20 Services Google Thinks Are More Important Than Google Scholar

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Google has demoted its glorious research tool, yet another sign that projects without much revenue are endangered under Larry Page's reign.

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I know I'm not representative of the average person. I'm a guy who trolls through PubMed Central for fun and buys 1950s technology ephemera. As such, I think Google Scholar is one of the most wonderful things Google (or any technology company) has ever created. I use the cross-publisher academic search tool every single day, even many times a day.

Apparently, Google's not as convinced of Scholar's worth. It doesn't appear across the main Google navigation bar, which features nine other services: Search, Image Search, Maps, Play, YouTube, News, Gmail, Documents, and Calendar. But OK, it is more niche than any of those applications and it used to reside in the More menu at the top right of the nav bar. No longer. Google has now moved Scholar to the 'Even More' section. That ranks its importance in the Googlesphere behind Translate, Mobile, Books, Offers, Wallet, Shopping, Blogger, Reader, Finance, Photos, and Videos.

Google, of course, has the right to play with its user interface, even to the detriment of my predilections. But I worry that this is a signal that the company is turning away from Google Scholar like it has some other recent projects. After all, it is the sort of revenue-less service that seems endangered under Larry Page.

So, let me just say this: Don't do it, Larry! This is an invaluable tool for content creators that will not be easily replicated. If you kill Google Scholar, our web won't be the same.

Update: To be clear, this change appears to have happened late last year, but I noticed scholars complaining about it today.

Via @publicroad


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Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is the deputy editor of TheAtlantic.com. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer has called Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science website in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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