I just got an email from Academia.edu saying that my name has been mentioned two times (Edit: now up to 150 papers!), but to see the mentions you have to upgrade to a premium account at 8.25AUD/month.
This seems very unlikely to me, because
- The name being mentioned is my nick name (and a very uncommon nick name!) and not my proper/working name
- I'm not an academic, and haven't published anything! I have done undergrad research and a little bit since then, but nothing published, and also nothing really worth referencing.
Is the "mentions" feature basically a scam?
I just noticed that the mentions page now says this:
We search for mentions of the name "Dannii Willis", "Willis, Dannii", "D Willis" or "Willis, D" in 20 million papers, books, drafts, theses, and syllabi on Academia, and around the web.
Which means that their count of mentions (currently fluctuating between 137 and 152 for me) must also include all of the David Willises, Dennis Willises, and Deborah Willises. What a joke!
By searching on Google for my name in quotes and site:academia.edu I did find one paper that referenced a very old blog post I had written (and forgotten I had written!) But that's only one reference instead of two.
I guess unless anyone else has more data on the illegitimacy of this feature I'll have to call it real. But still a waste of money of course!