First impressions of Google Scholar citations

A first feedback, although it’s not open to everyone, yet. Since I heard about this upcoming service some time ago, I tested Google Scholar again, and I have to say I am very impressed with the progress they acomplished, the results seem to be much more relevant and precise. I stoped using it 2 or 3 years ago, Scopus becoming my favorite source.  I might reconsider it.

Wikipedia article traffic statistics

Just discovered this site, where you can get the traffic statistics for individual wikipedia articles. A list of the most consulted articles has been computed (not up to date, though), but I am more interested in the traffic of highly specialized articles, like scientific ones. An example of alternative metrics ? I long for the day when we will replace the impact factor with the usage factor.

(Soure: Hacker News)

Computing giants launch free science metrics

Hope for a free alternative to Scopus or WoK ? Will this only be a metrics tool ? If that’s the case, I don’t really care…. What they (Google and MS) need is to improve the accuracy of their database and search tools; I have always found Scopus to be far more accurate and relevant than Google Scholar, so far. I’m curious to see how it evolves.

I was not aware of the Microsoft Academic Search. Materials science is not covered yet, alas.


Papers 2.0

Out today. Completely rewritten from the ground up, with lots of much needed and welcome improvements. Check out the website for the complete list of new features and improvements. Worth mentioning: Papers is becoming more and more a document manager, in addition to a reference manager, you can now store many different file formats. Papers is  taking advantage of all the underlying technology of Mac OSX, the user interface is a delight to use (the opposite of Endnote, if you ask me). The integrated search tools (up to 25 search engines combined) are certainly a great time saver. The deal-breaker will be the integration with word processing document, which is where I find Endnote still superior, so far. We’ll see how it goes. I also hope they finally improved the metadata extraction (that’s what they claim), which is where Mendeley really shines.

Alas, as I am bound to a PC in the lab, I am turning to Mendeley as my sole reference manager software. It syncs seamlessly between computers at home and in the lab. I only using Papers on the iPad to carry my papers with me, but keeping two libraries up to date is a pain. The annotation tools are keeping me with Papers so far. I’ll switch to Mendeley for iPad when:

  • I can sync all my library without paying additional fees (my library is larger than the 500Mb free limit, with around 800 papers), and access it without a network.
  • Annotation tools are added on the iPad version, and sync with the desktop version.

Competition is welcome in this domain anyway. If I was the Endnote developers, I’d be really worried.


A new take on commenting papers.

citeulike+disqus mashup. Find abstracts and comment on them.

I can’t see it going very far right now, but it’s a good start. It’s scanning the citeulike database to get the abstracts and is using the Disqus commenting engine. I am not sure how a decentralized system like this could be convenient for the users. The main problem I see with it is having the comments separated from the paper. They also need to reach a critical mass of users to make it worthwhile. What I would like to see is using Disqus (or something equivalent) directly with the publishers, or with the major databases (Scopus, Mendeley, etc…).

Nature papers for rent

From their press release:

Readers can now view selected NPG content on the DeepDyve platform. Access to a single article for a 24 hour period is available for $3.99


Thirty-day and annual subscriptions are available. For Nature, access via the iPhone app is available for $9.99 for 30 days or $79.99 a year. Access to the other titles is $8.99 for 30 days or $69.99 a year. Subscriptions are paid for through the iTunes store.

I have mixed feelings about this one. The pricing scheme is definitely lower than purchasing individual papers, but I usually want to keep a copy (pdf) of interesting papers I came across. A read-only 24hrs access should be $0.99. Makes me wonder how many institutions do not have access (understand: pay subscription) to the NPG journals. The other good news is the iPad app launch, coming soon. I wonder if they are going to take advantage of the tablet format, or if this is going to be a more or less straightforward interface of the NPG website. We’ll know soon enough.