June 23, 2021

Microsoft is Shutting Down Microsoft Academic Search and Related Services

Update June 15, 2021 Microsoft Academic Graph is Being Discontinued. What’s Next? (via Nature Index)

Update June 13, 2021  MAG (Microsoft Academic Graph) Replacement Update: Meet OpenAlex! (via OurResearch)

Update May 8, 2021 Our Research (Providers of Unsub and Unpaywall) Report They’re Building a Microsoft Academic Graph Replacement (via OurResearch)

More: A New interview with Our Research Co-Founder, Jason Priem (via Research Information)

We’re very excited to learn more about what Heather, Jason, and team are developing!!!

—End Updates—

A brief note from infoDOCKET Founder/Editor, Gary Price:

I’m VERY sad to learn Microsoft is planning plan to shutdown the wonderful and powerful Microsoft Academic Search (that utilizes the also wonderful Microsoft Academic Graph) at the end of 2021. IMHO in some cases it provides/provided better results than Google Scholar along with a number of features GS doesn’t provide at all. The bottom line is that having a variety of tools to select from is always a good thing.

Since it relaunched in early 2016 this free search resource has proven amazingly useful, not only valuable as a stand-alone search tool but also as a corpus of material searchable via other tools including Lens.org*.

From the MSFT Academic Blog Post:

Q: Why is Microsoft retiring MAS? 

A: MAS was conceived seven years ago in response to feedback from our colleagues in academia where the inequality in accessing large datasets presented a significant obstacle to conducting research and cultivating talents in the areas of Big Data and AI. With MAS, we have been proud to contribute to a culture of open exchange and a growing ecosystem of collaborators. As MAS has achieved its objective to remove the data access barriers for our research colleagues, it is the right time to explore other opportunities to give back to communities outside of academia.

Read the Complete Blog Post

More Users?

While we might never know the exact reasons why Microsoft decided to end Academic I wonder if a larger user base would have made a difference to the company? My experience has been that those who used MSFT Academic find/found a powerful resource but many who might have found it to be worthy of their attention/use were either unaware and/or had never actually tried searching with it.

Life Goes On, Some Good News

While the loss of MS Academic Search is sad news there are a number of other EXCELLENT, open web (free), academic research search tools that are worthy of your attention and use. Some include bibliographic information/direct links to open access articles as well as bibliographic info about paywalled materials. Others, provide material only about open access content.

Some of Infodocket’s Academic Search Favorites Include:

Along with it’s superb searching/retrieval capabilities I’m a very regular user of the alerting services Semantic Scholar offers (free).

** The scholarly research corpus used by Lens includes/included bibliographic data from a number of providers.

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) 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 Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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