12 April 2006

Windows Live Academic Search Goes Live

Microsoft has rolled out the first beta of its academic search engine. It has some nice Web 2.0-y features that make it look far cooler than Google Scholar (Google, are you listening?). One of the FAQs made me smile:

What about open source repositories? Do you have content from them in your index?

Academic search has implemented the Open Architecture Initiative (OAI) protocol for indexing OAI-compliant repositories. For example, we indexed the content present in ArXiv.org for the launch. We will continue to index more repositories after the launch.

I don't know of anybody except Microsoft that calls these OAI repositories "open source": you don't think that Microsoft's hung up on something?

Another FAQ talks about something new to me: the OpenURL. This turns out to be a wonderful piece of Orwellian double-speak, since it is a way of ensuring that people only get to see the content they are "entitled" to - that is, have paid for. In other words, OpenURL is all about closing off your options.

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