A new metrics-related book focused on academic search engines

Bosman, J.M. (Jeroen) j.bosman at UU.NL
Thu Oct 9 15:40:13 EDT 2014

Isidro, Stephen, Enrique,

Thanks. I already downloaded the book and started reading. Hoewever I do not applaud the fact that MAS is coming to a standstill. I think it offers some very nice options and even unique things (ASAIK) such as the citation contexts. I also do not understand why it is necessary to have a single standard in order to be able to assess how the WWW revolutionizes the scholarly information system. Stephen, could you elaborate on why you think that is necassary? Could that assessment not include various parallel lines of development of these systems? And perhaps we already need an addendum to the book with today's news of the launch of Paperity.


Op 9 okt. 2014 om 18:23 heeft "Stephen J Bensman" <notsjb at LSU.EDU<mailto:notsjb at LSU.EDU>> het volgende geschreven:

Thank you for this information.  It simplifies matters.  At least MAS no longer needs to be taken into account, and we can focus on Google Scholar.  If we are going to make assessments on how the WWW is revolutionizing the scientific/scholarly information system, we have to have a single standard, and that is Google.  The problems are complex enough without the need to compare competitive systems.  Life was better and easier when the SCI was the single standard just as it was when peer ratings were the only standard


From: ASIS&T Special Interest Group on Metrics [mailto:SIGMETRICS at LISTSERV.UTK.EDU] On Behalf Of Enrique Orduña
Sent: Thursday, October 09, 2014 9:47 AM
Subject: Re: [SIGMETRICS] A new metrics-related book focused on academic search engines

Dear friends,

Interesting issues all of them. And of course I already purchased a copy of Ortega's book :)

As regards Microsoft Academic Search, and PoP software, we must take into account that MAS is completely outdated. This issue is detected by Ortega in his book. Moreover it was published by EC3 Research group by means of a working paper few months ago. A more in-depth analysis has been performed, which has been recently accepted for publication, where we study this drop of coverage according to disciplines, universities and journals.

Therefore, MAS cannot be used now for quantitative purposes. Additionally, the MAS API does not work properly with queries that return hit count estimates surpassing 1,000 results. And we can add finally all sometimes unknown legal considerations in the reuse of Bing results due to Microsoft copyright.

Finally, some official voices from Microsoft announced that MAS results will be integrated into Bing results, in an ongoing processs.

As regards Google Scholar, as Isidro said, "site" command may be used both in Google and Google Scholar. But be carefull, because search commands are changing in Scholar. For example the combination of "site" and "filetype" stopped working. In any case, site command in Google and Bing sometimes get us unexpected results in terms of coverage.



On Thu, Oct 9, 2014 at 4:32 PM, Stephen J Bensman <notsjb at lsu.edu<mailto:notsjb at lsu.edu>> wrote:

Thanks for the information.  I am looking forward to hearing from Jose.  He and I are already in close contact on these matters.  I definitely want you two to vet the paper we have done.  It should be ready soon.  I screwed up in posting in it on arXiv, and it may take a while to correct my stupidity of submitting the damn thing multiple times, because I did not know what I was doing.

You have already answered one of my questions.  The former Yahoo research engine was based upon AltVista, which defined documentary sets by words.  It was this system that Page tested and rejected as delivering incoherent, irrelevant sets.  Instead Page incorporated Garfield's theory of citation indexing, which defines relevant sets by linkages.  He strengthened this by also incorporating Narin's influential method.  Doing this delivered clearer more relevant sets than AltVista.  Multiple linkages are better at semantically defining sets that multiple token words.   If your book presents these facts, then I can strangle Microsoft Academic in its cradle, as Churchill once said of a certain political system that now seems to have come back into vogue.

I hope to get the book and hear from Jose.


Stephen J Bensman, Ph.D
LSU Libraries
Lousiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA 70803

-----Original Message-----
From: ASIS&T Special Interest Group on Metrics [mailto:SIGMETRICS at LISTSERV.UTK.EDU<mailto:SIGMETRICS at LISTSERV.UTK.EDU>] On Behalf Of Isidro F. Aguillo
Sent: Thursday, October 09, 2014 9:07 AM
Subject: Re: [SIGMETRICS] A new metrics-related book focused on academic search engines

Dear Stephen,


Sorry, I am not the author of the book. it was written by my collaborator and friend José Luis Ortega, also in this forum, so you can expect an answer from him soon.

But, I can give a few hints to some of your questions. Bing is using the technology of the former Yahoo search engine. I do not know exactly the way Bing works but my feeling is they are using visits as main criteria.
Probably there are far more variables involved, but number of visits play a similar role to links in Google`s PageRank. Of course, it is also possible links are also taken into account.

Microsoft Academic Search is a completely different animal. Really it is a traditional bibliographic database, but I must recognize that although they are using h-index, I am unable to understand the rankings they publish. To my knowledge, MAS and Bing are completely independent products. On the contrary, Google and Google Scholar are closely interlinked.

Regarding web indicators I use number of webpages under different levels of web addresses, like for example number of webpages in the webservers of your university


This syntax is valid for Google, Bing and even Google Scholar.

Best regards,

On 09/10/2014 15:36, Stephen J Bensman wrote:
> Adminstrative info for SIGMETRICS (for example unsubscribe):
> http://web.utk.edu/~gwhitney/sigmetrics.html
> Isidro,
> Thanks for writing this book-- Academic Search Engines: A Quantitative Outlook.  I am having LSU Libraries buy a copy of it, so you have sold at least one.  I hope that you have discussed the differences between how the Google and Microsoft search engines operate.  I understand how PageRank operates, but I do not understand how Bing operates.  All I know is that you obtain much better results with Google than with Microsoft, which seems to be quite new.  I have tested them both.
> For your information, Harzing has now interfaced her PoP program with Microsoft Academic as well as Google Scholar.  Now you can really run comparative tests between Google and Microsoft.  You seem to get better results with her PoP than with the Microsoft Academic site itself.  At least her rankings are much better, although it is quite obvious from her program that Microsoft coverage is much weaker.
> As a matter of curiosity, what metric did you use to measure the quantitative aspects?  You cannot use standard bibliographic classifications such as number of books, journals, journal articles, working papers, etc. etc., because I do not think that either Google or Microsoft can identify these.  The Web has no authority structure whatever.  You are not dealing with OCLC WorldCat.  It must be something like megabytes of data or something like that.
> We are finishing a paper on how Google Scholar operates.  I'd like you to vet it when we have it ready.
> Respectfully,
> Stephen J Bensman, Ph.D.
> LSU Libraries
> Lousiana State University
> Baton Rouge, LA 70803
> -----Original Message-----
> From: ASIS&T Special Interest Group on Metrics
> [mailto:SIGMETRICS at LISTSERV.UTK.EDU<mailto:SIGMETRICS at LISTSERV.UTK.EDU>] On Behalf Of Isidro F. Aguillo
> Sent: Wednesday, October 08, 2014 6:27 AM
> Subject: [SIGMETRICS] A new metrics-related book focused on academic
> search engines
> Adminstrative info for SIGMETRICS (for example unsubscribe):
> http://web.utk.edu/~gwhitney/sigmetrics.html
> José Luis Ortega. Academic Search Engines: A Quantitative Outlook.
> Elsevier, 2014. Chandos Information Professional Series ISBN
> 1780634722, 9781780634722
> http://store.elsevier.com/Academic-Search-Engines/Jose-Luis-Ortega/isb
> n-9781843347910/
> Academic Search Engines: intends to run through the current panorama of the academic search engines through a quantitative approach that analyses the reliability and consistence of these services. The objective is to describe the main characteristics of these engines, to highlight their advantages and drawbacks, and to discuss the implications of these new products in the future of scientific communication and their impact on the research measurement and evaluation. In short, Academic Search Engines presents a summary view of the new challenges that the Web set to the scientific activity through the most novel and innovative searching services available on the Web.
> Key Features:
> · This is the first approach to analyze search engines exclusively addressed to the research community in an integrative handbook.
> · This book is not merely a description of the web functionalities of these services; it is a scientific review of the most outstanding characteristics of each platform, discussing their significance with recent investigations.
> · This book introduces an original methodology based on a quantitative analysis of the covered data through the extensive use of crawlers and harvesters which allow going in depth into how these engines are working.
> José Luis Ortega (CCHS-CSIC) is a web researcher in the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC). He achieved a fellowship in the Cybermetrics Lab of the CSIC, where he finished his doctoral studies (2003-8). In 2005, he was employed by the Virtual Knowledge Studio of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences and Arts, and in 2008 he took up a position as information scientist in the CSIC. He now continues his collaboration with the Cybermetrics Lab in research areas such as webometrics, web usage mining, visualization of information, academic search engines and social networks for scientists.


Isidro F. Aguillo, HonDr.
The Cybermetrics Lab, IPP-CSIC
Grupo Scimago
Madrid. SPAIN

isidro.aguillo at csic.es<mailto:isidro.aguillo at csic.es>
ORCID 0000-0001-8927-4873
ResearcherID: A-7280-2008
Scholar Citations SaCSbeoAAAAJ
Twitter @isidroaguillo
Rankings Web webometrics.info<http://webometrics.info>

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