Follow Google’s green arrow to open content

There is some more good news for repositories that surfaced this weekend (via Peter Suber’s blog and Klaus Graf) about how Google Scholar now highlights results that have open access versions of papers by the addition of a green flag / arrow / triangle.

Google continues its behaviour of showing the publishers version of the paper as the first result, but where it does do this, it also lists the open version next to the title:

This should make Google Scholar much more useful, as one of the common arguments held against it in the OA world is that it puts the publishers version first, even if it isn’t open but there is an open version available. Thanks Google!

As a closing remark, I’ll comment on Peter Suber’s closing remark in his blog post:

Note the first item on the return list for this search:

The green triangle points to a version of an article with a Google address.  Is Google also entering the OA archiving business?

For all we know Google may be entering the OA archiving business, but in this case it is just a PDF hosted on a ‘Google Page Creator’ site (now ‘Google Sites’) which is a simple hosting facility provided by Google to anyone.пример объявления

2 thoughts on “Follow Google’s green arrow to open content

  1. stuart Post author

    Hi John.

    I guess that if they can view an associated file (PDF etc) and it isn’t on a publisher site where they have an agreement to harvest publications but not cache them, then they assume it is OA. Just a guess though.



  2. John Robertson

    Hi Stuart,

    thank you for pointing this out – do you have any idea how Google are determining that a particular version is OA?

    I’m just wondering how applicable this might be to other types of open content (in repositories and elsewhere)


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