Yes Microsoft really is pushing hard to get into every search scenario possible. The latest up is Academic Search, offering additional features for search results depending on the type of search and the website hosting the information. Academic Search was one of the topics brought up at Search Champs earlier this year, with an attendee list containing numerous academics and librarians. The basic options are as follows:
– Abstract: Allows the user to view an abstract for the article or resource in a preview pane that appears to the right of the search results
– Full text: Allows the user to view the complete article, so long as it is not being hosted on a subscription or restricted access website
– Subscription text: Allows the user to view the complete article, as long as they have a valid subscription account to view the content
– Citations (MSN/CiteSeer): View articles and resources in the MSN/CitiSeer index that cite the search result. These can be exported in a variety of formats, including standard text, RIS and BibTeX
– Find closest library: See if the article or book is available in a library near you
– BL Direct – Allows the user to purcahse the article electronically using the British Library
As with the existing Windows Live Search services, the "Richness Silder" allows the user to control how much information appears in the search results, from just the link all the way up to viewing the description and other information in the Abstract pane. Also available for some searches is the ability to refine the results by category.
Windows Live Academic Search indexes content from wide range of sources, that includes subscription services and peer-reviewed journals. On top of this, the Academic Search team is working with libraries and educational institutions to include them in the search results, as well as making their subscriptions available to all their members.
Academic Search is expected to launch in beta by this summer, according to an MSN spokesperson.