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Tag Archives: SSRN
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).
- 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
- 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.
Frank Donnelly, Stephen Francoeur, Ellen Kaufman, Rita Ormsby, Ryan Phillips, Linda Rath
How Much Information
We watched this video featuring Martin Hilbert, a researcher at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism who recently co-published a paper in Science that estimated how much information we can store and compute. We also listed to an interview with Hilbert that was done on the journal’s podcast. The overwhelming scale of information available can be seen in this press release’s overview of the paper’s findings:
Looking at both digital memory and analog devices, the researchers calculate that humankind is able to store at least 295 exabytes of information. (Yes, that’s a number with 20 zeroes in it.)
Put another way, if a single star is a bit of information, that’s a galaxy of information for every person in the world. But it’s still less than 1 percent of the information stored in all the DNA molecules of a human being.
2002 could be considered the beginning of the digital age, the first year worldwide digital storage capacity overtook total analog capacity. As of 2007, almost 94 percent of our memory is in digital form.
In 2007, humankind successfully sent 1.9 zettabytes of information through broadcast technology such as televisions and GPS. That’s equivalent to every person in the world reading 174 newspapers every day.
On two-way communications technology, such as cell phones, humankind shared 65 exabytes of information through telecommunications in 2007, the equivalent of every person in the world communicating the contents of six newspapers every day.
In 2007, all the general-purpose computers in the world computed 6.4 x 10^18 instructions per second, in the same general order of magnitude as the number of nerve impulses executed by a single human brain. Doing these instructions by hand would take 2,200 times the period since the Big Bang.
From 1986 to 2007, the period of time examined in the study, worldwide computing capacity grew 58 percent a year, 10 times faster than the United States’ gross domestic product.
Telecommunications grew 28 percent annually and storage capacity grew 23 percent a year.
We also took a quick look back at a well known study from 2003 by Peter Lyman and Hal Varian about how much information existed.
We took a spin through Art Project, a new service from Google that uses its Street View technology to map out the interiors of art museums around the world (such as the Frick Collection) and that lets you zoom in incredibly close to art in those institutions (see, for example, Rembrandt’s “The Nightwatch” at the Rijksmuseum).
We talked about who owns copyright for works of art held in museum after reading this copyright notice on the FAQ page for the Art Project website:
Why are some areas or specific paintings in the museum Street View imagery blurred?
Some of the paintings and features captured with Street View were required to be blurred by the museums for reasons pertaining to copyrights.
We talked briefly about patron-driven acquisition of ebooks and about how services like Portico will allow us to access ebook content that we’ve licensed even if the provider goes out of business. Since Mike Waldman was unable to attend today’s Tech Sharecase, we agreed to hold off until a later meeting any discussion of the criteria that a librarian might use when deciding which format to purchase a specific book: ebook vs. hardcover vs. paper.
We took a look at how book records in the catalog for Johns Hopkins University connect to various web services that enhance the information normally available in a record: a search box for Amazon’s Search Inside the Book service, links to ebook versions that are freely available at Hathi Trust, Google Books, and much more. These enhanced records are powered by a piece of open source middleware called Umlaut.
A second edition of Planet Hong Kong: Popular Cinema and the Art of Entertainment was also a subject of discussion, as the author, David Bordwell, was selling the PDF directly after the university press that published the first edition let the book go out of print.
We poked around in SSRN, a repository of papers in the social sciences, to see how it ranked Baruch among other business schools whose faculty have contributed oft-downloaded papers.