Microsoft betas Windows Live Academic Search

Microsoft is to index academia for its beta of Windows Live Academic Search.

Initially serving the computer science, electrical engineering and physics disciplines, the search service offers access to peer-reviewed content from the likes of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and leading publishers Elsevier and John Wiley & Sons.

The beta is restricted to the English language although it is available in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan, and Australia, and more territories and languages will be added as the product develops.

The service includes tools such as a preview pane, which offers a text abstract of a search result when the user hovers over it with the cursor, and a slider that sets how much information is included in each result shown. Users can view results by author, journal, conference and date, and Author Live links automatically link to results from content associated with that author.

The Academic Search also includes citation support in two major bibliographic formats, which enables customers to quickly compile citations and direct links to publishers’ published versions, so that researchers can seamlessly access the full text of the article if they are on the network of the institution that subscribes to the full text.

Finally macro support means searchers can fine tune their results, putting them through a routine to ensure they are optimised the way they want them. There is also an RSS service, offering alerts when new content on a search topic becomes available.

‘We are excited about continuing to innovate for the academic community,’ said Danielle Tiedt, general manager of Windows Live Premium Search. ‘By working with academic publishers and customers and understanding their needs, we have been able to create a unique offering to the marketplace that is a win-win for consumers and our content providers. Windows Live Academic Search is another example of our continued efforts to bring innovative search offerings into new categories. We are looking forward to hearing from our customers during this beta period, which will help us improve upon what is available today.’

Working with Microsoft on the project is industry association CrossRef, the IEEE, the ACM, Taylor & Francis Group, the American Institute of Physics, the American Physical Society, the Institute of Physics, Ex Libris Group, TDNet, Blackwell Publishing, Elsevier, Nature Publishing Group, the British Library, OCLC Online Computer Library Center and John Wiley & Sons.

Microsoft set out on its academic strategy earlier this year with the announcement of Microsoft Search Labs and Live Labs and some half a million dollars up for grabs to find research projects that take its fancy.

It appears to be a long term strategy to build links with academic expertise, particularly in the field of Web technologies, in response to the wild success of Google and the discovery that much of the current talent in this field has already been bought by the likes of Yahoo!

The Academic Search is available at

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