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Academic Family Tree

Posted by Marcus Zillman

Academic Family Tree

The Academic Family Tree is a nonprofit, user content-driven web database that aims to accurately document and publicly share the academic genealogy of current and historical researchers across all fields of academia. As a modern web application, The Academic Family Tree leverages the knowledge of thousands of individual users into a single, self-correcting database. Access to Tree sites is free, and users are able to contribute content directly. The current project is an outgrowth of, an effort begun in January 2005 to document training relationships within the field of neuroscience and display them in an intuitive “family tree” format. Soon after Neurotree was established, they realized that mentorship in neuroscience draws substantially from other fields, and that the linkages between fields could be of as much interest as within-field data. They also received requests from researchers in other fields to help establish their own academic genealogies. In order to gather data for a unified academic genealogy, they developed a system that allows multiple genealogies–each one focused on a different academic field–to interface onto the same central database. Today, the database contains about 693,500 people and 611,900 connections between them, and it grows at a rate of about 640 people per week in a large, overlapping canopy of trees. Central to our success and continued growth is the collaborative nature of the project. Users share the benefits of an accurate and complete database, and this motivates them to help maintain it. We value this principle and believe that it must be followed for the project to continue to thrive. This will be added to Business Intelligence Resources Subject Tracer™. This will be added to Entrepreneurial Resources Subject Tracer™. This will be added to the tools section of Research Resources Subject Tracer™.

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