Open Access update

This article describes the growth in acceptance of open access journals and repositories and the economics of open access publishing.

Open Access: Progress, Possibilities, and the Changing Scholarly Communications Ecosystem By Abby Clobridge, Online Searcher (March/April 2014)

Of interest: “Their study, produced for the European Commission DG Research & Innovation, found that by the end of 2012, nearly half of all peer-reviewed, scholarly research published in 2008 was freely-available on the web in some form.”

Virtual Library on International Resources

VLWWW Virtual Library is still a resource to check.  This is as old as the Web itself and began as a “virtual library” of recommended resources on topics developed and maintained by academics.

Professor Wayne A. Selcher at Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania has been one of these experts. His collection is on International Resources.  He reports that it “now has over 2000 carefully selected, annotated links in 35 international affairs categories. It is frequently maintained and should be of use to, students, professors, researchers, and website visitors, among others.” Explore the collection at

This guide is a premier tool for finding the best resources related to international affairs, for digging into the authoritative resources in this specialty, and for getting out of the Google search trap.It will direct you to scholarly  journals, search guides, specialized search engines, news sources, and other web resources.   Unfortunately, the subject guide/directory is  a dying breed because of the labour needed to check, assess, and stay abreast.  Make use of this one while you can.

Google’s In-Depth Articles

Update: March 3, 2014 – In-depth-articles seem to have disappeared – possibly absorbed into the new style of Knowledge Graph that sometimes points to related articles

Google has added a filter for in-depth articles that makes it easier to explore them. These are articles on broad themes identified as higher quality.

Search Engine Land has a screen shot – Google Expands In-Depth Articles. (Dec 6)

Mostly, look for the articles at the bottom of the search results page, and, if you find them,  use links for Explore and for +More in-depth articles.  It’s hit and miss whether in-depth articles will show – none for information technology, but some for technology.

All Google Testing figured out a way to filter for the in-depth articles  — run the search – and add “&ida_m=1″ to the end of the query url (no quotation marks).  See the posting.

For example, search for Canada – you’ll see in-depth articles at the bottom of the page.  But to get them immediately modify the url —

EPI-Search as a Virtual Reference Librarian

Institute for the Study of Coherence and Emergence has created a search engine for researches to find more documents on a subject based on a block of text – EPI-Search.

On the sample search EPI Search draws from its own library, and on searches in Google, Google Scholar, Cite Seer, DeepDyve, JSotr and some others.

Search Engine Adds Context to Web Queries, Newsbreaks (Dec 3)

Of interest: “The Institute for the Study of Coherence and Emergence (ISCE) launched EPI-Search, a service it calls the internet’s first virtual reference librarian. EPI-Search is designed to provide the contextual expertise of reference librarians who have been replaced by internet searches.”

Good as this may be, I’d still like to talk with a human reference librarian.

Book digitization

Not often do we get an update on progress with book-scanning projects. Naomi Eichenlaub, at Ryerson University in Toronto, recaps the activities since 2004 (when Google Books began) and the issues with three large scale digitization projects – Google Books, HathiTrust, and Digital Public Library of America.

Checking In With Google Books, HathiTrust, and the DPLA, Computers in Libraries (Nov, 2013)

“Google Books and HathiTrust have been making headlines in the library world and beyond for years now, while a new player, the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), has only recently entered the scene. This article will provide a “state of the environment” update for these digital library projects including project history and background. It will also examine some challenges common to all three projects including copyright, orphan works, metadata, and quality issues.”

Scirus to close

This is very bad news – Scirus Says Goodbye.  Scirus search engine was created by Elsevier. It indexed web pages that were more scholarly and related to science (though not limited to science). Scirus was often better than Google Schola for results, and always (to this day) has had superior filtering aids. Closing is supposed to happen in 2014.  Ah – there was so much promise 10 years ago in the Internet supporting learning  – and then junk happened.

Updated CI guide

Sabrina Pacifici at has updated her guide to web resources on competitive intelligence — Competitive Intelligence – A Selective Resource Guide – Completely Updated – September 2013 / It’s a valuable resource for finding specialty sites and search engines. I quibble with a few choices – such as Exalead for search (not as fresh, doesn’t rank as well as Google, Bing or Duckduckgo), and any of the Infospace metasearch products (Metacrawler, Dogpile). And I would add Bing Video search and Bing Image search – both of which are challenges to Google’s. This guide is an excellent starting point for people new to legal and business research, and a refresher for those who are stuck on old favourites.

Future for Google Scholar

Horrible thought – What if Google Killed Scholar? by Max Kenman (Sept 18). Kerman sees signs of Google walking away from Scholar, but I don’t think so.

  • Google just expanded patents even though it is a specialty area.
  • Many libraries – academic, public, and other – employ Google search and link Scholar results to their collections.
  • It’s linked to Google’s book scanning programs.

Though it is true that Google doesn’t do much to promote Scholar.

Google Patent Search Comes to Canada

Google Patent Search now includes patents from Canada, China, Germany, and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), and can be translated thanks to integration of Google Translator.

Google’s Patent Search Engine Expands Global Footprint With Support For China, Germany, Canada & WIPO, Sarah Perz, TechCrunch (Sept 17)

Though Google has been quickly shutting down underperforming services across its network in recent years, Patent Search has seen steady improvement. Last year, for example, Google launched the  Prior Art Finder and added support for European Patent Office (EPO) patents.

Start at or

Use Search Tools to refine patents by time, patent office (ie Canada), filing status, type.

Google Patent Search - search results

Google Patent Search – selecting patents from Canada

There is an Advanced Search form –

Of course, patents are also part of Google Scholar Search.