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Re: Testing the citation-ranking search engine: Citebase  Steve Hitchcock
 Jul 12, 2002 06:24 PDT 
In posting this notice, for which we are grateful, Peter has preempted some
comments I was planning to add. Peter made the point recently on this list
that the 'greatest benefit' of FOS will be 'to provide free online data to
increasingly sophisticated software which will help scholars find what is
relevant to their research, what is worthy, and what is new'. Citebase is
an example of exactly that point.

In conjunction with arXiv, Citebase provides a means of selecting and
accessing journal-quality papers by the familiar means of citation
ranking. Neither element of the service - search or access - is new in
principle, emulating proven library services, but in this case both are
free of subscription to the user.

This seems ideal, but should not be taken for granted. The service needs to
be tested and optimised for users, and nurtured by the community which
stands to benefit *in the longer term*. By participating in the evaluation
notified below the FOS community is helping in both respects.

The danger is that on first impressions FOS users, many of whom will not be
physicists, will notice that coverage is mainly physics. Don't be put off.
If we have wondered why other disciplines have not replicated arXiv,
perhaps it is because they demand the incentive of more explicit quality
structures. Citebase could be a major contribution to that objective. It
will take time for other disciplines to recognise this and filter into the
service, but it can happen if we act to test and sustain it now.

Take the long-term view and take the Citebase test.

Steve Hitchcock
Open Citation (OpCit) Project <http://opcit.eprints.org/>
IAM Research Group, Department of Electronics and Computer Science
University of Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK
Email: sh9-@ecs.soton.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)23 8059 3256     Fax: +44 (0)23 8059 2865

At 14:25 11/07/02 -0400, Peter Suber wrote:
 Dear Colleagues,

One way to help hasten the filling of open-access archives is to offer
services that demonstrate to authors and their institutions the increased
visibility and impact that self-archiving their published articles
brings them, over and above journal publication itself.

There has already been mention in the American Scientist Forum from
time to time of Citebase, a citation-ranked search service developed at
Southampton, covering some of the largest OAI archives (mainly
physics). Citebase is not yet widely known because we wanted to avoid
publicizing the service widely during its development while we were
still fixing bugs.

We will soon begin raising awareness of Citebase in the wider academic
community, but first we are anxious to ensure that it will be useful
and usable. So I am hereby inviting those of you with the interest
and time to test Citebase now and give us feedback on it. A Web form
takes you through a short exercise highlighting its principal features at:


The subject matter is still mainly physics, but the general utility of
citation-ranked navigation will be, we hope, transparent.

(Citebase is produced as part of the Open Citation project, funded by the
Joint NSF - JISC International Digital Libraries Research Programme.)

Many thanks,

Stevan Harnad
Principal Investigator

Garfield, E., (1955) Citation Indexes for Science: A New Dimension in
Documentation through Association of Ideas. Science 122: 108-111

Harnad, S. (2001) Research Access, Impact and Assessment.
Times Higher Education Supplement 1487: p. 16.

Harnad, S. & Carr, L. (2000) Integrating, Navigating and Analyzing
Eprint Archives Through Open Citation Linking (the OpCit Project).
Current Science 79(5): 629-638.

Lawrence, S. (2001a) Online or Invisible? Nature 411 (6837): 521.

Lawrence, S. (2001b) Free online availability substantially increases a
paper's impact. Nature Web Debates.

Odlyzko, A.M. (2002) The rapid evolution of scholarly communication.
Learned Publishing 15: 7-19
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