The web is cluttered. There’s a pantload of information out there and it’s hard to sift through. Google does a fabulous job at being your virtual Swiss Army Knife for finding what you’re looking for. But even the likes of Google Scholar and Google Books are not perfect. Quickly finding and skimming abstracts, learning about authors, and surfacing new publications is tricky.
That’s where Scholr.ly comes in. It’s expected to open in beta later this summer but we have a sneak preview already. Scholr.ly is being designed for researchers. It’s basically Google Scholar but a different format. The biggest difference from a standard Google-based search is that Scholr.ly’s results are instantly sorted into two columns: publications and authors. The publications page shows titles, authors and other meta information, as well as excerpts that are easy to skim. The right-side column shows authors. Each author can have a profile that includes career information, affiliations, publication listings, common co-authors, top publishing venues, and impact metrics.
Personally, I love the dual column approach. It’s both visual yet text-centric. It provides all the information a researcher would need in a lot less time. It also helps researchers and fellow academics uncover new publications or authors they may not have seen in a standard Google Scholar search. While it’s still unclear how Scholr.ly will monetize their business (perhaps partner with publications to enable subscriptions via search results?), it’s clear the search engine is an exciting innovation in the world of research.
One interesting side-note is that, when faced between results that are either behind a paywall or free, Scholr.ly ranks free papers and books above those behind a paywall. Perhaps as a nod to the push for open access by libraries across the country, perhaps just because they know free resources are easier to attain.
The beta is expected to launch later this summer and we’ll be sure to bring you more as it’s opened. In the meantime, don’t miss the sneak preview presentation below courtesy of Scholr.ly.