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October 06, 2005

Google Held the First Google Scholar Open House at Corporate Headquarters in Mountain View, California

Lois E. Smith, Google Scholar Open House, SSP News and Views, October 2, 2005. Excerpt:

"On September 14, Google held the first Google Scholar Open House at corporate headquarters in Mountain View, California. About 50 people attended, representing large and small commercial and noncommercial publishers, university presses, and other providers of scholarly publishing content. The purpose of the open house, according to Google engineer Anurag Acharya, is to "start a conversation" between Google and content providers and to share information about the status of, changes to, and near-term plans for Google Scholar. The morning featured presentations by John Sack (Highwire), Mark Doyle (American Physical Society), Peter Binfield (Sage Publications), Gordon Tibbitts (Blackwell), and Ted Freeman (Allen Press). Speakers reported on significant increases in traffic to journal content after Google began crawling it. Google referrals have vastly exceeded those from any other search engines, they reported. Most of the presenters have seen increasing numbers of referrals from Google Scholar in the 10 months since it launched, though not nearly as many as from google.com - at least not yet. Many of the morning presenters talked about challenges Google Scholar poses to publishers. These include lack of publisher branding within search results; the presence of myriad versions of the same work, some of which is free of charge versus by subscription or pay per view; and perceived bias toward more highly cited works in ranked search results because of the way Google Scholar's algorithm works. Some of these challenges also present opportunities for publishers, a few speakers noted. By working closely with Google, branding could improve, for example, making it more apparent to users which is the publisher's article of record. Doyle (APS) said one of the terms of its collaborative agreement with Google is that the APS-published article will appear first in the search results. Binfield (Sage) remarked that the combination of author self-archiving, institutional repositories, and Google Scholar poses a threat to non-open access publishers. He said it is in the interest of publishers to work with Google to increase the use of paid-for content....Google has automated the citation extraction process, though issues such as wide variation in citation styles and the propagation of erroneous citing make this challenging. Google attempts to normalize citations and facilitate ranking by grouping different versions of the same work. Google Scholar has grown by 66% in the last six months, Acharya reported, though he did not say how large the index is. Roughly, its coverage by category (in order of size) is 22% medicine, 14% engineering, 13% biology, 13% sociology, 12% physics, 7% chemistry, and 5% business. Query traffic has increased by 200% in the last six months, with the largest source countries being the United States (50%), the United Kingdom, Australia, and Germany....Recent changes in Google Scholar include coverage of institutional repositories (about 325 libraries)."

The article concludes with a very useful summary of the Q&A. If you are a publisher with a question about Google Scholar, your question is probably on the list.

Source: P.Suber. OANewsBlog (4/10/2005) [FullText]

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