An academic in fannish terms is a college professor or high-school teacher who teaches classes in science fiction or fantasy and may do research in the field, or a librarian with a special interest in the genre. A few study fandom.

Many academics are fans or pros. Within fandom, the term academic does not, however, refer to members of the sf community who teach in other fields, such as science or engineering.

An academic track often features in the programming at larger cons and some have offered educational credits to participants. The Science Fiction Research Association holds an annual conference as well.