It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Google Scholar. It has transformed how I do research. After Google Reader shut down (I still mourn it) a lot of academics were worried that Scholar might be next on the chopping block.
That fear seems to be over with a major, major announcement that Scholar is partnering with one of, if not the, other heavy hitter in the academic search market, Web of Knowledge. And, as the article notes, this could be just the beginning. Other scientific databases might start to play nice.
Not long ago, David SHotten wrote:
In this open-access age, it is a scandal that reference lists from journal articles — core elements of scholarly communication that permit the attribution of credit and integrate our independent research endeavours — are not readily and freely available for use by all scholars.
This announcement by two private companies could either mark the start of greater availability to scientific literature than ever before, or it could mark the start of greater efforts to make citations into a product to be controlled and sold. I am hoping it will be the former, since you can’t this sort of complex data integrated in a way that is useful to users without considerable effort. Making the citation data open might be a logical step for the companies, and maybe their product would move more towards thinks like analysis tools.
PubMed vs. Google Scholar
Google Scholar profiles
Finding self-published papers
The terrifying death of Google Reader
Thomson Reuters-Google Scholar Linkage Offers Big Win for STM Users and Publishers
Publishing: Open citations
Picture from here.