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Google Scholar Gets Personal

A newly launched Google Scholar tool aims provides registered users who have public profiles with personalized picks of recommended papers based on citation data and other factors.

"Often the spark for discovery comes from making a new connection or looking in a direction that you hadn't yet considered and that … you wouldn't have known to look for," writes software engineer James Connor at the Google Scholar blog. "We hope to start fostering these new connections with Scholar Updates."

Connor writes:

We analyze your articles (as identified in your Scholar profile), scan the entire web looking for new articles relevant to your research, and then show you the most relevant articles when you visit Scholar. We determine relevance using a statistical model that incorporates what your work is about, the citation graph between articles, the fact that interests can change over time, and the authors you work with and cite.

"Google Scholar Updates correctly identified a paper of interest to me," writes UKOLN's Brian Kelly at his blog. Over at The Tree of Life, Jonathan Eisen from the University of California, Davis, calls the new tool "a big step forward in sifting through the scientific literature." Science of the Invisible's AJ Cann says that Scholar Updates "looks potentially useful so far" and "seems to be on the money with suggested content." He worries, though, that because "it does not filter for quality … there are a lot of low-quality conference papers."

The Scan

Missed Early Cases

A retrospective analysis of blood samples suggests early SARS-CoV-2 infections may have been missed in the US, the New York Times reports.

Limited Journal Editor Diversity

A survey finds low diversity among scientific and medical journal editors, according to The Scientist.

How Much of a Threat?

Science writes that need for a provision aimed at shoring up genomic data security within a new US bill is being questioned.

PNAS Papers on Historic Helicobacter Spread, Brain Development, C. difficile RNAs

In PNAS this week: Helicobacter genetic diversity gives insight into human migrations, gene expression patterns of brain development, and more.