Re: Economic effects of link-based search engines on e-journals

From: Eric Hellman <eric_at_OPENLY.COM>
Date: Sun, 1 Oct 2000 10:38:44 -0400

At 10:04 AM +0100 10/1/00, Stevan Harnad wrote:
>Eric's observation below, about google's link-frequency-based rankings
>is fine for web-wide commerce. But it would be more useful and relevant
>for researchers if a special, google-style search engine were devised
>that searched only the refereed research literature on keywords, and
>then returned results on the basis of citation-link-frequency (i.e.,
>the most cited papers on that keyword first).

I observe that google, AS IT EXISTS TODAY, works quite well in
returning useful and relevant results in areas (such as nitride
semiconductor research) where the content is available for spidering.
The assertion that a special purpose engine would be MORE useful is a
marketing claim made by Northern Light which I have not tested.

The interesting thing to me is that by virtue of its
interlinked-ness, scholarly literature tends to rank high in google
even without prefiltering. In some cases, interference is a problem.
For example, if you try to look for InN (indium nitride), you get a
lot of hotels and Bed-and-Breakfasts.

Google is uncanny. For example, it knows to classify "Harnad" in the
category "Logic and Ontology:Natural Kinds".

>For this, the refereed (and pre-refereeing) literature needs to be:
>(1) identifiable by agreed upon meta-data tagging:

Good, but not strictly essential. It is a matter of current
controversy in the search engine community as to whether metadata is
useful at all in open, automated environments. Of course meta tagging
is very useful for other applications.

>(2) online (preferably full-text and free):

Necessary, but not sufficient. Content must also be available to
robots. The Los Alamos Archive is a prominent example of a site where
robots are unwelcome.

>(3) fully citation-linked:

Again, necessary, but not sufficient. The links must be
robot-friendly. Feel free to contact me if you want details; this is
a technical subject.


Eric Hellman,

Journalkeeper for

The MRS Internet Journal of Nitride Semiconductor Research
Materials Research Society
506 Keystone Drive
Warrendale, PA 15086
phone: 724-779-3004 ext 620
fax: 724-779-8313

MIJ-NSR Operations Office
Openly Informatics, Inc.
10 Columbus Ave., Suite C
Montclair, NJ 07042
phone/fax 1-973-509-7800
Received on Mon Jan 24 2000 - 19:17:43 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Dec 10 2010 - 19:45:52 GMT