95% US researchers use their work emails in publications, Chinese researchers opposite

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In most scientific publications, the authors may list their personal emails (such as xxx@gmail.com) or their work emails (such as xxx@stanford.edu or xxx@gene.com). Personal emails have a longer life span than work emails, which often expire upon the end of employment. In terms of deliverability, we noticed that while some organization’s email servers are fairly relaxed, some simply block all marketing or even non-marketing emails.

A client of us asked us if more and more researchers are using their personal emails in their publications. To answer this question, we analyzed ~8,000 US emails from scientific publications in the past 6 years. The publications are all in the field of life sciences.

Fig 1. Email types for US researchers

As Fig 1 shows, ~95% of US researchers use their work emails (academic or government), ~3% use their personal emails. The remaining 2% is also work emails but they are from commercial companies (such as pharmaceutical companies).

Fig 2. Percentage of personal emails (US researchers)

To view the trend more clearly, we plot the percentage of personal emails. There seems to be an increase of the use of personal emails from 2% to 4%. The percentage of work email drops accordingly from 95% to 93%.

On the other hand, Chinese researchers are different. We analyzed ~4,000 Chinese emails from scientific publications in the past 6 years, and found Chinese researchers prefer to list their personal emails (e.g. xxx@qq.com and xxx@163.com) in their publications (55% vs 45%). However, we do noticed that there is an increasing trend of work email percentage in the past 4 years.

Fig 3. Email type of Chinese researchers

Popular personal email providers

In US, the top personal email providers are:


In China, the most popular personal email providers are:


Lesson Learned:

95% US researchers use their work email in publications; Chinese researchers prefer personal emails

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