Google Scholar – journals and citations

Google, to my amazement, produces Google Scholar Metrics (GSM) for authors to use to ” gauge the visibility and influence of recent articles in scholarly publications” (From FAQ). It shows for a journal its five-year h-index and h-median metrics. These are measure of journal impact. The h-index ” reflects both the number of publications and the number of citations per publication” (Wikipedia). Searchers may use these lists to identify journals that Google Scholar has indexed, the articles and number of times cited. Current data is for 2015.

But GSM shows only a small portion of the journals. Enter Journal Scholar Metrics from EC3 Research Group: Evaluación de la Ciencia y la Comunicación Científica. Universidad de Granada. It displays data for Social Sciences and Humanities (SS&H) journals included in Google Scholar Metrics (GSM). Journals are classified by subject and country. For Canada, as an example, there are 210 jounrals listed showing the h-index and with links to Google Scholar content.

Decline of e-pubs on scholarly resources

There are fewer and fewer e-publications with updates on scholarly resources and grey literature. The team at DocuTicker says FarewellDocubase closed Februrary 2016. The “team” continues to run the for-fee subscription based jinfo – formerly Freepint (which stopped being free several years ago). It carries reviews of information products and other articles of interest to information professionals.

For receiving updates on an eclectic range of sources and materials, Gary Price (who had founded both DocuTicker and ResourceShelf in the early 2000s) and Shirl Kennedy are still doing excellent news roundups at infodocket, at the Library Journal. They describe the service as offering “…information industry news, useful websites, search tips and tools…and occasional commentary.” Follow the blog or pick up the Twitter feed.

The sister site FullTextReports that is mentioned as providing “new and free full text reports from think tanks, governments around the world, research institutes, academia” as of 2015 is no longer being updated. StatFountain for statistically-focused reports is also in pause mode as of October 2015.

It’s regrettable that these marvellous services for scholarly researchers and information professionals have fallen on bad times, but free as a business model doesn’t pay the bills.

Semantic Web – publishing revolution

Semantic web suggests that a web search engine can “understand”  content enough to match that to an understanding of searcher needs.  Today, the concepts or technologies of the semantic web are being applied in the development of databases and huge knowledge vaults..

What’s New With the Semantic Web by Donald Hawkins (Information Today, March) notes points from a keynote address by Matt Turner (CTO for media and entertainment at MarkLogic).

The startling paragraph indicates that semantic linkages will change publishing and information delivery:

“We have moved from publishing form-based prod ucts to a dedicated infrastructure in which products are created from databases of information. The semantic web plays a major role in such activities. Semantics are a good way to organize disparate data, so we must think about a new class of information. Data helps us understand customers, authors, and specialized subject areas. The use of semantic data is one of the biggest changes in our industry.”

Several major digitizing projects and their data models are mentioned.

Digital Public Library of America for Genealogists

Amy Johnson Crow, a certified genealogist, offers novice and professional genealogists tips, resources, and recommendations through her website. In this posting she zeroes in on the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) as center providing free access to vast materials in archives and libraries across the United States.

A Growing Source for Free Genealogy: Digital Public Library of America (Jan 13)

A short, 7 minute video, will introduce you to the use and potential of DPLA.

Digitizing early newspapers

many countries have digitization programs for their newspapers. The DPLA in the US is investigating making access to all papers from one place.

DPLA Announces Knight Foundation Grant to Research Potential Integration of Newspaper Content, DPLA

In other countries — “Other national digital libraries including Trove in Australia and Europeana have undertaken efforts to make full-text newspaper discovery a priority. Europeana recently launched Europeana Newspapers by aggregating 18 million historic newspaper pages. The intent of the DPLA staff is to engage the state newspaper projects, as well as Trove and Europeana Newspapers, over the next year as we consider the viability of a US-based newspaper aggregation. DPLA will also engage with the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) community to discuss how IIIF may play a role in centralized newspaper discovery.”

What’s Canada doing?

Google Scholar and OAPEN

Google Scholar is indexing Open Access books at OAPEN, nearly 2,500 in number.

Google Scholar Indexes Open Access Books, Press Release, Knowledge Unlatched (October 28, 2015)

Read more about it at Knowledge Unlatched – starting with this excerpt from the page about benefits to readers.

Knowledge Unlatched has made it possible for anyone in the world with an Internet connection to read books published through the Knowledge Unlatched project for free. A PDF Open Access version of unlatched books has been posted on OAPEN and HathiTrust immediately upon publication. The Open Access version does not not carry DRM restrictions.

Semantic Scholar

Semantic Scholar is a new search engine that uses machine learning to extract concepts. For now its corpus has computer science papers.

Academic Search Engine Grasps for Meaning, Will Knight, MIT Technology Review (Nov 2)

Etzioni says the goal for Semantic Scholar is to go further by giving computers a much deeper understanding of new scientific publications. His team is developing algorithms that will read graphs or charts in papers and try to extract the values presented therein. “We want ultimately to be able to take an experimental paper and say, ‘Okay, do I have to read this paper, or can the computer tell me that this paper showed that this particular drug was highly efficacious?’”

GDELT Project

Imagine being able to conduct  data analysis of 3.5 million books. This may now be possible through the GDELT Project. GDELT stands for Global Database of Events, Language and Tone and has been capturing world events in a very large dataset.

3.5 Million Books 1800-2015: GDELT Processes Internet Archive and HathiTrust Book Archives and Available In Google BigQuery, The GDELT Project (Sept 12)

More than a billion pages stretching back 215 years have been examined to compile a list of all people, organizations, and other names, fulltext geocoded to render them fully mappable, and more than 4,500 emotions and themes compiled. All of this computed metadata is combined with all available book-level metadata, including title, author, publisher, and subject tags as provided by the contributing libraries.