I was creating a researchgate account and it says it wouldn't let me in if I can't provide institutional email.

I do research in an University and I don't have any Institutional email. But the way researchgate website is creating account, makes me think like is it an absolute necessity to have an institutional email to do research.

Bonus question: What are the benifits of having an institutional email address?

  • 4
    No, it isn't essential, but be aware that ResearchGate is very controversial. Journals and conferences will accept a personal email such as gmail, etc.
    – Buffy
    Apr 26, 2021 at 19:36
  • 1
    Interestingly, I don't have an institutional address (not since July 2005), but I got a researchgate account 3 or 4 years ago. I don't remember how I got it, but I definitely didn't initiate the process. Instead, I think it was an email from them, not the first from what I recall, but rather after many email requests over probably several months, and eventually I decided what the heck, maybe I can use it to archive the manuscript I mentioned here, which is what I did. Apr 26, 2021 at 19:38
  • 5
    Fun fact: when I did my master's thesis in 1995, and for 3-4 years during the PhD, institutional emails were expensive and the university would give them only to associate and full professors, or to the entire group. So, all the members of my group but the PI, master's students, PhD students and postdoc would share a single institutional email, to which also personal communications would have been addressed, with the embarrassing result that everyone would read each other's emails. Apr 26, 2021 at 19:49
  • 1
    I read an article a couple of weeks ago (probably linked from Retraction Watch) which proposed that journals should accept submissions only if the e-mail address provided for correspondence is an institutional address, as a way of detecting and preventing certain types of ghostwriting. If that proposal becomes a reality, then not having an institutional e-mail address will become a big problem. Apr 27, 2021 at 11:55

1 Answer 1


Every employer, including universities, should create email accounts for their employees/students to use for official purposes related to their jobs/studies.

There are many reasons that using private emails for these purposes can be a problem. Depending on what country you are in, these can include government records requests laws that would allow the public access to your private communications if you're using that private email for public purposes (in practice, this isn't quite as dire, but it's potentially a massive pain).

Not sure why your institution has not provided you an email address, but this seems very unusual. It isn't that uncommon for your institutional email to be used to authenticate that you are indeed the person you say you are and that you have some association with that institution.

I won't go so far as to say it's "absolutely necessary" but I'm having a hard time imagining doing any of my own work without an institutional email, and I would find it very very weird to work somewhere that wouldn't give me an email address.

  • Very rececently our university has started the official email system, however due to corona situation I could not complete the necessary official steps (application letters etc) to provide me an official email address. Apr 26, 2021 at 19:39
  • Also the official email adddress is temporary. After a certain time it will expire. Apr 26, 2021 at 19:40
  • 1
    @AlwaysConfused Issue (1) seems very strange to me. Do you not have access to other university resources (library, etc) that is connected to an email account? How do you access benefits and related employment/HR content? For (2), that may be a reason to use another email as well, but it doesn't seem like a reason to have no institutional email.
    – Bryan Krause
    Apr 26, 2021 at 19:43
  • 1
    @Nicholas The question states "I do research in an University" (sic).
    – Bryan Krause
    Feb 6, 2022 at 14:39
  • 1
    @NicholasPetersen I don't know much about independent research. In my field it doesn't exist at any influential level, and doesn't really deserve acknowledgement as a feasible approach. I know people feel strongly about independent research in other areas, but my overall impression is that the number of people who successfully do useful (truly) independent research is very small. Special cases are the "exceptions that prove the rule" because they are notable specifically because they are so unusual.
    – Bryan Krause
    Feb 7, 2022 at 16:19

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .