How could I verify that a person is a student/faculty/researcher at a specific department of any university in world? I could ask the user to verify the official email address provided by that university to him but not all universities in world provide a email address to their people. A considerably large percentage of universities do not provide.

What could be other ways to collect only verified people in some group for a university department ?

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    For what purpose do you need to do this verification? – Tobias Kildetoft Feb 23 '15 at 10:24
  • Actually on a website, I need to allow only people access only to their actual university department. – Rajat Gupta Feb 23 '15 at 10:54
  • You mean you have a website which has a section for each of certain departments, and you need to make sure only faculty of a given department can access the given section? – Tobias Kildetoft Feb 23 '15 at 11:00
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    BTW, could you give an example of a university that does not provide an email? I have never heard of that (a bigger problem is that often people will be allowed to keep their email long after they are no longer affiliated with the university). – Tobias Kildetoft Feb 23 '15 at 11:04
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    But I would have a global audience, so I need to take care of those universities who don't provide email to their students/faculty. – Rajat Gupta Feb 23 '15 at 11:07

There is no good fully automated way of doing this, because there is no central clearing-house are too many ways the humans maintain imprecise machine-readable records.

If you are willing to have a human process, you can deal with a lot of the problem cases with a combination of Google and phone calls. That still won't ensure that an institution that you personally aren't familiar with is real, given all of the diploma mills in the world, but it will at least reduce the likelihood of giving access to a legitimate institution to the wrong person.

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  • A phone call can verify that John Smith is a student at Foobar University -- but it can't verify that the person trying to register on your site is actually John Smith. Also, this doesn't seem likely to work on a large scale - after the 50th phone call to the Foobar Registrar Office, I expect they're going to quit taking your calls. – Nate Eldredge Feb 24 '15 at 1:21

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