May 27, 2022

Microsoft, Google, Baidu, and Paul Allen’s AI2 Form Open Academic Search Group

From GeekWire:

Microsoft, Google and Baidu may be competitors in the business world, but when it comes to open-access academic resources, they’re all working together – thanks to a collaboration created by Seattle’s Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence.

The Open Academic Search working group, or OAS, was set up to unite a wide spectrum of researchers working on academic search tools.

“It’s a number of connected initiatives, but all centered on how we promote discovery,” said Marie Hagman, OAS product manager as well as product lead for Semantic Scholar at the Allen Institute.


“That work is not where people are differentiating their products,” she said. “It’s just the hard work we all have to do in order to have anything at all.”

This is where the Open Academic Search initiative can facilitate the sharing of metadata, user behavior data and other resources.

“Once you’ve done the basics, there’s no shortage of opportunities for people to innovate,” Hagman said.

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From Bloomberg:

The Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence is trying to make the advancement of academic search and analysis a collaborative process, rather than a competitive one. Companies already freely distribute some of their tools and let others use them, but it’s still not as open and cooperative as it could be, said Oren Etzioni, chief executive officer of the Seattle-based institute.

“For us it’s a call to action to say, `hey, you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain, put some of these building blocks in open source and let’s work on it together and it’s a win-win,'” Etzioni said.

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Some background and links from Gary Price, infoDOCKET Founder and Editor:

At the bottom of this post we’ve included several links to some of our previous posts about Microsoft Academic Search  (A Preview of MAS 2.0 is also available) and Semantic Scholar from the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence (AI2).

Both of these tools are resources we use often and also discuss in presentations. They’re both quite impressive and are constantly improving. I encourage you to try both of them. 

Google Scholar is the open web academic search tool that, like most things Google, is widely known and used but not as much as some might think when looking at referrals to academic material and comparing to and other country specific versions. You can see one example of this via Harvard’s DASH repository. Google has only made a few public announcements on the Google Scholar blog in the past few years about new and improved features. They did make one about a week ago. 

I’ve found Baidu’s Academic Search tool useful but it can be challenging to use. If you can read Chinese you can access it here. Another way to access (there is no native English interface) and have some of the interface in English is to translate the Chinese into English using Google Translate.

Another academic search engine out of Asia comes from Naver (a South Korean web portal). Here’s  a translated version (via Google Translate).

A few more of the MANY “academic” search tools that we regularly mention on infoDOCKET. 

  • BASE (Bielefeld Academic Search Engine) from Bielefeld University in Germany. Numerous advanced features that librarians and all users will find useful and a massive database. As of June 20, 2017 BASE has metadata and links to 112,124,409 documents from 5,593 content sources. Btw, BASE also provides a separate database of the content sources they index (using OAI). 

Microsoft Academic

NOTE: Preview 2.0 of Microsoft Academic Search is Now Available

Preview Version of the New Microsoft Academic Search Engine is Now Online, API Also Available (February 29, 2016)

Semantic Scholar

Paul Allen’s AI2 Expands Smart Search Engine Semantic Scholar to Neuroscience Research (November 2016)

Say Hello to Semantic Scholar Launching Today From the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence AI2 (November 2, 2015)

Also from AI2:

Cite-O-Matic: Automated Literature Review

PDF Figures: Mining Figures from Research Papers

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.