If you have a product or service and offer academic discounts, there's a good chance there's some manual component to the approval process. Perhaps
.edu email addresses are automatically approved because, for the most part at least, they're associated with American post-secondary educational institutions. Perhaps
.ac.uk email addresses are automatically approved because they're guaranteed to belong to British universities and colleges. Unfortunately, not every country has an education-specific TLD (Top Level Domain) and plenty of schools use
Swot is a community-driven or crowdsourced library for verifying that domain names and email addresses are tied to a legitimate university of college - more specifically, an academic institution providing higher education in tertiary, quaternary or any other kind of post-secondary education in any country in the world.
Pop quiz: Which of the following domain names should be eligible for an academic discount?
lsmu.com. Answers at the foot of the page.
Swot is a Ruby gem, so you'll need a little Ruby-fu to get it working. Simply
gem install swot
Or add this to your
Gemfile before doing a
- Ruby >= 2.0
Verify Email Addresses
Swot::is_academic? 'email@example.com' # true Swot::is_academic? 'firstname.lastname@example.org' # true Swot::is_academic? 'email@example.com' # true Swot::is_academic? 'firstname.lastname@example.org' # true Swot::is_academic? 'email@example.com' # true Swot::is_academic? 'firstname.lastname@example.org' # false
Verify Domain Names
Swot::is_academic? 'harvard.edu' # true Swot::is_academic? 'www.harvard.edu' # true Swot::is_academic? 'http://www.harvard.edu' # true Swot::is_academic? 'http://www.github.com' # false Swot::is_academic? 'http://www.rangers.co.uk' # false
Find School Names
Swot::school_name 'email@example.com' # => "University of Strathclyde" Swot::school_name 'http://www.stanford.edu' # => "Stanford University"
Contributing to Swot
Contributions welcome! Please see the contribution guidelines for details on how to add, update, or delete schools. Code contributions and ports to different languages welcome too.
Thanks to the following people for their contributions: @blutack, @captn3m0, @chrishunt, @johndbritton, @johnotander, @pborreli, @rcurtis, @vikhyat,.
Special thanks to @weppos for the public_suffix gem
- You can search by email and domain names only. You cannot search by IP.
- You don't know if the email address belongs to a student, faculty, staff member, alumni, or a contractor.
- There may be a few false positives, missing institutions... maybe even a couple of typos. Contributions welcome!
Please note: just because someone has verified that they own
firstname.lastname@example.org does not mean that they're a student. They could be faculty, staff, alumnni, or maybe even an external contractor. If you're suddenly getting a lot of traffic from websites like FatWallet or SlickDeals, you might want to find out why. If you're suddenly getting a lot of requests from a particular school, you should look into that too. It may be good business, word of mouth, or someone may have found a loophole. Swot gives you a high confidence level - not a guarantee. I recommend putting some controls in place or at least monitor how it's doing from time to time.
What is a swot?
According to UrbanDictionary
A word used by morons to insult a person of superior academic abilities.
[verb] To Swot; Revision undertaken preceding an examination.
[backronym] Stupid Waste of Time
Pop Quiz Answers
Hopefully, you'll be surprised by some of this:
||OK, this was an easy one so you could get at least one right|
||Prior to October 29th 2001, anyone could register a
||Alfred Nobel University is a Ukranian University in the Ukraine i.e. not in the USA
||Glasgow University in Scotland|
||The University of Zaragoza in Spain|
||The University of Saskatchewan in Canada|
||Lillehammer University College in Norway|
||University of Zenica in Bosnia and Herzegovina|
||Free University of Berlin in Germany|
||ECLA of Bard is a state recognized liberal arts university in Berlin, Germany|
||It's a soccer team from Germany|
||Lugansk State Medical University in the Ukraine|
If you verified this by visiting all of the websites, how long did it take you? Did you have fun? Imagine you had to do this 10 - 100 times every day. Now you know a little something about the inspiration for Swot. Swot can verify them all in a fraction of a second and remove a