Published By: Nature (Nature News), 11/11/2016
New AI-based search engines are emerging to compete with Google Scholar’s keyword-based search algorithms. Both Semantic Scholar and Microsoft Academic leverage algorithms that can determine how influential or relevant a paper is. Techniques like this differentiate the search engines from Google Scholar, which uses a keyword search that simply checks every text for instances of the searched word or phrase and its synonyms.
Extended Discussion Questions
- Semantic Scholar and Microsoft Academic’s primary competitor, Google Scholar, has access to over 200 million articles, but searches by keyword. What are some of the advantages for the user of the algorithms that Semantic Scholar and Microsoft Academic are using? What are some disadvantages?
- Semantic Scholar’s focus on understanding queries and full sentences is much stronger than Microsoft Academic or Google Scholar. Are there any potential problems or precautions that should be taken when relying on the interpretation of language, particularly in rapidly growing fields like neuroscience and computer science?
- According to the Semantic Search FAQ, the system currently can only understand works in English. How might this affect how it is used? How might it affect the impact of non-English scholarship?
Relating This Story to the CSP Curriculum Framework
Global Impact Learning Objectives:
- LO 7.1.1 Explain how computing innovations affect communication, interaction, and cognition.
- LO 7.2.1 Explain how computing has impacted innovations in other fields.
Global Impact Essential Knowledge:
- EK 7.1.1E Widespread access to information facilitates the identification of problems, development of solutions, and dissemination of results.
- EK 7.2.1C Computing enables innovation by providing the ability to access and share information.
- EK 7.5.1A Online databases and libraries catalog and house secondary and some primary sources.
- EK 7.5.1B Advance search tools, Boolean logic, and key words can refine the search focus and/or limit search results based on a variety of factors (e.g., data, peer-review status, type of publication).
Other CSP Big Ideas:
- Idea 4 Algorithms
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