Google Scholar: story, goal, founding engineer and team

google scholar all timeProbably you people in life sciences and biomedical fields with open eyes to current academic and advanced web developments (like BioMed Search and JovE) have happened to meet and try sometimes Google Scholar, Google’s own scholarly search engine, leaving PubMed for a moment behind. Now here is an interview with Scholar’s founding engineer, Anurag Acharya on the story, aim and progress of Scholar:

“Can you tell us something about how Google Scholar came about?

Anurag AcharyaAlex Verstak and I used to work on building Google’s web index. This was very hectic work and after several years of it, the two of us took a break — a sabbatical of sorts — for a few months. Google Scholar came out of that sabbatical. I had already been working on including scholarly literature in Google’s index. For the sabbatical, we worked on improving indexing, automatically extracting metadata and ranking for scholarly literature. Our hope was to weave this information into Google web search. But “there’s many a slip betwixt the cup and the lip.” A working demo we sent out internally became popular and Google Scholar was born.

What is your vision for Google Scholar?

I have a simple goal — or, rather, a simple-to-state goal. I would like Google Scholar to be a place that you can go to find all scholarly literature — across all areas, all languages, all the way back in time. Of course, this is easy to say and not quite as easy to achieve. I believe it is crucial for researchers everywhere to be able to find research done anywhere. … Libraries are fabulous repositories of intellectual wealth. And they often are a major mechanism for leveling the playing field for those with limited resources. As someone who grew up on a small university campus in a developing country, I have a keen appreciation of what libraries can do to open new worlds for their patrons. I believe we (libraries and search engines) have an unprecedented opportunity to help users discover and take advantage of this wealth.”

Members of the Scholar Team are: Alex Verstak, software engineer, Robert Tansley, software engineer, Christian DiCarlo, content partnerships.

Link via Google Blogoscoped.