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Windows Academic Search

Microsoft have launched Windows Live Academic (beta) , a potential competitor to Google Scholar. It covers peer reviewed articles on computer science, physics, electrical engineering and related subjects and boasts more than 6 million records from approximately 4300 journals and 2000 conferences. The initial version is limited to computer science, electrical engineering and physics from scholarly societies, but content from other subject areas are promised. Unlike Google, Microsoft does provide a source list at

This service is very much “beta” and I suspect that Microsoft is putting down their marker to say “Google are not the only ones doing this”. Gary Price has published an excellent overview of the service together with comments.

I like the sort options (relevance, date – newest and oldest, author, journal and conference) but search does not reflect this structure. Unless I have missed something, the only option that I can see is keyword. When I am searching this type of literature I often want limit my search by author. I may also want to limit the search by date. None of these options are currently available. I do like the way the results are presented, though. The left hand side of the screen lists your results. When you move your mouse over one of the results the right hand side of the screen displays title, abstract, author(s) and the bibliographic details.

Although the search results and bibliographic details are free, you must either have a subscription to the journal or pay on a per-article basis to access the full text via the publishers web site.

This is a beta service but there is no feedback option on the search or results pages. It is only on the FAQ page that they give you an email address that you can use for comments-

It will be interesting to see how this service develops.