Microsoft Research Lab – Asia

Microsoft Research Lab – Asia

Established 1998

Updates about Microsoft Academic and its role in scientific research in Asia

May 10, 2017

At CNCC2016, the annual conference of China Computer Federation (CCF) in Taiyuan, the “Best Solution Award of 2016” was awarded to Microsoft Academic. We’re honored that the organizing committee and more than 5,000 attendees voted this solution the best of more than 80 technology exhibitions. Dr. Kuansan Wang, managing director of Microsoft Research Outreach, accepted the award for this project, which enables researchers to find and rank academic papers and their own academic profiles.

Figure 1: Dr. Kuansan Wang (left), the head of the global Microsoft Academic effort and managing director of Microsoft Research Outreach, is on the stage to receive the award from CCF President Dr. Wen Gao (right)

Microsoft Academic started as an algorithms research project studying object-level vertical search, data mining, entity linking and data visualization. Today, it is a service, integrated with Microsoft Bing and Microsoft Cortana, that delivers context-based research from a large and growing database: the Microsoft Academic Graph. Microsoft Academic can go beyond keywords to the contextual meaning of the content, providing users with access to the latest research, news and people, ranked by importance and credibility.

Scholarly big data partnership with Tsinghua University

Microsoft Academic, which was launched in Asia in October 2015, is key to Asian science research, which is an integral factor to economic growth in the region. To help promote its use and role as a research assessment system, Microsoft entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Tsinghua University for big data research. This partnership will include activities to enhance product awareness and adoption within the academic community. Past activities included dedicated workshops on big data sharing and analytics (such as BigSci-2016 at Tsinghua), keynotes and demo booths at some premier conferences (such as ACL 2015 at Beijing, CNCC2016 at Taiyuan, Asia Faculty Summit 2016 at Seoul, and ACCV’16 at Taipei), and student contests (such as BoP 2016 at Shanghai). Since June 2016, Microsoft Academic has maintained a monthly average of more than 1 million users and query volumes of 10 million a day in China.

Figure 2: MOU signing ceremony at MSRA Computing in the 21st Century Conference (Front left: Hsiao-Wuen Hon, CVP, chairman of ARD, managing director of MSRA; Front right: Bin Yang, vice president of Tsinghua University)

Open Academic Society

To continue to build the Microsoft Academic Graph in a collaborative and open way, Microsoft Research, along with other organizations, launched the Open Academic Society last summer at the 17th annual Microsoft Research Faculty Summit in Redmond. The society comprises a group of international institutions with the goal of creating a shared, open and expanding knowledge graph of research- and education-focused entities and relationships. By tapping into the wealth of academic content in the graph, members can provide workshops, challenges and data-sharing activities for the benefit of the entire research community. In Asia, we are collaborating closely with some noted partners, such as Tsinghua University, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Shanghai Jiao Tong University from China; National Taiwan University from Taiwan; and Yonsei University and KAIST from South Korea.

Figure 3: Inaugural meeting of the Open Academic Society in Redmond, July 15, 2016

Taking advantage of Microsoft Research products, partnerships and events

Via the Microsoft Cognitive Services Academic Knowledge API, our partners can tap into the wealth of academic content in the Microsoft Academic Graph. In one example, in collaboration with Tsinghua University, we are now studying innovative methodologies that connect AMiner and Microsoft Academic Graph. Acemap is another project, conducted by Shanghai Jiao Tong University, for visualizing research relationships in an effective and meaningful way. In 2017, we are encouraging additional partners to conduct research and implement applications on open scholar data. Ways to participate with Microsoft Research Asia and Microsoft Academic are many, including: