Microsoft Academic Research

December 7, 2009

Microsoft’s answer to Google Scholar is publicly available at I saw the service in 2006, but then I lost track of it. I saw a post in Research Shelf in late October 2009. I fiddled with the system today (December 5, 2009) and found it useful. There are more than three million research papers accessible via the system. For a full run down of the service’s features, navigate to “Here they Come Again? Microsoft Research Launches Academic Search Database (Beta)”. I am not a scholar and some of the functions won’t be of much use to me. My test queries for various Google wizards and technologies were in line with what my team has gathered over the years. Here’s what a query for Ramanathan Guha generated:

academic research

The tabs across the top of the page slice the data by authors, conferences, and journals. I looked at the results gathered under each tab, but for my work, these were not particularly useful. The related authors listings were interesting. My particular approach is to read the abstract and look at the list of authors, paying particular attention to the order in which each is listed in the source document.

The system–object-level vertical search research–was responsive but there was none of the value added hyper linking that is now being used in Google’s legal collection.

When I ran a query for “Jeffrey Dean”, I got some false drops and hits that pointed to authors named “Dean” working in fields unrelated to computer science.

My view of the service is that it is useful. I would use the service, but it would not be my starting point. My own collection of Google information struck me as more conclusive. When researching academic content, I need to be able to jump to patent documents by a particular author and access Web log posts by the individual whom I am researching.

The content seemed okay for the technical fields in which i have an interest, but I was not able to determine how frequently the index is being refreshed. I have some newer Google technical papers I downloaded directly from the repository. Microsoft may want to make some changes to its crawler. I think Google does a better job of indexing Microsoft than Microsoft does of indexing Google.

Stephen Arnold, December 7, 2009

Listen up. I was not paid to write this blog post. I wish to report its status as a freebie to Lead Hazard Control (Housing and Urban Development Department).


2 Responses to “Microsoft Academic Research”

  1. guest on December 27th, 2009 8:19 pm

    it seems this site is update recently, with “paper/citation” trend, and other features.

  2. guest on December 27th, 2009 8:20 pm

    > I was not able to determine how frequently the index is being refreshed

    it seems the content is updated weekly.

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