Thursday, April 13, 2006

Microsoft Academic Search

Microsoft just announced their Academic Search, a direct competitor to Google Scholar. Scholar is incredibly useful at tracking down electronic versions of documents but using it to find bibliographic information can be frustrating. Here Academic Search shines, hold your mouse over an entry and the right pane gives the bibliographic information including abstract and you can also get a Bibtex or Endnote version. But actually downloading a paper requires more clicks than Google.

I tried some random searching and Academic Search is missing many papers. But it does index some Elsevier papers, where Google never got the rights. But there is a back door in Google via ACM. For example, do a Google Scholar search on Occam's Razor, click on the Blumer et. al. paper and it will bring up the ACM Digital Library page that indexes the Information Processing Letters article. Click on the DOI bookmark and it will take you to Elsevier's page.

In short Microsoft has the much nicer interface but not yet the breadth of articles. If your sole goal is to download the paper, better to use Google.

A little less related to academics, you might want to check out Google's just released Calendar. Looks impressive.


  1. This site has a really nice BibTex search:

    It has had BibTex for every paper for which I have searched that has been out at least a year.

  2. Holy mother of God, that sucks. Why can't I sort by citation counts, or some other notion of authority? Where are the forward and backward bibliographic links? The multiple document sources? Why can't I see the source URL (or even the file format) of the paper without attempting to download it? Why do the bibtex entries omit page and volume numbers, and what are those eight-digit years? Why does it truncate long titles and author lists?

    No. Just... no.

  3. Hmm, it appears to have just imported information from the ACM DL.

    I like the ACM DL best, but when I have to I'll use Google.

  4. >>No. Just... no.

    The product is in beta. :-)

  5. Thank you, Jeff. I tried the beta also, and had a similar reaction. Since Lance said it had the better user interface, I began to wonder if somehow the link from Lance's blog entry was wrong.

    I'll stick to Google Scholar for now...

    BTW, is citeseer still being maintained? It always seems a little out of date, or slow in being updated, but I like it too...