“In this blog post, I will talk specifically on a very important source of data used by Academic Search engines – Microsoft Academic Graph (MAG) and do a brief review of four academic search engines – Microsoft Academic, Lens.org, Semantic Scholar and Scinapse ,which uses MAG among other sources….
We live in a time, where large (>50 million) Scholarly discovery indexes are no longer as hard to create as in the past, thanks to the availability of freely available Scholarly article index data like Crossref and MAG.”
“Lens is in my book one of the most interesting Scholarly discovery/ citation index tools to have emerged in 2018. I am not saying this lightly as 2018 was the year crowded with new discovery services like Dimensions, 1Findr (now acquired by Elsevier), Meta (in closed beta at time of writing) and more.
Owned by the non-profit Cambia, it promises to be free of charge for all (no freemium model) and further more claims to safeguard your privacy with no use of Google Analytics or other cloud based click-trackers.
Of course all this isn’t worth anything if the tool isn’t useful. Given the dominance of Google Scholar as a discovery tool, there seemingly isn’t much room for another discovery tool. But Lens I think is more than just a simple discovery tool, it actually allows you to explore and analyze the data in ways Google Scholar is unable to match, thanks to a blend of powerful filters, facets , customizable visualization capability and bulk export functions….”
I have come to realise that Lens might in fact be a far more exciting development than I thought.
While it is true that the scholarly search portion of Lens might be perhaps mostly dominated by the voluminous data from Microsoft Academic Graph (MAG), Lens is far more than the sum of it’s parts by combining open data from half a dozen open data sources.
The other significant thing about Lens that differentiates it from the other search discovery and citation indexes is that it is run by Cambia a non-profit that seems committed to produce a open, free to use alternative to commerically owned and licensed indexes….”