Every time I am reading a press realease from the Lens, a search engine for the patents and scholarly publicatons, I feel myself captured and fascinated with a speed of their developments. Amoung the well-known commercial solutions, the Lens is Hermes, that Greek god usually drawn with the small wings on his boots and helmet. After the last one (June 27) offering a free API and another pack of visually catching tools for analysis, I found myself sending to my friends the messages like “Watch out. A game changer”. With its comprehensive contents, analytical tools, lack of paywall, API and generous export options, the Lens has everything required for doing what many of us expected the senior Olympus inhabitants (GS, MAG, Beta) should have already done - i.e. coming & smoking all those exclusive providers of evidence with their moth-eaten “gold standards”. Better if in a manner demonstrated by incredible Olexandr Usyk in 2018 a cruiserweight absolute champion in boxing.
While it may seem that the academic community is on the right track, signing the declarations and choiring DORA, dona nobis pacem, our ability to change and progress depends on availability of the “good” data. Good stands for “comprehensive and reliable”. Without an access to such data, the yoke of the primitive (one-click, one decision) assessment techniques is only going to become heavier: All candidates should clearly state the (THE, QS, of FT business school) ranking of the university of their highest degree. source.
With these thoughts in mind, I decided to spend a part of my weekend for an excerise designed to answer a question “If the day has really come?”, i.e. whether a quality of the Lens data can be a substitute to the commerical data sources, and, if it can, then for what specific tasks?
As I am currently fortunate to be out of academic necessities, the results will not be sent anywhere (it is not a science, just a technical report), I will publish it here (at this moment, writing “here”, I have no ideas what will it be, a really great word for www). Most likely this study will catch me, so I will have to publish it in parts. Then the other parts will be on RPubs or on Figshare.