Most users of Google Scholar have been linked to a paper hosted on Academia.edu, a platform for sharing and finding research papers. However, Academia.edu (in addition to a slew of recent and controversial changes) has introduced what is essentially paid search. For example, you can still search papers by title, but to harvest the deeper and more broad results of full text search, you need to subscribe to the “premium” package (see below).
These changes have proven unpopular. Here’s what one writer had to say about the new fee, “this means the end of that medium.” I think that companies, like Academia.edu, are often more flexible that he implies. However, their introduction of paid search may well prove to weaken what, in times past, has been robust user support.