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On the way to academic search engine optimization?

Presentation by René König for Design and displacement – social studies of science and technology, 4S/EASST Joint Conference 2012, October 17-20, 2012 Copenhagen Business School, Denmark

René König

on 10 March 2014

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Transcript of On the way to academic search engine optimization?

On the way to academic
search engine optimization?

René König
A case study: 9/11
Out of the first 10 Google results
only 1 result links to the actual
scientfic report on WTC 7.
All other links represent pseudoscientific alternative theories.
Why do marginalized
positions receive
such high rankings?
Google favors well-linked websites.
Websites representing alternative accounts of 9/11 ARE well-linked.
9/11 Truth Movement
"[...] a peer-reviewed, open-access, electronic journal, covering the whole of research related to the events of 11 September, 2001"
"Google Scholar aims to rank documents the way researchers do, weighing the full text of each document, where it was published, who it was written by, as well as how often and how recently it has been cited in other scholarly literature."
What about
What does this mean?
Search engines renegotiate the relevance of scientific content
Scientific relevance ≠ algorithmic relevance
Although search engine algorithms partly try to copy academic relevance indicators, they may come to very different results
Why does this matter?
Search engines matter.
"Society of the query" (Lovink 2012)
"Search engine society" (Halavais 2008)
"Google society" (Lehmann et al. 2006)
„Googlization of everything“
(Vaidhyanathan 2011)
Why does this matter
for academia?
search engine optimization (SEO)
user behaviour
(popularity of search engines...
Jöran Beel, Bela Gipp, and Erik Wilde (2010): Academic Search Engine Optimization (ASEO): Optimizing Scholarly Literature for Google Scholar and Co. Journal of Scholarly Publishing, 41 (2): 176–190.
"Academic search engine optimization (ASEO) is the creation, publication, and modification of scholarly literature in a way that makes it easier for academic search engines to both crawl it and index it."
(Beel et al. 2010: 176)
Paper suggesting
"academic search engine optimization"
Methods: correct usage of metadata, strategic placement of keywords and selection of publishers...
Danger of manipulation through spamming
techniques etc.
Joeran Beel and Bela Gipp (2010): Academic Search Engine Spam and Google Scholar’s Resilience Against it, Journal of Electronic Publishing 13 (3).
"Google Scholar is far easier to spam than the classic Google Search for Web pages."
(Beel/Gipp 2010)
Authors agree. Study confirms:
Manipulation e.g. by adding invisible text,
creating nonsense publications with citations...
Algorithmic shift: Algorithms will more and more decide over scholars´ visibility and relevance
Loss of control: These algorithms are opague and
controlled by non-academic commercial companies

Professionalization? Will academia (as well as search engines) adapt and marginalize alternative accounts also in search engines?
Science and the impact of organizational practices - II
4S/EASST Joint Conference 2012
Design and displacement
Social studies of science and technology
October 17-20, 2012
Copenhagen Business School

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS)
Mail: info@renekoenig.eu
Web: renekoenig.eu
Twitter: r_koenig
Impact not only on academic
general information
Full transcript