City Open Access


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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Open Repositories 2012 – brief conference report

A couple of weeks ago I attended Open Repositories 2012 in Edinburgh. The conference is the big event for anyone interested in open access technology and policy, and it had over 450 delegates from more than 40 countries in attendance. It featured a packed schedule, and I’ll post further over the course of the next week or two with musings upon this. For far more comprehensive overviews of the conference, see the incredibly full accounts of various sessions from the conference’s in-house liveblogging team; Natalia from LSE Library’s posts (part 1, part 2); Nick from UKCoRR’s reflections; and Yvonne from Warwick’s thoughts.

In yet more shameless self-publicity, I gave a paper on the Friday morning of the conference in the Eprints User Group strand, immediately before hopping on a train back to London. It was on our set-up here at City, and the extent to which we’ve managed to integrate City Research Online with the rest of the University’s systems. You can see the abstract and slides in the open access repository, and I have also uploaded the slides to Slideshare.

Finally, a photograph, courtesy of Dave Puplett from LSE. It was taken at the Playfair Library, where a drinks reception was held. It’s of me giving the thumbs up to my favourite philosopher and doyen of the Scottish Enlightenment, David Hume.


One of these people is a renowned philosopher. The other isn’t.

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