May 16, 2022

Google Will No Longer Offer University Research Program for Google Search

Since we have many academic info pros, faculty, and students visiting INFOdocket, we wanted to tkake a moment to point out something we mentioned last week but only briefly.

Google has announced that they will end (as of January 15, 2011) their, “University Research Program for Google Search.” The program allowed a “small number” of “approved” researchers to use Google as a web research tool without having to maintain their own crawler and indexer.

In Their Own Words

The University Research Program for Google Search is designed to give university faculty and their research teams high-volume programmatic access to Google Search, whose huge repository of data constitutes a valuable resource for understanding the structure and contents of the web.

Our aim is to help bootstrap web research by offering basic information about specific search queries. Since the program builds on top of Google’s search technology, you’ll no longer have to operate your own crawl and indexing systems. We hope this will help enable some useful research, and request only that you publish any work you produce through this program for the academic community’s general benefit.

Here’s an example of a paper that included research via the University Research Program for Google Search

“Google Still Not Indexing Hidden Web URLs” (2008)
Source: D-Lib
by Kat Hagedorn and Joshua Santelli

Google has many other programs for academics including many funding opportunities and those ARE NOT going away. We also don’t know how many researchers are using or have used the program. However, even as a symbolic program it’s interesting to see this one go.

In the now legendary, “The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine (1998)” paper by Sergey Brin and Larry Page that outlined their plans for Google, they talked about using their technology as a research tool.

Google will continue to be a powerful research tool for all. However, for those who would like to use what it holds to conduct their original research about the web itself, that opportunity to to it, at least in easily and in an approved manner, is ending.

If nothing else this is yet another example of Google continuing to change and a reminder that they are now a company and their needs and the needs of their share holders also play a role into what they do and don’t do.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.