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HomeArchiveWindows Live Academic Search

Windows Live Academic Search

As the old joke goes, Windows Live Academic Search is, yup, Live.

This new offering from Live launches with over 6 million records indexed, featuring articles of use to students, researchers and teachers in the fields of Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, and Physics.

[O]rganizations working with Microsoft on the Windows Live Academic Search tool in addition to CrossRef, the IEEE, the ACM, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., and Elsevier include: Taylor & Francis Group, the American Institute of Physics, the American Physical Society, the Institute of Physics, Ex Libris, TDNet, Blackwell, , Nature Publishing, British Library, and OCLC.

The beta service will be available today with English versions in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan, and Australia. Additional markets and content will be added throughout the beta period.

Here’s a screenshot, courtesy of Kevin Briody:

How it works:

  • Run a search at
  • Hover over a result
  • The preview pane on the right shows all the main information: Title, abstract, author, journal, author(s), publisher and DOI – Digital Object Identifier
  • Click on the title for the full article

If you are in an IP recognized as subscribing to the source the article is from, you will usually go straight to reading the article. If not, you’ll probably get a page asking you to buy it.

As is becoming the norm, Windows Live is distinguishing itself with a unique and unmatched interface. Besides the preview window, Academic Search also features a detail slider, sorting options, and support for Live Macros.

UPDATE: More from IT World:

Another Academic Search feature that is different from Google Scholar is the ability to set up custom searches by using macros, which users can either set up themselves or download from the Windows Live start page at, Giustini said. While this enables users to narrow their searches, it also adds a technical step that less Web- or computer-savvy users might find difficult to use, he said.

Google Scholar currently allows users to search according to vertical channels of information, which is a less technical way for users to focus their searches, Giustini added.

A note: The Academic search data may still be propogating accross the servers, so if you see only regular search results, try again later, or in the morning.

UPDATE 2: Some thoughts:

I’m liking the preview window, especially its good use of tabs to organize information. With the preview windows having so much information, it seems more useful to move the detail slider as low as possible and just rely on the preview windows for detail.

One suggestion: Why not have keyboard browsing of the search results actually select each search result and preview it? When I press down on my keyboard, the left pane scrolls, but I still need to grab the mouse and mouseover to preview. Instead, it might be better to have each down arrow press select the next search result for previewing.

I would be interested in seeing if the preview window could work well with regular web search.

Two other good touches: The “Sort By” bar is collapsible. It can sort by Relevance, Date (Oldest/Newest), Author, Journal, or Conference.

Michael Arrington and Kathy Gill also have their thoughts.

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Nathan Weinberg writes the popular InsideGoogle blog, offering the latest news and insights about Google and search engines.

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