contact information for the department chair and send them an email. You can repeat this for as many schools as necessary.

If you are going for something a bit broader, you may want to call the administrative offices for the schools, or see if they have an email address that you can contact them through.

This way, if the message comes across more like spam, then hopefully you've irked as few people as possible. If it's useful and the recipient is interested, then they will have the ability to disperse the information throughout their department or university. It's a lot of work, but sometimes that is what is necessary.


If you know of relevant academic associations, you can see if they have special interest groups (SIGs) or sections for graduate students. You could politely email the graduate students elected to be in charge of those groups and ask them if they could please spread the word, and/or whether they have advice about how you can spread the word. (If those SIGs have Facebook or Twitter accounts, for instance, they might be more willing to publicize a contest there than by sending out an unscheduled email.)

Beyond that, I agree with the advice to reach out to relevant departments with the information. Of course, before you reach out, make sure that your materials are as clear as possible, look official (ask your advisor and colleagues), and have the correct contact information/URL spelled out (in case a rich-text message turns into plain-text and loses its links).

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