Windows Live Academic Search from Microsoft is Live
Windows Live Academic Search (academic.live.com) has been released by Microsoft in seven different countries with the intention of helping students, researchers, librarians and university faculty search and conduct research across an index of academic journals. The project is a collaboration between the Windows Live Search, CrossRef team and 10 academic journal publishers such as Wiley and Reed Elsevier.
The content available via Windows Live Academic Search is peer reviewed and initially offers more than 6 million records from approximately 4,300 journals and 2,000 conferences for the concentrations of physics, computer science, and electrical engineering. Microsoft says that it is working with different organizations to bring a wider offering of scholarly material in the near future.
From the Windows Live Academic Search homepage: “Academic search works with libraries and institutions to search and provide access to subscription content for their members. Access restricted resources include subscription services or premium peer-reviewed journals. You may be able to access restricted content through your library or institution.
We have built several features designed to help you rapidly find the content you are searching for including abstract previews via our preview pane, sort and group by capability, and citation export.”
Windows Live gives a preview of the Academic Search results page with a rundown of details:
1. Slider Bar : A unique feature of MSN Search lets the end user expand or contrast the information and search relevancy variables in their query results.
2. Preview Pane : Windows Live Search gives the user the chance to preview the journal results in the right side of the result page (a bit similar to desktop email readers).
3. Abstract : This Preview Pane option lets the user view the abstract of the article they are previewing.
4. BibTeX/EndNote: Citation Options, allows the user to view the formatted citation (BibTeX or EndNote format) on the Preview Pane.
5. Search Results include links to the full page text articles, links to perform a web search for a specific paper and option to search a school’s library for that paper.
6. Sorting : The option to sort search results via author, journal, conference, date published or relevance.
Additionally Microsoft says that Windows Live Academic Search will also provide support for macros, which allow users to more finely tune their search results, and RSS so that consumers can be alerted when new information on a topic or author that they care about becomes available.
Windows Live Academic Search also provides a rundown on the search technology and may be including citations as a ranking factor (similar to the use of links or bookmarks to measure the authority of a site or source).
We are determining relevance based on the following two areas, as determined by a Microsoft algorithm:
* Quality of match of the search term with the content of the paper
* Authoritativeness of the paper.
Currently, we are not using citation count as a factor in determining relevance. Among the many reasons that led us to this decision was the fact that we wanted to have an accurate and credible citation count to be used in the relevance ranking. User trust of the relevance ranking algorithm requires a very credible, trusted citation count, and we will revisit the inclusion of Microsoft derived citation count in the relevance ranking algorithm at a later date as our technology improves further.
Windows Live Academic Search Partners:
Organizations working with Microsoft on the Windows Live Academic Search project include : Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the Association for Computing Machinery, Taylor and Francis, the American Institute of Physics, the American Physical Society, the Institute of Physics, Ex Libris, TDNet, Serial Solutions, Blackwell, Elsevier, Nature Publishing, British Library, OCLC and Wiley & Sons.
And Microsoft’s mission and commitment to Academic Search:
Microsoft believes that the academic community is of high importance. We have several initiatives where we are working with and helping to address the needs of the academic community. Consistent with this practice, we are committed to continuing to invest in improving Academic search.
“We are excited about continuing to innovate for the academic community.” said Danielle Tiedt, General Manager of Windows Live Premium Search. “By working with academic publishers and customers and understanding their needs we have been able to create a unique offering to the marketplace that is a win-win for consumers and for our content providers. Windows Live Academic Search is another example of our continued efforts to bring innovative search offerings into new categories. We are looking forward to hearing from our customers during this beta period which will help us improve upon what is available today.”