Google Scholar Recommendations
We recently had an interesting conversation with Google Scholar about article structure and ways to improve discovery. In particular, we discussed ways that abstracts can be improved for Google Scholar.
Anurag Acharya, Google Scholar Co-Creator and Administrator, suggested the following:
- Anything that provides more structure to the abstract is important. A structured outline that authors must follow and that is represented in the XML is especially important. Anurag asserted that structured abstracts have been around long enough that publication editors shouldn’t be resistant to implementing them. As a point of interest, you can see the articles in PubMed that use structured abstracts here – it represents about 14% of their total citations.
- Anurag also shared that “a statement of significance” can also be impactful and has seen increased usage and citations for a number of journals, including PNAS.
- In summary, Anurag’s position was that additional data that enriches the article is meaningful and increases both discovery and usage. He was much less enthusiastic about anything that happened outside the article, e.g. services like Kudos, because of the difficulty in getting these into a normal part of the author’s workflow.
As a search engine, Google Scholar clearly has a particular point of view but given their importance in the field, it is a point of view that needs to be taken seriously.
There has been an increasing amount of talk about ensuring that data is cited correctly. Here is an article that was published in Nature Scientific Data, which lays out a data citation roadmap for scientific publishers. And here is a Scholarly Kitchen article that discusses the topic as well.
One of our initiatives this year will be to ensure that we do the most complete CrossRef registrations we can, based on the data that we are given in the articles we receive. Part of this work will be to ensure that when we receive the appropriate data citation information, we register it correctly and include it in the article display.