I'm going to submit a paper with my name as the "corresponding author". I am going to be using my personal email address instead of my university one.

This is because I am an undergrad and my institutional address will become invalid after I graduate.


  1. Is this okay?
  2. Will it cause any administrative issues?
  3. Is this practice seen anywhere else?

If it makes any difference, this will be a journal paper.


6 Answers 6


It is ok to use e-mails other than institutional (academic) addresses in your publications, but there are some points to consider if you're planning to do so:

  • Availability/reliability: you want other researchers/readers to be able to find you. The paper will hopefully be available for a long time (forever?), and it is impressive how much visibility and opportunities you can get years after a good publication;
  • Keep a professional address: It may sound silly, but some people insist on having funny e-mails and use them professionally. It does not look good. Also, if you plan to have a professional e-mail for years to come, I recommend registering a domain and have control over the address, even if you plan to SMTP to Gmail or similar services;
  • Some universities keep email accounts (or forwarding services) for alumni (McGill is one example). It is good for them (you feel more secure in using your institutional address) and for you (people can contact you long after you graduate). Of course, that means periodically check the account or make sure forwarding is properly configured.
  • University policy: check your university policy. Some institutions require specific affiliation statements and using institutional emails for publications related to them, especially if the research is funded by the institution.

Use a long-term, personal email address, rather than a short-term institutional address. This will not cause problems, it is common, and, as you've noted, it's better, because institutional email addresses expire.

  • 3
    "because institutional email addresses expire." --> YMMV, yet my alumni account still good for about 26 years now (since ~1995). Apr 17, 2021 at 13:48
  • 2
    @chux-ReinstateMonica Yes, exceptions exist.
    – user2768
    Apr 19, 2021 at 9:09

This should be fine in almost all cases. It is probably important that you, separately, list your university as your "affiliation" since they have in some ways at least provided support.

Using a personal email does, of course, give you some responsibility for maintaining that, so a company that can be expected to have a long life (Google...?) should be preferred.

You might also check to see if your university will provide a permanent forwarding service for you after you graduate. Some will do that. Actually, some universities consider student email addresses to be permanent and a valuable resource for future contact.

  • I never thought about actually asking the university once. Thank you. This gives me an open option!
    – Academic
    Apr 16, 2021 at 14:52
  • You might still want to consider the private option, of course.
    – Buffy
    Apr 16, 2021 at 14:55
  • Yes, of course.
    – Academic
    Apr 16, 2021 at 15:26

I'd use the student email address. It looks more professional—while in an ideal world it wouldn't be like this, IMHO it's not worth the risk of someone judging you based on the @gmail.com.

And honestly, if your work is worthwhile enough that someone needs to contact you, when they try to contact your university email and it bounces, they'll know how to Google your name and find a new contact point. Just set up a personal home page if you care about this and you should be good.

P.S. Be prepared to get spam. You will receive a lot of academic spam where people will be "impressed" with your work and ask you to either submit it somewhere (maybe for a fee...) or review other work. (The latter happens for both legitimate publications and also dubious ones, and you'll need to learn to distinguish which ones are spam and which ones aren't.)


If it were me, I would use the e-mail address affiliated with your institution, but I would also include an ORCID or other researcher identifier.

This allows you to have a record separate from the published paper where you can change your preferred e-mail address should you change institutions. So should your current e-mail address stop working after you've graduated (or even for non-students who may change institutions), people who wish to contact you would have a way to get up-to-date contact information.

I would recommend checking with the journal if they have a preferred manner of including such identifiers.

  • There have been people on similar questions who have mentioned that ORCID hasn't seen significant adoption in their community -- but often it's because people haven't tried doing it yet. Just because it hasn't been done yet in a given journal doesn't mean that it doesn't solve the issue that you're running into.
    – Joe
    Apr 17, 2021 at 14:24

If you use your personal email address your contributions will be perceived as having much less vallue, than if you use your institutional email address.

By submitting with a personal email, you are identifying yourself as an independent scholar. You are an undergrad, and I presume that you have earned no post-graduate degrees. The work of an independent scholar has some authority, if that scholar has been awarded a PhD by an accredited institution. The work of someone off the street, with no credentials, has no merit.

Having worked at a university, I will add that use of the submitter's institutional email on submitted work is usually required by the receiving member of the faculty, and is always preferred by faculty.

Since you are submitting your work to an academic journal, and the relationship between this journal and any institution is unclear, then it is unknown whether those at the journal have the same expectations as those at an academic institution.

  • 3
    This has several factual inaccuracies. Apr 17, 2021 at 6:07
  • Please specifically identify at least one of these alleged factual inaccuracies.
    – J. Berry
    Jul 30, 2021 at 5:50
  • Sentences 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, and 8. Please see the answers with many upvotes. Jul 30, 2021 at 17:33
  • I'll rebut your proposition by defending my sentence number 1. It is a fact that if you don't use an institutional email address when you submit a paper to a journal, then your lack of an institutional email address identifies you as being an independent scholar. That is true. It is axiomatic. And my other statements are equally factual.
    – J. Berry
    Aug 3, 2021 at 20:14

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