Two student groups in my E-Business module did a great job in developing an add-on for Gmail to distinguish genuine emails from mass emails (mass email not as in “spam” but as in an email sent e.g. by a student to dozens or hundreds of professors asking for open Ph.D. Read more…
Are you using Google Scholar? For finding scientific literature? For obtaining citation counts and publication lists of researchers? Have you ever thought about how trustworthy the information is you get on Google Scholar? My colleague and I performed several tests with Google Scholar and found out that it is really Read more…
I am currently in Toronto presenting our new paper titled “On the Robustness of Google Scholar against Spam” at Hypertext 2010. The paper is about some experiments we did on Google Scholar to find out how reliable their citation data etc. is. The paper soon will be downloadable on our publication page but for now i will post a pre-print version of that paper here in the blog:
In this research-in-progress paper we present the current results of several experiments in which we analyzed whether spamming Google Scholar is possible. Our results show, it is possible: We ‘improved’ the ranking of articles by manipulating their citation counts and we made articles appear in searchers for keywords the articles did not originally contained by placing invisible text in modified versions of the article.
Researchers should have an interest in having their articles indexed by Google Scholar and other academic search engines such as CiteSeer(X). The inclusion of their articles in the index improves the ability to make their articles available to the academic community. In addition, authors should not only be concerned about the fact that their articles are indexed, but also where they are displayed in the result list. As with all ranked search results, articles displayed in top positions are more likely to be read.
In recent studies we researched the ranking algorithm of Google Scholar [/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][1-3] and gave advice to researchers on how to optimize their scholarly literature for Google Scholar . However, there are provisos in the academic community against what we called “Academic Search Engine Optimization” . There is the concern that some researchers might use the knowledge about ranking algorithms to ‘over optimize’ their papers in order to push their articles’ rankings in non-legitimate ways.
We conducted some experiments to find out how robust Google Scholar is against spamming. The experiments are not all completed yet but those that are completed show interesting results which are presented in this paper. (more…)
Hypertext 2010 Security Hole: All papers downloadable and editable by anyone (2 month before conference start)
In June the ACM Hypertext 2010 will take place in Toronto. Some days ago I wanted to upload the camera ready versions of three papers being accepted at the conference. And… I was surprised. By email I got a link to a web page (namely
on which I could upload my camera ready papers, specify the authors, keywords, etc. No password or other kind of authorization had to be entered. Now, guess what. I played around with the URL and tried, for instance, to open the following URLs in my browser.
You can probably guess what happened: I could edit the details (and see the private email addresses the primary authors provided) and upload PDF files for the other papers being accepted at Hypertext just by changing the URL. That means, I could have added or modified the author list, changed the title or uploaded a modied PDF.
The screenshot shows the user interface on which I could have changed the data for the paper “Dealing with the Video Tidal Wave: The Relevance of Expertise for Video Tagging” by Sara Darvish and Alvin Chin (here is a list of all papers being accepted at Hypertext 2010)