Microsoft Academic subscription key

The Microsoft Academic subscription key dialog box appears when you choose the Tools > Register Microsoft Academic Key command from the Publish or Perish main menu, or when you click OK in response to the WARN_MAS2KEY message prompt.

The dialog box directs you to the Microsoft Cognitive Services web site to obtain a (free) subscription key from Microsoft, then lets you enter the subscription key for Publish or Perish to use. Publish or Perish then presents this subscription key to the Micosoft Academic server each time it performs a query.

The dialog box contains the following fields:

Field name Description
(main text field)

Instructions on obtaining a Microsoft Academic subscription key. Please follow these instructions to register for a subscription key, then copy and paste the resulting key into the Subscription key field below.

Note: Make sure that you obtain an Academic - Preview subscription key from Microsoft; other subscription keys are not valid for Microsoft Academic queries.

Subscription key Paste the subscription key that you received from Microsoft in this field so Publish or Perish can use it during Microsoft Academic queries. If you previously entered a subscription key, it will be shown here.
OK Click this button to enter the subscription key for use by Publish or Perish, then close the dialog box.
Cancel Click this button to dismiss the dialog box without updating Publish or Perish's copy of the subscription key.

Obtaining a key: Step-by-step instructions

[Please note that these instructions were current as of late March 2017. Microsoft may change its website format and registration procedure without prior notice. If you find this is the case, please inform me so that I can update these instructions.]

Although not difficult, the process of getting a Microsoft Academic subscription key requires quite a few separate steps. However, if you follow these steps to the letter, you should be ready to go in minutes.

Step 1: Go to the Microsoft Academic subscription key dialog box

Either choose the Tools > Register Microsoft Academic Key command from the Publish or Perish main menu (see screenshot), or click OK in response to the WARN_MAS2KEY message.

Step 2: Go to the Microsoft Cognitive Services web site

Click on the blue link "Go to the Cognitive Microsoft Services web site" in this window.

Step 3: Click on "Get started for free"

This should get you to one of these pages (there seem to be several variants depending on the location of the user). The important thing is to click on "Get started for free".

Step 4: Decide which account to use

Currently, there are three account options. As most academics have a LinkedIn account, I will use this option. However, apart from step 3 the process should be identical for the other accounts. Please note that if you do not have any of these three accounts, you will need to register for at least one of them before you can sign up for a Microsoft Academic key. 

Step 5: Sign in to your LinkedIn (or other) account

Sign in to your LinkedIn (or other) account using your normal email and password for this service. You might encounter an additional verifcation step from LinkedIn.

Step 6: Complete the email verification process

After signing in to your LinkedIn (or other) account, you should get this screen. The message about endpoints will most likely not be present after 15 April. Click on "Send email verification". 

You should then see this screen ("Email has been sent successfully") and receive an email at the email address used to sign into your LinkedIn account. This should contain a link that you need to click on.

Step 7: Select the relevant API key

After clicking on the link on the email, you should get to this screen. Click on "Get started for free"

On the subsequent screen (which might take a while to appear), check the box in front of "Academic - Preview"

At the bottom of the same screen, check the box to agree to the terms and click Subscribe

Step 8: Complete the registration process

Clicking on the Subscribe box in step 5 should lead you to this screen, which provides you with two keys for Microsoft Academic. Click on "Show" to show the keys. Click on "Copy" to copy them to a safe place.

Step 9: Enter the key in Publish or Perish

Now enter one of the keys in the field "Subscription key".

You should now be able to run Microsoft Academic queries without having to worry about keys ever again! If your key should stop working, you have one in reserve.