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
.eduemail addresses are automatically approved because, for the most part at least, they're associated with American post-secondary educational institutions. Perhaps
.ac.ukemail 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.
npm install swot-js
Verify Email Addresses
var swot = require("swot-js")(); swot.check("email@example.com"); #Fachhochschule Stuttgart, Hochschule der Medien\n;
- 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 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.
Pop Quiz AnswersHopefully, you'll be surprised by some of this:
| Domain | Academic? | Comments | |--------|-----------|----------| |
stanford.edu|:heavycheckmark:|OK, this was an easy one so you could get at least one right| |
america.edu|:heavymultiplicationx:| Prior to October 29th 2001, anyone could register a
.edudomain name (details) | |
duep.edu|:heavycheckmark:| Alfred Nobel University is a Ukranian University in the Ukraine i.e. not in the USA :us: | |
gla.ac.uk|:heavycheckmark:|Glasgow University in Scotland| |
unizar.es|:heavycheckmark:|The University of Zaragoza in Spain| |
usask.ca|:heavycheckmark:|The University of Saskatchewan in Canada| |
hil.no|:heavycheckmark:|Lillehammer University College in Norway| |
unze.ba|:heavycheckmark:|University of Zenica in Bosnia and Herzegovina| |
fu-berlin.de|:heavycheckmark:|Free University of Berlin in Germany| |
ecla.de|:heavycheckmark:|ECLA of Bard is a state recognized liberal arts university in Berlin, Germany | |
bvb.de|:heavymultiplicationx:|It's a soccer team from Germany| |
lsmu.com|:heavycheckmark:| 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 :poop: part of someone's job.