Today marks the tenth birthday of Google Scholar. In anticipation of this celebration, the Google Scholar team has been disseminating more information about what the idea behind Google Scholar is, and how they see the future. Since I wrote a blog post titled “What if Google killed Scholar?” a little over a year ago, an update with answers from Anurag Acharya himself is worthy of a new post.
A while back ago I wrote that linking collections is the way to go for digital libraries. Indeed, we see that digital libraries are moving in this direction. For example, Europeana’s plan for 2014 is to shift their priorities from portal to platform. Besides the ability to develop tools on top of linked data platforms, this shift introduces the possibility of semantic search, where the search engine has a certain level of understanding about the concepts in the search query. Thus far, search engines such as Google and Bing have worked by indexing text in webpages without a real understanding of what they mean. Now both are working on semantic search, but in very different ways.
Ever since Google demoted Scholar from the products bar, people have become anxious as to whether this is a sign that it will be discontinued. This feeling has only strengthened since the demise of Google Reader, which proved that Google is not afraid to discontinue services with (pretty) large and devoted audiences. Why would Google discontinue Scholar, and what would be the consequences?
In the summer of 2012, we held a survey amongst scholars, inquiring about their online search practices. The results of this survey were presented in September 2012 at the Digital Humanities Congress Sheffield, titled “Mapping the Use of Digital Sources Amongst Humanities Scholars in the Netherlands“. This August, we hope to publish a (first) paper about the results of this survey in the then launching online journal Studies in the Digital Humanities. This journal will be Open Access, additionally we will make the manuscript available Open Access at the Erasmus University Library RePub, and will publish the survey data Open Access at DANS. I’ll provide the links later on the Publications page.
This paper was co-authored with Martijn Kleppe and Stef Scagliola. Below I provide the abstract we submitted, which undergo some modifications before publication.