Microsoft Academic Returns

List of content: 207,704,429 papers; 251,409,262 authors; 229,603 topics and more

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Microsoft has an entree into the scholarly rankings fray: Microsoft Academic (MA). This metrics ranking system is actually an updated version. Microsoft Academic Search was a research project and academic search engine retired in 2012. It relaunched in 2016 as Microsoft Academic. It is now called a preview, and is not the full version. It boasts a burgeoning amount of content (see illustration 1).

The searching feature has the look and feel of a library database. It allows you to search for topic, author, or journal. MA uses machine learning and places an emphasis on suggestions during the search process.

In their words:

“In a keyword-based search engine, suggestions are a convenient feature, but in a semantic search engine like MA they play the important role of an intelligent assistant. Imagine this assistant engaging in a dialogue with you in order to understand your needs better and help you accomplish your search goal more efficiently. By understanding how papers refer to various entities, MA has learned commonly used acronyms and allowed them in query expressions. For the best search results, please wait for MA’s suggestions and click them to perform your search.”

Because it uses Bing (instead of Google), to have your journal included in MA, you must first make sure that your publications are indexed by Bing. Use the Bing Webmaster Tools to ensure that Bing is properly indexing your site. Second, to improve the discoverability and inclusion of your content, be sure to follow the web standards for HTML meta tags for academic content.

The material being indexed seems to be largely scientific journals. But there is a healthy, growing amount of content in the Law (illustration 2).

Screenshot of searching MA for Law with suggested topics and trending topics

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A search on the basic idea of Hawaiʻi Law produced 293 results (see illustration 3). You can see the most relevant item as well as topic suggestions, authors, institutions, and journals.

screenshot of MA search on Hawaii Law

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You can select an author and receive a profile providing numbers of publications, co-authors, and citations. You can see their publications and works cited by (see illustration 4).

Screenshot of profile page for Elizabeth Kent

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It’s heartening to see another open access metrics provider, but I feel MA is far behind Google Scholar and very limited in its purview since it relies on Bing.

Further Reading:

  1. Aaron Tay, ResearchGate and Microsoft academic search (beta) – new rising citation indexes? (2017), (last visited Oct 3, 2018).
  2. Bartosz Paszcza, Comparison of Microsoft Academic (Graph) with Web of Science, Scopus and Google Scholar, September 3, 2016, (last visited Oct 3, 2018).
  3. Kayvan Kousha & Mike Thelwall, Can Microsoft Academic help to assess the citation impact of academic books?, arXiv:1808.01474 [cs] (2018), (last visited Oct 3, 2018).
  4. Microsoft Academic 2.0: Is It Any Better?, Enago Academy (2018), (last visited Oct 3, 2018).