Google launches new search engine to help scientists find the datasets they need

Read the full story in The Verge.

Google’s goal has always been to organize the world’s information, and its first target was the commercial web. Now, it wants to do the same for the scientific community with a new search engine for datasets.

The service, called Dataset Search, launches today, and will be a companion of sorts to Google Scholar, the company’s popular search engine for academic studies and reports. Institutions that publish their data online, like universities and governments, will need to include metadata tags in their webpages that describe their data, including who created it, when it was published, how it was collected, and so on. This information will then be indexed by Dataset Search and combined with input from Google’s Knowledge Graph. (That’s the name for those boxes that pop up for common searches. So if dataset X was published by CERN, some info about the institute will also be included in the results.)…

The initial release of Dataset Search will cover the environmental and social sciences, government data, and datasets from news organizations like ProPublica. However, if the service becomes popular, the amount of data it indexes should quickly snowball as institutions and scientists scramble to make their information accessible.

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