Monday, August 8, 2011

Computing Giants Launch Free Science Metrics

Nature (08/02/11) Declan Butler

Google and Microsoft recently launched free tools that will enable researchers to analyze citation statistics, visualize research networks, and track the most popular research fields. Google Scholar recently added Google Scholar Citations (GSC), which lets researchers create personal profiles showing all their articles in the Google Scholar database. The profile also shows how many times the papers have been cited, as well as other citation metrics such as the h-index, which measures the productivity of a scientist and the impact of their publications. Microsoft Academic Search (MAS) recently added a suite of tools, including visualizations of citation networks, publication trends, and rankings of the leading researchers in a field. Although Microsoft's platform has more features, GSC has a significant size advantage, which makes its metrics more accurate and reliable, according to researchers. MAS' content, which has grown from 15.7 million to 27.1 million publications between March 2011 and June 2011, is still a developing offering in the community, according to Microsoft Research Connections' Lee Dirks. "This is not about competition, this is about providing an open platform for academic research," Dirks says.
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