In any case, I'm happy to see that Google continues to enhance Google
Scholar with new features. These are some of the new features and things
I've learnt about Google Scholar lately.
1. Google Scholar's new UI
of the changes aren't really major (e.g. replacing text of "save" and
"cite" with icons) but I miss the easy access to advanced search the old
search or even how to access it , so overall it might be a ok trade-off,
though it takes two clicks instead of one to access the advanced
resolvers, various extensions that rely on Google Scholar via scraping
such as Publish or Perish , Google Scholar button, so this is still a relatively minor layout change.
2. Get recommendations of related works of other scholars' worksOfficial change announcement.
For a long time Google Scholar had a odd gap. As arguably the largest
scholarly index in the world, with perhaps the largest number of users
of any scholarly search engine, it was well posed to use all this data
to create a fantastic recommendation system. Add Google's famed machine
learning and it looked like a no-brainer.
But it was only in 2012, nearly 8 years after launch that Google Scholar added a recommendation system.
And as you might expect, the recommendations are excellent. While other
recommendation systems for scholarly material exist (e.g. BX
recommender, Mendeley's, various publisher based ones), none in my
opinion are as broad ranging or timely as Google Scholar for the reasons
Still there was a curious gap. The recommendation system only gave recommendations based on the works already in your Google Scholar profile.
The flaw here is obvious, what if you were working in a new area you
haven't published formally yet? Arguably this is exactly when you have a
greater need of the help of a recommendation system.
I wanted a feature where I could put a set of articles into Google
Scholar and it would give recommended articles over time. One crazy idea
I had back at the time was to create a brand new fake Google Scholar
profile , load it up with works of articles I'm interested in , keep the
profile private and leverage on the recommendations provided.
Unfortunately this doesn't work, because the Google Scholar profile has to be public before recommendations appear.
Another way that probably works is to exploit the fact that papers
deposited into ResearchGate, preprint servers do appear in Google
Scholar and hence can be added to your profile fairly quickly. So you
could example, create a quick working paper (with citations to works you
know of) and deposit it in a institutional repository or preprint
server that is indexed by Google Scholar. Add those into your Google
Scholar profile and wait for recommendations to appear. But this still
seems really forced and do you really want to mess up your profile just
to get a few recommendations?
So the new feature added by Google is much appreciated. While you still
cant add any arbitrary set of articles, you can go to any Scholarly
profile and choose to follow the author's new works, citiations and most
importantly articles related to the author's research.
It's not super clear to me if it just
sends new articles via email or whether it updates the recommended
articles list you get within Google Scholar, I suspect the former and
technically articles shown this way are alerts not recommendations?, but
it's still useful.
3. Google citation profile improvements - allows one time export to ORCID
filled up with their works (no doubt partly because Google makes it so
easy , particularly with auto or semi-auto updates and partly becuase
they reason the profile increases their visibility), but are reluctant
to spend the time to get their ORCID profile populated.
continue to update future works, hopefully by other automated ways (e.g.
via Journal crossref links, from CRIS/RIMs etc).
try to group together authors by institutions. So for example when you
search for the name of an institution in Google Scholar, you get
something like this.
your institution, to complement the lists you get from Web of
Science/incites or Scopus/Scival.
number of results, and neither can you gauge it by looking at the number
of pages in the results list and you can only go forward page by
4. Scraping of Google Scholar to create network diagrams/ Bibliometric networks
into the system. You can of course search for specific papers by title.
Citations" and it will use Google Scholar's "search within citing
articles" feature to see if the articles in your set of papers are
(OA) vs. non-OA articles in the same journals. D-lib Magazine, 10(6)."
articles automatically. All these searches are done in a popup window,
if the volume is too big , Google Scholar will throw up a captcha for
you to solve and it will then continue.
shows coauthorships and citations. Here's my first toy example, using
papers I cited in a recent working paper.
it does show the structure I expected with 2 main clusters - one around
LC smith (1981) (old paper on citation analysis for library collection
evaluation) and one around Eysenbach (2006) , a well cited early paper
on citation advantage. I would have thought they would not be connected
at all (particularly since I remove Eugene Garfield's seminal
publications) but they still seem to be linked indirectly.though an
author who cited both.
I have spent some time doing so playing with more complicated networks
like publication & author networks, using modularity to identify
clusters of works. I'll probably blog about this in a separate blog post
next time, but for now I'm very intrigued.
How useful are such networks for researchers?
those new to the field to help them see how their research fits into
existing research, and see connections they wouldn't otherwise have
the reader get a sense of where the current piece of article sits?
recommendations from Google Scholar etc already implicitly do that?)
useful? e.g. Is this useful only for thesis with over 50 references (or
better yet include everything in your reference manager not just what
you cited)? Would most researchers find that these network graphs only
reproduce clusters they already intuitively know or provide some
my field. (to see if it helps orientate me better in an area I'm not
capabilities and the newer incites and scival also provide mapping
capabilities though often at the higher level meant for research
Still I suspect scraping from Google Scholar might give richer results
due to the much large scale of Google Scholar compared to say Scopus.
Also given the popularity of Google Scholar has a discovery tool, one
might find relying on other tools such as Scopus to create networks
might risk missing too many works found via Google Scholar.
It's good to see Google continue to improve Google Scholar, while we may
not know when Google might decide to abandon Google Scholar , the
recent spate of improvements are a good sign it won't be anytime soon.
Posted 1 week ago by Aaron Tay