Version 4.6 (November 2019)

Release Notes tell you what’s new in Academic. As always, we welcome your feedback. You can also file a bug report. Want to update to this version? Refer to the update guide in conjunction with the parameter changes mentioned in the Breaking Changes section below.

See what’s new in Academic!

Welcome to the epic v4.6 release of Academic. There are a number of exciting updates in this version that we hope you will like, including:

  • Based on your feedback, there’s now an option to disable linking authors to their profile page
    • To disable author links, add link_authors = false to the Advanced (or root) section of your params.toml
  • Improved robustness of search to handle diacritics (accents) and Chinese/Korean/Japanese languages
  • New background image options for Widget Page sections
    • image_size can be set to cover (default), contain, or actual size
    • image_position can be set to any valid CSS background position including left, center (default), or right
    • image_parallax makes the fun parallax-like fixed background effect optional by setting to true or false
  • Integrated Google Tag Manager, allowing for very powerful analytics without needing to modify any code
  • The Google Analytics integration now uses the modern gtag.js approach and only collects data in production (your live site)
  • A person’s social links can now be shown in the People widget
    • See Breaking Changes section below
  • The semantic address format can now be localised
    • For example, US sites can use the US address format and Chinese sites can use the Chinese address format.
    • A default address_format can be set in params.toml (see Breaking Changes section below), which can be overriden on a per page basis using a parameter of the same name in a page’s front matter.
    • Optionally, multilingual sites may wish to add a default format for each site in languages.toml.
  • Mention users in content using the new Mention shortcode
    • To mention someone, type {{% mention "username" %}} where username corresponds to a user account in Academic.
  • Significant speed up in page load when using math due to upgrade from MathJax v2 to v3
  • Apply live day/night update on system prefs change (no need for refresh)
  • Redesign of mobile-first menu
    • On mobile, position toggle on left and logo in centre (adopt standard)
    • Show Search, Day/Night, and Language icons in mobile menu bar
    • Add option to align menu items to left, centre, or right (see Breaking Changes section below)
    • Add option to remove logo image/text from menu (see Breaking Changes section below)
    • Add automatic menu dropdowns on mouseover for desktop
  • Significantly improved search relevance for queries containing diacritics or Chinese, Korean, and Japanese languages

Breaking changes

Hugo Extended v0.58.3+ is now required.



To help guide you through the upgrade process, you can view the changes to the demo params.toml file by opening the link, clicking the Files Changed tab, and then searching the page in your web browser for changes to the exampleSite/config/_default/params.toml file.

Changes to address formatting

  • list_delimiter removed from params.toml
  • address_format added to the Regional section in params.toml:
    # Address format (choose from the [address_formats] list below or add you own to the list).
    address_format = "en-us"
  • [address_formats] added to the end of the Advanced section in params.toml:
    # Available address formats.
      en-us = {order = ['street', 'city', 'region', 'postcode'], delimiters = [', ', ', ', ' ', '']}
      en-gb = {order = ['street', 'city', 'region', 'postcode'], delimiters = [', ', ', ', ', ', '']}
      zh = {order = ['postcode', 'region', 'city', 'street'], delimiters = [' ', ' ', ' ', '']}

Changes to main menu options

The menu_align_right option has been removed and the following main_menu options have been added to the Advanced section of params.toml.

# Main menu alignment (l = left, c = center, r = right) and logo options.
main_menu = {align = "l", show_logo = true}

If you wish to use Google Analytics or Google Tag Manager, then add the following at the end of the file, including your associated tracking code:

## Marketing
  google_analytics = ""
  google_tag_manager = ""

Note that the old googleAnalytics option in config.toml is still supported, but may be deprecated in a future version.

GA now only tracks users on your live production website. Hugo’s default environments are development with the hugo serve command and production with the hugo command. You can explicitly set the environment to production with HUGO_ENV or Hugo’s --environment option. If you deploy with Netlify, check that your Netlify settings in netlify.toml are similar to the latest Netlify settings in the Academic Kickstart template.

Due to the changes in GA implementation, we recommend testing that your analytics are still working as expected. If they are not, check that your production environment is as described above and check that your URL in your GA admin panel matches your site’s URL.

If you choose to use GA via Google Tag Manager instead (google_tag_manager), it will override the direct GA implementation (google_analytics) to prevent tracking each user twice.

Linking Authors

Under the Advanced (root) section, you can optionally add the option for linking authors (default is true):

# Link authors to their profile page? (true/false)
link_authors = true

New approach to applying custom style (CSS)

  1. Create the assets/scss/ folder if it doesn’t exist
  2. Create a file named custom.scss
  3. Add your custom CSS code to the file you created and re-run Hugo to view changes

The old plugins_css approach in params.toml is now deprecated.

People widget

If you are using the People widget, then you’ll need to upgrade your settings. User Groups have moved under [content] and additional options have been added under [design]:

widget = "people"  # Use the People widget
headless = true  # This file represents a page section.

# ... Put Your Section Options Here (title etc.) ...

  # Choose which groups/teams of users to display.
  #   Edit `user_groups` in each user's profile to add them to one or more of these groups.
  user_groups = ["Principal Investigators",
                 "Grad Students",

  # Show user's social networking links? (true/false)
  show_social = false

  # Show user's interests? (true/false)
  show_interests = true


  • Moved social share buttons below content


  • fix: Widget page: filter by tag/category breaks if there’s a space in the tag/category name
  • fix: Talk page: do not display ’event’ field if it’s empty
  • fix: Hugo v0.58.0 breaks RSS template
  • fix(publication): DOI link not shown if it’s the only link
  • fix: console error when clicking back_to_top button (did not affect Back To Top functionality)
  • fix: don’t show address in Contact if it’s an array of empty strings
    • An alternative is to comment out the address in Params if it’s unused

Thank you

Last but certainly not least, a big Thank You to all the folks that helped to make Academic even better.

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