In my university days, I published eight papers in journals of Elsevier and in the the top-50 publications. I used the email account provided by my university, since they promised me that such account was to be for life.

However, I was communicated a few days ago that on 01.02.2024 the account would be suspended due to economic cutbacks. Currently, I'm not linked with the university and I've got just a Gmail account.

I receive tons of emails, into my university account, from researches asking further information about my publications, or with research invitations, and I do not know how to make them reach me. I'm not sure if I should just drop an email to Elsevier asking them to change, somehow, my former university email address by the Gmail one.

Initially, I will try also to show my Gmail address in some academic profiles, such as ORCID, Academia.edu or ResearcherID. However, I am very interested in not losing emails from people who have read my publications.

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    Some universities will automatically forward email to another account. Ask.
    – Buffy
    Commented Jan 2 at 14:47
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    Just how many emails have you gotten about those 8 papers? Consider that the number will dwindle as time goes on (except in unusual circumstances where finding your contact info becomes much easier all of a sudden).
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Jan 2 at 16:20
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    "I'm not sure if I should just drop an email to Elsevier asking them to change, somehow, my former University email address by the Gmail one." << Why not? It doesn't hurt to try, in addition to other options.
    – Stef
    Commented Jan 3 at 14:17
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    A bit of a frame challenge: do you need to do anything? When someone sends an email to address that doesn't exist, service will normally reply with "can't deliver, no such address". At this point, the person interested in reaching you will open their favourite search engine and look you up, most likely finding one of your academic profiles with new email. Of course, it's a nice gesture when you make sure that your contact info stays valid (e.g., by asking for forward like the answer says), but... If someone wants to reach you, they will. Commented Jan 3 at 15:59
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    @Yksisarvinen That's an awfully confident assertion. Emails are trivially easy to send and thus often spur-of-the-moment. Even the most minor of roadblocks is likely to drop off outreach precipitously, and in cases like this there can sometimes be significant issues with common names and so on. One could argue that it would only reduce low-value emails, but saying it definitely will have zero effect is completely unreasonable. Commented Jan 4 at 1:32

4 Answers 4


There are some possibilities. Among them is to ask the university if it is possible to forward emails to another account. Many will do this.

Another is to create a web page in which you put sufficient information that an internet search will turn up your new contact information. In particular, include your old/obsolete email address on it, marked as such, along with the name of the university and other identifying characteristics. This makes a variety of online searches more likely to turn you up if an email gets bounced and someone looks deeper.

If you are a member of a professional society they may give out email addresses at their domain. This might be a better 'global' email address than gmail for a professional. ACM, for example, does this for members. (yes, this is an orthogonal note) ACM = Association for Computing Machinery, a professional organization in CS.

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    IEEE provides members with IEEE.ORG email addresses, too.
    – Peter K.
    Commented Jan 2 at 19:17
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    Hmmm, @MarcGlisse, ACM = Association for Computing Machinery, a perfectly reputable professional society for CS. What is your objection? Or do you mean another org?
    – Buffy
    Commented Jan 3 at 13:38
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    @MarkMorganLloyd, see the note just above. Why not ACM? It is in no way predatory. It is a membership organization.
    – Buffy
    Commented Jan 3 at 13:38
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    +1. If doing the web page thing, I would recommend including the titles of the papers on that page also, to create even more searchable terms. Commented Jan 3 at 17:01
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    I am familiar with the ACM, I've probably been a member a few times, I've organized a conference with the ACM label (such a bad experience that the conference left the ACM). And for someone who cares about email address stability, choosing an ACM address may (that's why I asked) be a commitment to pay the registration fee every year for the rest of their life. Commented Jan 3 at 23:05

I suggest that you use the ORCiD (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) website not least because of it's well-established status as a site (and identifier) that links a researcher's activities across time, institution ... and even beyond. You have quite possibly already joined ORCiD but, if you have not, you will find that it is reasonably easy to create a profile and to list your publications.

More importantly, from the perspective of your immediate question, is the matter of an email address. First, it is possible to use a non-institutional address on ORCiD — if you have difficulty, contact the Support desk. The second issue is directly addressed in one of ORCiD's articles, from which I quote here:

The default visibility setting of your name when you register is everyone. The default visibility setting of your email address(es) is only me. You can immediately update the visibility of these items after registration by changing the visibility selector next to them.


If you register with ORCiD and either use, or add, a non-institutional email address then you will not only be able to list the publications that you think will be of interest to other researchers, but you will also be able to let them see an email address of your choosing where they can contact you.


Providing email service has some expense associated; email forwarding (as long as the underlying website + mail server still exists at all) is a one-line database entry. Any competent technician in the university's I.T. department should be able to enter the instruction to "forward [email protected] to [email protected]". That, done once, then operates in perpetuity.

For the case that they're shutting down hosting lots of accounts, this should be an operation they're all thoroughly familiar with.


ResearchGate, ORCID and Google Scholar are the main online platforms in my community. Use them and keep them up to date. I no longer have access to past emails from multiple employers - but everyone who wants to find me will do so through one of those three I expect. If you are in a field that uses other online platforms be visible on those.

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