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News about City University's open access repository, philosophical musings about Open Access

OR2012: Microsoft Academic Search

I’ve failed fairly miserably to blog about Open Repositories 2012, but here at least is something I’ve taken from the conference to work on here at City. This was from the session on ¬†Repositories and¬†Microsoft Academic Search presented by Alex Wade from Microsoft, and you can see a video of this presentation here¬†(it’s the first presentation).

Microsoft Academic Search is precisely what you might guess it to be- an academic search engine, in the vein of (e.g.) Google Scholar. Where it seems to offer added value over Google’s offering is its ability to build and enrich the data it holds, through wiki-like functionality, then to display this data in interesting ways. For example, here’s City academic Jason Dykes’ Citation Graph, showing the authors who have most often cited his work. The service also aggregates data at an institutional level- see for example City University London’s listing.

Where it gets interesting in repository terms is the ability to “seed” publication records with links to PDFs, for example those PDFs held in City Research Online, using the feature that allows you to edit the metadata of any record. I’ve experimented with doing this for the aforementioned Prof Dykes. The process is not quite wiki-like, in that there is a delay and verification before changes go live, but it seems to me that this is an easy way of pointing back to repository materials, and should also help with Google page rankings. There was also a commitment given, during Alex Wade’s presentation, that the Microsoft Academic Research team would be looking at automatically harvesting repository records to further enrich the service’s data, and to point back to the wealth of open access material held in repositories.

If anyone else has experience doing this, I’ve be very interested to hear about it!

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OpenURL revisited

Our Systems Librarian has been working away at integrating repository content into our OpenURL coverage database, and we’re at a stage where it looks to be working pretty well. This means that whenever someone finds an article the repository holds in a resource which supports OpenURL linkage (e.g. Google Scholar, Scopus, Web of Science, EBSCO etc.), they will be able to find their way to the full text item in City Research Online in just a couple of clicks.

For example, here’s a search in Google Scholar for a paper in City Research Online. Next to the citation information for the first hit (which is for the article itself), and depending on whether you have access to a link resolver, you should see a link. At City, it looks like this (click on the image to see an enlarged version):

Google Scholar screenshot

Hitting that link here at City runs a query against our Web Bridge resource coverage, which confirms that the repository holds the paper, and allows you to click through to the paper itself. I would be interested to know if this works for people at other institutions with OpenURL services- please leave a comment!

To maintain the repository’s coverage of repository resources, we’re going to do a monthly coverage upload of newly added material. There are also a few bugs to iron out, and we also need to decide if we should be trying to extend coverage to other item types (primarily book chapters and conference papers), since at the moment we’ve only uploaded journal article details.

This is a great development, and goes some way to properly integrating repository material into a variety of commonly used resource discovery tools. We expect to see a lot of hits from Web Bridge in Google Analytics, and it will be interesting to see exactly how many we receive via this channel. Finally, when playing around with Google Scholar to write this post, it looks like Scholar is (finally) indexing a good proportion of our material, which should also help get our material found!

Filed under: City Research Online, Systems, , , ,

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