Google Lags In Public Research
Earlier this week, John Battelle took a look at “the practice of academic publishing in the field of search,” and more specifically, at how many papers were submitted by each of the major search companies at a recent conference. The results: it seems as if Google doesn’t play well with others, at least as far as research papers are concerned.
Battelle writes, “Turns out, of all the papers submitted at this conference (conferences tend to be where most academic papers are presented), ten came from Microsoft Research, ten from Yahoo (one in concert with Microsoft), and none came from Google.”
As always with this sort of thing, the information comes with a few disclaimers. The numbers are “submitted as a datapoint and not an indictment, but it is interesting nonetheless.” Batelle also noted that the conference “has the final say on what papers get accepted, but I doubt they’d bong papers from Google (though Larry and Sergey’s paper on PageRank was denied at first by a conference in the mid 1990s!).”
Google was quick to defend itself (not that Battelle’s post was a proper “attack”), and an unnamed PR rep responded with two links. “Giving back to the research community is extremely important to us and we make a lot of research public by publishing papers,” he (or she) wrote. “On the more comprehensive list I count 63 papers from Googlers in 2006, alone.” A winking smiley followed, but I’d feel silly retyping it.
Some of the posts in the “Comments” section quibbled with that count, and pointed out that 63 isn’t a big number for a company of Google’s size, anyway. But if the search engine company isn’t inclined to share its research papers, it’s at least still willing to throw a decent party.