: my battles

I was the first trans person to change my name on already-published research papers. I didn't think I was the first when I did it, which helped.

I'm part of the Name Change Policy Working Group ( to make this easier for others. Many journals now allow name changes.

Google Scholar refuses to call trans authors by their names, or even talk to trans people. I made Google should either listen to us or shut down Scholar.

If you know a employee, ask them what they are doing to shut down Google Scholar.

It is one of the few places on the Internet where calling a trans person by their deadname is standard and expected. The other places are hate sites and the New York Times.

I focus on the "shutting down Google Scholar" option now, more than the "listening to trans people" option.

We know by now Google is terrible at listening to trans people that aren't Google FTEs, but they're very good at shutting things down.

@arborelia if there's one thing that Google's good at, it's shutting down services.

@arborelia And they’ve gotten considerably worse at listening to their trans FTEs over the years. 😮‍💨 (I was one of them in the past, before they starting doing tons of shit that was too far beyond my ethical line in the sand.)

@arborelia is this a problem with google scholar or with the papers they index? Asking as a trans academic with a publication in my dead name.

@celesteh you can change papers! NCPWG can help if you can’t figure out who to talk to, or if your publisher claims they don’t do that.

Google Scholar, however, will down-rank the updated papers in its search results and keep auto-generating citations of your deadname for years.

@arborelia that is extremely bad and I will stop telling students to use it. I don't know how else to search for papers in the arts and humanities.

@celesteh @arborelia If you're at a university your library would probably be delighted to make some suggestions!

At my own uni library for general/initial searches I'd go for our multisearch/discovery layer, then when I've got a good idea of keywords I'd head into more subject-specific databases and use the advanced search functionality.

(Whether/how quickly they honour name change requests probably depends on how the publishers pass info on, but at least they don't do page rank nonsense.)

@arborelia "hate sites and the new york times" oh, so... hate sites

@arborelia fuck that’s rough. i didn’t know that was happening with google scholar. it’s still the only google service i occasionally use. what would you recommend instead?

@chloe From most preferred to highest recall:

- something specific to your field (as an NLP researcher, I use

- Internet Archive Scholar (

- Semantic Scholar (

@arborelia It drives me up the wall that when you look for one of my papers google scholar will show my name and my old one

@Cyborgneticz and it probably ranks your results lower than cis people's, also!

@Cyborgneticz @arborelia i hazard a guess that cis people that changed their names don't get their papers edited to include their birth names or maiden names

@arborelia I read about this recently (I wonder if I read your work?) and I changed over to ResearchGate because of it. Super grateful to have learned about this!

@arborelia Thank you for collating this information. I'm really pleased to see that IEEE supports name changes without needing reason or proof. Such a shame that other publishers make it so hard.

@ingram I don't get credit for the web site, but I did work on getting IEEE to have a policy.

And if all these publishers can figure something out, why can't Google?

Holy moly

Thank you for the resources and information! And... Thank you for being a trailblazer!

Good information to know, @devononabike. Scholar is such a large part of academia that I think we need to start discussing this.

@arborelia I had no idea Google Scholar was like this, used it a bunch during uni. That sucks and it's insane that they haven't fixed this by now. But then again, Google as a corp can be a piece of shit when it wants to.

Why not ignore google and use alternatives? Then usual behaviour will occur: service closed due to lack of customers (sorry, advertiser noticed decline in visitors)

@arborelia Thanks for paving the way! Seeing Nature's policy for name changes was one of the little things that made me think: huh, I can do this! (transition)


This is bone-headed.

Curious, do they change names for people when they get married? Because if they will do that but won't do this it's even worse.

(an if they don't change names after marriage either that's effectively sexist.)


Thank you! I am part of a small collective that runs an academic CS journal and conference. We just ditched our commercial publisher and are starting to DIO. We’re trying to put systems in place to handle this, such as keeping the LaTeX source for each paper.

The thing that worries me is the compilation tool chain. How, in 10 years, say, can we be sure we can recompile a paper?

@google considers itself the god of the internet. They don't believe they are capable of doing evil but they do little else.
They are the greatest support of Putin and things like him. They are enablers of murderers and molesters and conservatives.
They are filth.

@arborelia did you try to invoque the GDPR (and specifically the article 16)? Even if It doesn't apply to you because you are not in Europe, if a single person does it from EU, then they will have the tools to do it.

I’m not a shithead so I obviously support all that you are doing here - also google are being full cruel with this policy.
One question I have (and tried to find answers to but failed 😞) is what the policy recommendation is for someone searching for a dead name if they don’t know the author’s name now?

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