Tag Archives: Google Scholar

Tech Sharecase, 7 February 2014

We had 8 attendees at today’s meeting.

Microsoft Academic Search vs. Google Scholar

Louise Klusek lead a discussion of the ins and out of these two services, how they stacked up against each other, and how they compared to Bearcat Search and Web of Science. Before today’s meeting, we had taken a look at this article from Science:

Bohannon, John. “Google Scholar Wins Raves—But Can It Be Trusted?.”Science 343.6166 (2014): 14-14. full text available

Here’s a summary of sorts of what we talked about (please add any comments to this post if I forgot something important).

Microsoft Academic Search


  • Visualization of publication histories, author networks, citation networks
  • Keywords that are given their own pages in the service where you get definitions, display of related keywords, publication history for that word, and more (check out this example for “information need”)
  • Citation metrics for articles (for example, see this record for an article by Brenda Dervin and Patricia Dewdney)
  • Links to PDFs and publisher’s record (the PDF links will only work if you are on campus or you are off campus and have authenticated yourself by using a library resource earlier AND we happen to have access to that publication)
  • Browse top authors, journals, keywords, and organizations (i.e., institutional affiliations of authors) for any discipline (e.g., library science)
  • Nice author profile pages (e.g., Brenda Dervin)


  • Theoretically more transparent than Google Scholar about what is indexed, but we had still had lots of questions
  • No connection to our SFX /Find It service that allows off campus users to gain access to content we have licenses for (Google Scholar has this in the form of “Find Full Text at Baruch” links next to items on the search results pages)
  • Limited subject metadata

Google Scholar


  • Familiarity
  • Ease of use
  • Interdisciplinarity (this is true of Microsoft Academic Search, Bearcat Search, and, to a lesser extent, Web of Science)
  • Items in search results page feature “Find Full Text at Baruch” links that connect to our SFX service
  • Article-level metrics


  • “Find Full Text at Baruch” links only work if you connect to Google Scholar from our databases page, or if you are on campus, or if you have first authenticated by connecting some other library resource earlier in your browsing session
  • Students have a hard time figuring out the type of source from the search results page (is it a book, a book chapter, an article, something else?)
  • Lack of subject metadata
  • Author profile pages aren’t automatically created (e.g., none for Brenda Dervin)

We talked also about the problem of article-level and journal-level metrics in these products, noting that the numbers rarely agree. Although we didn’t look at an example during the meeting, consider this difference in the way that Brenda Dervin/Patricia Dewdney article is counted:

Louise shared this Northwestern University Libraries guide to citation analysis in case anyone wants to delve into the topic more deeply.

On the topic of bibliometrics, we talked a bit about the popularity here at Baruch of SSRN, which provides data at the author level and the article level.


There was a lot of interest in having another Tech Sharecase in which we answered each other’s questions about how to do things in Excel. If you have anything you’d like to be able to do in Excel, just post it here as a comment so we can look into it before our next meeting.

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Tech Sharecase, 22 June 2012

At the Tech Sharecase today, we discussed a variety of topics while beating the heat with popsicles.

LibX Toolbar
Mike Waldman and I are about to launch a free toolbar that offers Swiss Army knife array of tools from within the browser (see the image below for details on some of the features).

This summer, we’ll first announce the beta version of the toolbar to library staff, then do some usability testing, and when the final version is ready, publish a LibGuide about it. We also hope to find a way to have it installed on campus desktop and laptop computers. Feel free to download it now and install it in Firefox or Google Chrome (note: admin rights are not necessary to do this).

The Digital Media Library
We took at a look at the Kaltura software the library may use to replace the homegrown system that powers the Digital Media Library. We also talked about Baruch’s content on iTunes U and YouTube (where the college and the library have their own accounts).

Author Profiles in Microsoft Academic Search, Google Scholar, and WorldCat Identities
We took at look at the different way that authors are profiled in these three services, noting that Microsoft Academic Search and Google Scholar have citation counts and an h-index for each author. WorldCat Identities only offers profiles of authors as book authors (their articles aren’t included). Both Google Scholar and Microsoft Academic Search allow authors to log in and update or correct the info in the profiles that have been set up for them (for Google, go here, and for Microsoft, go here)

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Tech Sharecase, 20 January 2012


Janey Chao, Arthur Downing, Stephen Francoeur, Jin Ma, Rita Ormsby, Linda Rath, Mike Waldman


Arthur led a demo of ooVoo, which is web conferencing software that the college has a campus-wide subscription to. You can use it for web-based:

  • one-to-one phone calls
  • one-to-many phone calls (conference calls)
  • one-to-one video chats
  • one-to-many video conference calls

The software includes screen sharing, which lets you show live what is on your screen with anyone you are having a video chat or video conference call with.

Another great feature is that you can initiate a phone call or a video chat with people who don’t have even have an ooVoo account. Instead, you send them a special URL that invites them to call/chat with you via the web. Once that other person clicks that link, they are asked to type in their name, and then click a button that will notify you via ooVoo desktop software that someone’s trying to reach you.

This software might be useful for:

  • faculty office hours
  • distance/online education
  • meetings with other librarians in CUNY and beyond

To get the ooVoo software installed on your work computer, you’ll need to contact the BCTC Help Desk.

QR Codes

Linda mentioned her use of QR codes on her profile page in the LibGuides system. When scanned with a smartphone, the code will send Linda’s contact information into the user’s address book. She used the i-nigma service to create the original QR code. Stephen talked about his use of bit.ly to create a short URL for the library’s customized Google Scholar link:


In bit.ly, each short URL that you create gets its own tracking page in your bit.ly account that gives you stats on the use of that short URL and also gives you a QR code for the URL in case you wanted to share that as well.

Usability Testing on on the New Library Site

Stephen described the first round of usability testing that was recently completed on the new library site (10 students performing three, pre-defined tasks each). We watched a video from one of the tests to get a sense of what usability tests look like and to see how one student reacted to the new site. Changes will be made to the redesigned site based on this round of tests and will lead to a second round of testing.

We talked about a model of testing that web design expert Steve Krug recommends in his 2010 book, Rocket Surgery Made Easy: The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Finding and Fixing Usability Problems. Krug suggests doing monthly tests with just three test participants. Instead of having a single observer watching and taking notes of what transpires between the test participant and test moderator, he argues for setting up a conference room filled with interested parties (web developers, etc. for that site being tested) who watch the tests live, take their own notes, and then convene after the testing session to come up with a list of top things to fix. According to a recent blog post by Matthew Reidsma, a web services librarian at Grand Valley State University, he’s started doing testing in this very manner and recommends it.

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