Stephen J Bensman
notsjb at LSU.EDU
Thu Apr 12 11:25:14 EDT 2012
Thank you very much. You have clarified many things for me. I will double check my data to make sure that Google Scholar is pulling from the Elsevier database.
If GS had been blocked from Elsevier, I would have considered it to have been crippled, because Elsevier publishes so many important journals. What you have stated strengthens the case for using Google Scholar. It also explains my findings. I am analyzing links to the publications of chemistry Nobelists, and my results with Google Scholar totally validate the findings of Eugene Garfield both in respect to his Law of Concentration and the importance of review journals in defining the paradigms of science. I am basing my analysis on a probability model that the number of links are determined by their probability and that this probability is determined by the importance of the thing being linked. Google Scholar is interesting because it allows an immediate connection from the cited to the citing, and you can actually see what is going on. It offers interesting insights on authorship structure, etc., broadening the perspective. In my opinion, all analyses of scientific importance are going to have to utilize GS if only to validate and broaden the perspective.
Stephen J Bensman, Ph.D.
Lousiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA 70803
From: filmenczer at gmail.com [mailto:filmenczer at gmail.com] On Behalf Of Fil Menczer
Sent: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 11:28 PM
To: Stephen J Bensman
Cc: ASIS&T Special Interest Group on Metrics
Subject: Re: [SIGMETRICS] Open access?
On Wed, Apr 11, 2012 at 1:53 PM, Stephen J Bensman <notsjb at lsu.edu> wrote:
> Three questions back to you. First, if I understand you correctly, then Google has a contract with Elsevier that allows its spiders access to the Elsevier publication database. If so, then I not only stand corrected but can rely more on the accuracy of Google Scholar data. In general, my research has shown that Google Scholar totally validates of the findings of Eugene Garfield on scientific journals in his Law of Concentration and importance of review journals. Google Scholar and WoS validate each other, which I find comforting. However, GS retrieves data in a fashion that provides insights that neither WoS or Scopus can provides because it retrieves further down the authorship structure and places these do not visit. If GS can fully access Elsevier journals, then why is that fearsome "web crawlers verboten" sign posted on the Elsevier SciVerse Web site.
Because they do not want just anyone to obtain their data by crawling and scraping their website. As they write, "customers or commercial entities are not allowed to "deep index" Elsevier Internet files except on a contractual basis where indexing rights have been defined". So the policy is directed at entities that, unlike Google Scholar, do not not have a contract allowing them access.
> Second, what the hell is an "API."
An Application Programming Interface is a way to obtain data from a web service, programmatically. See:
> Third, if Google Scholar can access the Elsevier publication database, then who in the hell needs Scopus, which costs a bundle? LSU has better places to spend its limited money than a redundant database.
Google Scholar allows end-users to query its index but does not give third parties the right to crawl/scrape/download/store/duplicate/mirror/index its data. As I mentioned, this is because of contractual obligations with publishers.
This is also why they do not provide an API (which would make it easy for third parties and researchers to get their data), and why services such as Scholarometer and PoP are client based. A server would be blocked as infringing on GS terms of service. The Scholarometer service allows end-users to share the data they get from GS with the community, which is done through the Scholarometer API. On the other hand, wIth Scopus for instance, you pay to get access to the data.
I hope this helps. All the best,
Fil -- bit.ly/filmenczer
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