Bing's search now includes academic research

Scholarly articles will also be featured in Microsoft's Cortana Personal Assistant

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Microsoft's Bing search engine now displays information from a wide range of academic sources to assist researchers.

While other search engines, such as Google and Yahoo display academic sources in separate services, Bing will include results related to a search term in the same place as generic search results.

The company made it clear it was adding the feature to get ahead of its competitors who treat scholarly information as a separate search engine.

Microsoft said it "will be able to point the way to a wealth of information from the academic community...with academic data tightly integrated and prominently featured on its search pages."

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As part of Microsoft's Academic Search service, which has been a testing ground for a number of studies including data mining, named-entity disambiguation, and visualisation for some years, it is hoped the search engine will be a key destination for researchers.

Kuansan Wang, director of the Internet Services Research Center, said: "Microsoft Academic Search is evolving from a research project to a production effort that will leverage the full capability of Microsoft's flagship search engine, Bing. Since the academic audience is an important user segment and a source of innovative suggestions and feedback, we are announcing the new development during the Faculty Summit to broaden our engagements with this community."

Microsoft's Cortana personal assistant will also get access to these academic sources, as it draws in information from the search engine. When the Cortana Notebook is activated, users can select the Academic Theme to find and alert users to academic events such as conference agendas and paper due dates, all of which will be tailored to a user's preferences.

"By growing Microsoft Academic Search from a research effort to production," Wang says, "our goal is to make Bing-powered Cortana the best personal research assistant for our users while augmenting the previous site as Microsoft Research's social and outreach portal for the research community."

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