Introducing Microsoft Academic

Microsoft Academic

The Microsoft Academic search tool is an open discovery service for scholarly scientific works including citation relationships between works, authors, institutions, places, and subject fields.

Microsoft is quietly developing an open discovery service for scholarly scientific works called Microsoft Academic based on Microsoft Research’s Microsoft Academic Graph (MAG).  This search database will function much like Web of Science and Scopus in linking paper citations to aid in discovery.

To build the MAG, Bing technology crawls the Web looking for “publisher websites, university repositories, researcher and departmental web pages, etc.” which then get analysed for content and citations.  If papers are determined to be scholarly works, they’re added to the MAG.

Microsoft Academic search: BIBFRAME

Microsoft describes the service in their FAQ:

This new service puts a knowledge driven, semantic inference based search and recommendation framework front and center. In addition, a new data structure and graph engine have been developed to facilitate the real-time intent recognition and knowledge serving. One illustrating feature is semantic query suggestions that identify authors, topics, journals, conferences, etc., as you type and offer ways to refine your search based on the data in the underlying academic knowledge graph. You can also refine your results using the filters on the search results page. Since we are built on top of Bing’s web crawling infrastructure, we are able to discover and index new academic papers in a more scalable manner. We now have over 150 million entities and billions of relationships in the Microsoft Academic Graph and growing!

Microsoft Academic results: BIBFRAME

Search results can be filtered by date range, author, affiliation, field of study, journal, and conference.  Users can choose to include news items or limit results to scholarly works.

The underlying MAG data is available for download or accessed via the Academic Knowledge API.

It remains to be seen if Microsoft Academic can develop the features to rival Google Scholar.  Three features would go a long way towards that goal.  The service should allow libraries to register so that search results can contain custom links including institutional authentication such as a proxy URL prefix.  Microsoft Academic could add its own altmetrics by gathering results from Bing crawling the Web and social media sites.  A simple tool to add citations to Microsoft Word documents would be a way to set Microsoft Academic apart.  But its open, non-commercial platform with downloadable data and APIs makes it a search service to watch.

Preview Microsoft Academic at https://academic.microsoft.com.

What’s in the Library Technology Toolkit?

I got a new computer at work last week.  Before that happened I backed up my documents and configuration files.  I also made a list of my installed applications to be reinstalled on my new system.  I thought I’d post the list to show what’s in the computer toolkit of a typical Electronic Services Librarian.

Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2016

Install Office 2016 on your PC

The standard office suite of programs.  We just got access to Office 2016 so I am testing it with our ILS (Voyager) and learning its new features to help staff when they upgrade.  I’ll also look for any new integration features with SharePoint.

Adobe Master Collection CS6

Adobe Master Collection CS6

From this suite, Dreamweaver and Photoshop get used on a regular basis. The main library website uses a content management system, but we still have some standalone sites that are built using individual HTML pages. Dreamweaver is useful for those.  Photoshop is used on an almost daily basis to edit photos, graphics for the website and social media, screenshots for instruction, library signs, and more.

Adobe Acrobat X Pro

Acrobat Acrobat Pro is used to create, edit, and convert documents to PDF. Most of the documents we upload to our institutional repository and staff intranet are in PDF form, so this tool is essential.

Notepad++

Notepad++

Sure, you can edit code in Microsoft Notepad, but I prefer Notepad++ for its added benefits.  Features include color-coded text based on syntax, collapsible code sections, code autocomplete, enhanced find and replace, and multiple files in tabs (with file history memory).

You can download Notepad++ for free.

Snagit

Snagit Markup ExampleSnagit allows you to take screenshots and capture video, then mark them up with highlighting, boxes, arrows, speech bubbles, etc.  This program is really useful for creating tutorials on using a website or piece of software.

WinSCP

WinSCP is a free FTP program.  I use WinSCP to transfer files to various webservers, download export files from our ILS, and upload bibliographic and holdings record files to vendors.  It also features a built in PuTTY terminal function to connect to and execute SSH commands on remote servers.

You can download WinSCP for free.

Prish Image Resizer

Prish Image Resizer

This simple utility installs to Windows 7 and can batch resize photos right in Windows Explorer.  Select photo(s), right-click and select Prish Resizer. The app gives a few options for photo size and location to place the resized files.  A similar feature with fewer options is included in Windows 8 and Windows 10.

You can download Prish Image Resizer for free.

Malwarebytes

Malwarebytes

Malwarebytes is a free anti-malware program that is easy to down and install.  I run it periodically on my own computer, but also use it to find and clean up suspected malware on other staff computers.  It one of the utilities I keep on my USB drive when helping staff troubleshoot and fix issues with their computers.

You can download Malwarebytes for free.

Library Communities on Slack

Slack

You may have heard of Slack, perhaps mentioned on social media, but unless you’re a technical librarian, you’re probably not using it. Yet.  There currently are just a few librarian communities on Slack but it seems to be a welcome alternative to social media groups for the technical savvy librarians.

Slack was created to allow private teams to collaborate.  So you won’t find an index or search engine on the Slack website to find teams.  However, many coder communities have sprung up which are more open in nature.  You can use third-party sites to find them. We will maintain a list of them as they are created.

With all Slack sites, you’ll need to request access.

Slack LibUx ChannelsSlack team sites are divided into custom channels. Channels are topic threads. Each site comes with a #general and a #random channel by default.

In addition to normal textual messages, you can drag-and-drop in files, documents, spreadsheets, PDFs, and links.  You can react to others and set notifications.

Of course, Slack allows you to search the entire archives.

Slack also allows members to chat via direct messages.

The free version of Slack allows for unlimited members but a limit of 10,000 messages (with older ones disappearing from view and search).

Get the Slack app for Android and Apple devices.

Library Communities

code4lib

Even though code4lib has its own website with IRC and a wiki, much daily conversation takes place in its Slack site.  code4lib has over 500 users and 24 channels including the code4lib IRC channel.

code4lib can be found at code4lib.slack.com.
Request access at goo.gl/forms/p9Ayz93DgG.

Datalibrarians of Florida

As you can tell by the name, this Slack community is aimed at technical librarians in Florida.

Datalibrarians of Florida can be found at fladatalibs.slack.com.
Request access in the Florida Databrarians Facebook group.

LibApps

The LibApps Slack site was started recently as an alternative to the official Springshare Lounge.  It has over 150 members and 16 channels covering all Springshare apps and more.

LibApps can be found at libapps.slack.com.
Request access in the “Slack Team for LibApps” thread in the Under the Hood group in the Springshare Lounge.

LibTech

The LibTech Slack site is brand new!  It is less technical than code4lib and broader than LibUX, covering all library technology topics.  If you want to learn what Slack is about, come join this group as a founding member.  Help us reach critical mass and suggest some appropriate channels.

LibTech can be found at librarytech.slack.com.
Request access at erau.libsurveys.com/LibTech.

LibUX

The LibUX site is perhaps the most active of the library Slack communities with over 200 members discussing library user experience topics in 13 channels.

LibUX can be found at libraryux.slack.com.
Request access at libux.herokuapp.com.

Check for new additions on our Social Media Resources for Librarians page.

Altmetrics: Basics and Resources

Altmetrics are “alternative metrics” to measure the influence and reach of scholarly output on the Web through peer-review counts, influential news sites and blog posts, citation manager bookmarks such as Mendeley, Wikipedia citations, and social media mentions on sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

Why understand altmetrics?

Altmetric ScoreAltmetrics go beyond the traditional citation metrics to take into consideration how scholarly output such as journal articles and research datasets are being cited and shared by others on the Web in order to measure influence. They are meant to complement tradition metrics, not replace them.

Altmetrics counts (and scores) are updated much more quickly than traditional citation counts so are especially helpful with “hot topics” getting mainstream attention where citation counts can lag by months and even years.

The Basics

Altmetrics are basically counts of mentions and links to scholarly journals and datasets from reputable news sites (and aggregators) and blogs, peer-reviewed sites, reference managers, and major social media sites.  The company Altmetric uses a weighted score with a Twitter post counting as 1 point, a news article counts 8, a blog is 5, and a Wikipedia link is 3. Sources counting less than 1 point include Facebook and YouTube at 0.25 point and LinkedIn at 0.5.

Wiley added altmetrics to Wiley journal articles in the Wiley Online Library in 2014.  Elsevier added Altmetric scores Scopus in 2012 and to ScienceDirect in a pilot project in late 2013, but in 2015 switched to their own altmetrics system for ScienceDirect and Scopus.

We are seeing altmetrics incorporated into several library products. Two of the most prominent companies, Altmetric and EBSCO’s Plum Analytics, provide altmetrics to vendors for inclusion in services such as discovery tools and institutional repositories.

ProQuest Central Altmetric BadgeIn October 2015, ProQuest announced the addition of Altmetric badges to 360 Link and ProQuest databases.  On the abstract page of some scholarly journal articles in ProQuest databases will be displayed an Altmetric badge with basic details of the article’s reach on the Web.  Users can click through to see the complete details page [Altmetric.com version].

In February of this year ProQuest added altmetrics to its Summon service for free.  Libraries using Summon simply need to turn on the feature.  If available, search results will show an Altmetric score.  Hovering over this button (see below) shows more detailed counts.  Like above, users can click through to see the complete details page.  This same information can be displayed in the right-side preview panel.

Summon Search Results Altmetrics

Plum Analytics’ PlumX Metrics integrates with institutional repositories and categorizes metrics into five separate types:

  1. Usage – clicks, downloads, views, library holdings, video plays
  2. Captures – bookmarks, code forks, favorites, readers, watchers
  3. Mentions – blog posts, comments, reviews, Wikipedia links
  4. Social media – +1s, likes, shares, tweets
  5. Citations – PubMed Central, Scopus, patents

Unlike Altmetric, PlumX does not give a score.  At the bottom of the abstract and information page, PlumX displays a count of these metrics by category with a link to see details.

PlumX Institutional Repository Summary

Impactstory is another service providing altmetrics.  Its focus is on individuals who want to learn the impact of their research output. It’s an open-access website which you can access with an ORCID.

Resources

Here are some great online resources to learn about altmetrics:

Altmetrics: a Manifesto – Definitive post from altmetrics.org.

#altmetrics – Twitter hashtag.

Against the Grain – Link to the article “Altmetrics: Documenting the Story of Research” (2016).

arXiv – Link to the article “Altmetrics in the wild: Using social media to explore scholarly impact” (2012).

Impactstory blog – Link to blog post “4 things every librarian should do with altmetrics” (2014).

Mendeley Altmetrics Group – A group to “discuss new approaches to the assessment of scholarly impact based on new metrics.”

NISO Altmetrics Initiative – Project to create standards and best practices for altmetrics.

Here are some popular books about altmetrics:

Altmetrics by Robin Chin Roemer and Rachel Borchardt

AltmetricsThis title is actually an issue of Library Technology Reports from ALA Tech Source.  The report “outlines both the promises and major obstacles faced by the field of altmetrics” as well as covers the librarian’s role in providing education and support of altmetrics. Published in 2015.

View details and find a place to buy or borrow at Google Books.

Altmetrics: A Practical Guide for Librarians, Researchers and Academics edited by Andy Tattersall

Altmetrics: A Practical Guide for Librarians, Researchers and AcademicsThis forthcoming book gives an overview and the theory behind altmetrics.  It looks at the ways libraries can utilize altmetrics and educate researchers.  To be published in June 2016.

View details and find a place to buy or borrow at Google Books.

Altmetrics for Information Professionals: Past, Present and Future by Kim Johan Holmberg

Altmetrics for Information Professionals: Past, Present and FutureThis scholarly book looks at key altmetrics research innovations.  It presents the data sources used.  Finally, it looks to the future to determine alternative metric trends.  Published in 2015.

View details and find a place to buy or borrow at Google Books.

More Common Library Technology Acronyms

Throughout your professional library reading you probably occasionally come across esoteric library technology acronyms. It’s annoying to have to stop reading to look up their meanings.  To help prevent that, we present our list of more common library technology acronyms.

These acronyms have been added to the Library Technology Acronyms page.

AAP – Authorized Access Point, text string that names the item for a BIBFRAME Authority (bf:authorizedAccessPoint).

API – Application Program Interface, “a set of routines, protocols, and tools for building applications and providing a way to interact with online services”.

BIBFRAMEBIBFRAME – Bibliographic Framework, a new model for bibliographic description to replace MARC.

DOAJ – The Directory of Open Access Journals.

FAST – Faceted Application of Subject Terminology, a “faceted subject heading schema” by OCLC with the LOC, used as an authority file.

FOAF – Friend of a Friend, describes people and their relationships using an RDF schema.

HILCC – Hierarchical Interface to Library of Congress Classification, structured menu for LC Classification subject access on the Web.

JSON – JavaScript Object Notation, “a lightweight data-interchange format” and standard.

LCNAF – Library of Congress Name Authority File, “provides authoritative data for names of persons, organizations, events, places, and titles”.

LOD – Linked Open Data, Linked Data which is published under an open-access licence.

LSP – Library Services Platform, a term for a suite of library applications which might include an ILS, ERM, and discovery service.

MADS/RDF – Metadata Authority Description Schema in Resource Description Framework, a data model for authority records.

MFHD – Multi-Format Holdings Data, a holdings record containing location and call number (sometimes pronounced “muffhead”).

OWL – Web Ontology Language, “a Semantic Web language designed to represent rich and complex knowledge about things, groups of things, and relations between things”.

RDF – Resource Description Framework, a W3C standard for describing Web data.

REST – Representational State Transfer, the software architectural style of the Web.

SPARQL – SPARQL Protocol and RDF Query Language, used to retrieve Web  data in RDF format.

URI – Uniform Resource Identifier, string of characters that points to a resource (with a URL being the most popular type).

W3CW3C – World Wide Web Consortium, “an international community that develops open standards to ensure the long-term growth of the Web”.

WEMI – Work, Expression, Manifestation, Item; Group 1 entities and the foundation of the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR) model.

FRBR Group 1 WEMI