Microsoft Academic Search

I think MS’s academic search portal has been around a while, but it’s new to me, tipped by Never Ending Search, a blog on libraries I read.

It’s got some tasty features, including graphs of citations, and those ever-present citation clouds, that don’t always seem to mean much but sure are purty.

Their list of features:

Academic Map: Navigate geographically through organizations and authors in a specified domain.
CFP Calendar: Search for conferences you may be interested in by domain, time and location.
Domain Trend: Visualize the research trends i n computer science through an interactive stacked area chart.
Organization Comparison: Juxtapose two organizations and compare their citation counts, keywords, top authors and more.
Co-author Graph Display which researchers have the most collaboration with a particular author–in a kind of degrees of separation visual
Co-author Path: Display how two researchers are connected via their co-authors.
Genealogy Graph: Display the advisor and advisee relationships of a particular researcher.
Paper Citation Graph: Discover which publications have cited a particular publication.

Also new (to me at least) is Mendeley, a citation manager tricked out with social network gizmos. It would be interesting to know what the actual pick up on these tools is, and whether it varies by discipline? They are neat, but there seems to be a lot of overhead for using them, and wouldn’t scholars like creating their own “workflows” for lack of a better word? The research “texture” of humanities sources, as well as the setting–grand old library reading rooms, for instance–is part of the pleasure. A database of PDFs isn’t quite as rewarding.

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