Monday, August 27, 2012

Two new Scholar features: Advanced Search, My Updates

If you're a regular reader of the Google Scholar blog (and if you use Scholar more than a few times a year, I highly recommend signing up for the email updates), you already know what I'm about to tell you.  

But if, like me, you use Scholar all the time, but neglected to signup for the emails.. then this post will help you out.  

Earlier today I went to and found the page looking like this:  
Question:  Where did the nice blue link to "Advanced Search" go?  

ADVANCED SEARCH MOVED!  I had to poke around quite a while before thinking of checking out the Scholar blog looking for any updates. Sure enough, I found it--on the update of May 11, 2012.... Note that Scholar's Advanced Search button has moved!  
This is what you see when you roll-over that down-arrow on the right.   The link's not gone, but moved under the downward arrow on the right side of the query box.  (You might think this is kind of random, but this is the same UI treatment that Google News has for their Advanced Search UI.)  

When you click on the down-arrow, you'll see the options panel open up....    

If you're an Advanced Search UI kind of person, you might note that the UI is a little simpler than before.  You can still get to the OLD UI (if you really want it; but I leave that as an exercise for the reader...) 

And once I started reading, I realized that I'd missed several announcements.  

MY UPDATES:  The most interesting one is the new presence of "My Updates" in the upper right. 

As the Scholar blog post said:  
We analyze your articles (as identified in your Scholar profile), scan the entire web looking for new articles relevant to your research, and then show you the most relevant articles when you visit Scholar. 
Well, that's kind of nice!  It's a bit like having a Google Alert set up for you... on EVERYTHING you're professionally interested in (that is, according to your Google Scholar profile).  

When I clicked on "My updates," Scholar gave me a bunch of citations to papers that I didn't know about... but really wish I did.    

All of these are papers written by other people who either cite my own work (such as all of my sensemaking articles--cool!) or refer to concepts and key phrases (such as gaze-tracking and aggregated search) that Google has pattern-matched for me.  It's a little like an academic match-making service that digs deeply into your work to find other work that's compatible (or at least interesting) with your own.  

Okay--lesson learned:  I just signed Google Scholar in my Google Reader.  That way, when I check Reader, I'll see the updates there.  

Search on! 


  1. question is how many people use it? Google is good in technology but very poor in marketing its own product.

  2. Hi Dan! Could you elaborate on how you add Google Scholar updates to reader? I can only figure out how to get email updates...