The nice little niche search-engine ctrlQ: RSS Search Engine displays “full URL” RSS feed links, as part of the search results. Another, Search4RSS is similar. Not sure if they just do basic RSS autodiscover, or if they’re also delving deeper looking for .rdf, .rss links etc. It would be great if this functionality was also in the main Google Search results, perhaps via a Greasemonkey script?
Beta Gateway to Research, a unified search tool for all projects funded by the various UK research councils since 2006. Daily Mail hacks are no doubt having a field day with this one…
A handy new combo list of the open ejournal titles included in PubMed, Scopus and the ISI Master Journal List. Since PubMed and ISI are overwhelmingly medical/science, the list is probably largely a lookup table for open access arts and humanities titles in Scopus…
Languages and Literatures: 280
History and Archaeology: 198
Philosophy and Religion: 162
Communication and Information: 145
Arts and Architecture: 137
General and Multidisciplinary: 43
Total of the above, at Dec 2012: 965.
As for the omitted Web of Science, the last I heard was that at the end of May 2011 the Transforming Scholarly Communication blog had posted a list (my .xls version) of all open access titles in WoS, showing that…
“The Web of Science database (including Arts & Humanities Citation Index, Science Citation Index, and Social Sciences Citation Index) now indexes close to 1,000 peer-reviewed open access titles”.
But I just found a paper published in 2012, “Challenges for open access journals”, which gave a figure of… “864 open access journals” in arts and humanities in Web of Science.
Inside Higher Ed has a useful summary of new large-scale research on “How Readers Discover Content in Scholarly Journals”.
“Google Scholar: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly“, a short free Powerpoint from the University of Leeds in the UK. It’s a useful up-to-date summary, but I’d worry about the document’s opening claim that Google Scholar has… “Almost 100% coverage of journals from partner databases and publicly available TOCs”. A casual glance at this statement may mislead people into assuming that Google Scholar has complete coverage. It doesn’t. As I’ve said before, it is rather poor at including the contents of large numbers of open access arts and humanities ejournals.
I hear that Questia is to… “relaunch this summer with an all-new updated look and feel”. Questia is a low-cost commercial buffet-style online research library, aimed at students. It claims to be… “the world’s largest online collection of books and journal articles in the humanities and social sciences”.
Incidentally, I also note that Open J-Gate hasn’t come back online after five months away — it went offline in February 2012 and is now just a holding page. Does anyone know if it’s likely to be coming back?
The Getty Research Institute has announced the Getty Research Portal…
“a free online search gateway that aggregates descriptive metadata of digitized art history texts, with links to fully digitized copies that are free to download.”
Launch date is the 31st of May 2012.
A new paper, “A study of the information search behaviour of the millennial generation” [those born between 1982 and 2000]. The paper found; erratic information search processes; only limited attempts to evaluate the quality / timeliness / validity of information found.
How Consumers Discover Books Online, a Feb 2012 presentation at O’Reilly TOC 2012, by the CEO of GoodReads…
“Otis Chandler, CEO of Goodreads, would like to provide an in-depth quantitative and qualitative analysis of consumer behavior in discovering books online. Who is searching for books online? What are their personas? How are they discovering books? How many are they discovering, and how many do they go on to read? Are there strong influencers? What factors can help a book get discovered online? How is the picture different for books in the head vs the long tail?”
The Google Desktop Search software became officially defunct toward the end of 2011. But one can still download the last 5.9.1 version, and it happily installs and indexes and searches the full-text of your content. For instance, a folder full of Gbs of PDF encyclopaedias and journal articles, ebooks, etc, presenting results in a familiar Google Search interface. Note the indexing has to be manually started by you, and this is done by right-clicking the taskbar icon and selecting “reindex”…
But if you need a personal desktop search product that’s being supported and developed, perhaps due to the need to index a new file-format, then the alternatives are…
* the free ad-supported Copernic Desktop Search. Well-reviewed and mature software. Can be a bit aggressive in its initial indexing, but then it works quickly and intuitively. There is also a Copernic Desktop Search Professional Edition. The best everyday replacement for Google Desktop Search.
* dtSearch Desktop (£119, PC World review from 2011). A very mature and powerful software, although the price of $199 will likely make it unappealing to personal users. The dauntingly powerful interface will also likely make it unappealing to small business users.
* the new X1 Desktop Search. The X1 website’s main landing page seems to be positioning the X1 range for the corporate market.
* DocFetcher 1.1 is a Java-based desktop search software, that’s open source and free. It’s been around since 2009, but doesn’t seem to have any genuine reviews (that I could find). Supports indexing of Open Office file types.
* the free built-in Windows 7 search. Although now tamed, and no longer the fearsome disk-grinding Windows Vista incarnation, in my view turning on Windows Search still makes a desktop PC too slow. Especially if you run a PC stuffed to the top with legacy files and emails.
Effective File Search (freeware)
Ellen Collins and Michael Jubb. “How do Researchers in the Humanities Use Information Resources?“, Liber Quarterly, Volume 21 (2012), No.2.
The Public Domain Review has a new online leaflet, A Guide to Finding Interesting Public Domain Works Online.
The Web’s biggest pirate galleon has just announced a new search category: “Physibles”, a fancy name for digital 3D objects…
“Data objects that are able (and feasible) to become physical. We believe that things like three dimensional printers, scanners and such are just the first step. We believe that in the nearby future you will print your spare sparts for your vehicles. You will download your sneakers within 20 years.”
Google 3D Warehouse has of course being quietly doing something very similar for some years now. All their models are free (inc. commercial use) too, but legit. They even give you awesome software, Google SketchUp, for free to manipulate and alter the objects.
A report on JISC Discovery 2012 (11th Jan 2012).
The paywalled JSTOR service is set to offer 70 of its 1,400 journals for free, albeit hedged around with restrictions. But…
“if it works out, JSTOR says, it could expand the program to most or nearly all of the database” […] says it has been turning people away from seeing an article 150 million times a year”
The service already offers public-domain articles (before 1923) for free.
Some interesting new data mining projects are shortly to get underway. They’re aimed at making ‘smart’ software bots that make life easier for researchers…
* automated tracking/mapping of topic lifecycles, across all forms of scholarly discussion
* automatic identifying of common forms of argument used in different disciplines
* software to automatically generate Dewey Decimal Classification-based tags from existing repository metadata
* software to automatically generate links to texts discussing the same persons, places and events
I’d say No.3 has a good chance of success.
An interesting new Nov 2011 journal article…
Sian Evans, Hilary Thompson, and Alex Watkins. “Discovering Open Access Art History: A Comparative Study of the Indexing of Open Access Art Journals” (PDF full-text link).
The researchers found 30 art history titles listed in the DOAJ directory. They then looked for the presence of these in Art Full Text, ARTbibliographies Modern, Art & Architecture Complete, and Bibliography of the History of Art / International Bibliography of Art. They found that only 6 of the 30 DOAJ titles were being indexed by these commercial databases. But half the time the actual full-text article was still inaccessible…
“50% of the time [in the commercial databases] there was no indication that the article could be read for free, nor was the full text provided”
By contrast, Google Scholar indexed 15 of the 30 DOAJ art history titles, and provided handy click-through links to full-text articles, albeit at the price of jumbling them in among results from a host of paywalled results drawn from commercial databases, Google Books, and the like.
Of course, JURN indexes all 30 — and the JURN Directory currently links to more than 60 titles in the art history category. Plus journals in museology and heritage conservation, and also the wider collection of history journals.
It was also interesting to read in the article that…
“No study regarding the indexing of open access journals has yet been conducted in the arts”.
Is there really not a single librarian, or even an OA advocate, in the entire world who is or has been interested in such matters?
Sadly, the authors find that…
“the vast majority of open access art scholarship remains undiscoverable for specialists in the field.”
Published at the end of September 2011, the book College Libraries and Student Culture: What We Now Know (ALA Editions). This from the Inside Higher Ed coverage of the research in the run-up to publication…
“… the Illinois researchers found something they did not expect: students were not very good at using Google. They were basically clueless about the logic underlying how the search engine organizes and displays its results. Consequently, the students did not know how to build a search that would return good sources. (For instance, limiting a search to news articles, or querying specific databases such as Google Book Search or Google Scholar.) Duke and Asher said they were surprised by “the extent to which students appeared to lack even some of the most basic information literacy skills that we assumed they would have mastered in high school.” Even students who were high achievers in high school suffered from these deficiencies, Asher told Inside Higher Ed in an interview.”
Seriously, they were surprised? Surely anyone who teaches undergraduates could have told them this?
Aaron Saenz at Singularity Hub has an excellent long analysis of why anyone would want to give Academia.edu an injection of $4.5m of venture funds (which they just did). The payoff seems to be the ability for large research investors to spot leading-edge emerging trends and topics in the crunched statistics. Statistics that can potentially stream out from sites such as Academia.edu, arXiv.org, Mendeley, and ResearchGate. And, as noted here on the JURN blog, Microsoft’s academic search seems to be headed the same social-network-y way, albeit at Microsoft’s usual glacial pace. Google Scholar responded nippily to Microsoft’s changes just a few days later. Such social networking -based data extractions have dangers, of course, in terms of pushing research funding further toward a lurching playground-like game of “follow my leader”. I daresay that process happens informally anyway, at conferences and in forums, but one has to worry about the valuable proto-research that might get trampled underfoot (or quietly whisked off to China) in such tech-accelerated stampedes.