Version 19 is out!

We have just released a new version of the plugin. You can obtain it from the Dropbox Link or from Chrome Store. This version includes filters that enable users to select and update a subset of the papers being shown. Thanks to Gianni Meca for suggesting it.

When the user selects a filter, only papers matching the filter are shown. If the user clicks the blue “Update” button, the plugin sends p-queries to GS to update each paper matched.

Currently, we have two kinds of filters:

  • Timestamp based filters:
    • Filters of the form AAAA-MM (e.g., 2016-05) that select papers whose citation counts where last update was in month MM, year AAAA.
  • H-index based filters:
    • Papers in H: selects papers the are used to calculate the H-index
    • Top Under H papers: Top-50 cited papers whose citation count is just below H

Notice that filters are conjunctive, that is, if the user marks two or more filters, papers matching any of the filters will be selected.

Also, in this new version we removed the automatic  p-queries. These queries are only triggered trough filters now.




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News on Scholar Bans

Gianni Meca has successfully used VPNs to avoid GS bans. He and the Italian folks are using the following Google Chrome plugin:

He advises that one may need to try a few VPNs at first, before finding one that is
fast and has unfrequent bans, but that there are quite a few with these

By using VPNs they could even  run in queries in parallel.

Thanks again Gianni!


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Live SHINE Plugin on Chrome Store

Dear friends, the plugin is now available in the Chrome Store Live SHINE plugin !!! Thanks David!

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Google Scholar Blocking Queries

I am starting to get the message “Google Scholar has blocked the query.”

What does it exactly mean? How do I avoid it?

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Strategies for Updating Citation Data [Updated]

To give you a better idea of how we try to get citation data up to date, I describe here the types of queries sent by the LIVE SHINE plugin to GS on the user’s behalf to update the citation data. Please send questions and sugestions.

The plugin sends two types of queries: Venue Queries (V-Queries) and Paper Queries (P-Queries).

V-Queries are queries sent to GS using a *conference name*  and an *year interval* as arguments.  The conference name we use is pre-stored in SHINE’s DB and corresponds to the name used in GS meta data records for the conference. In general, this name is the same we use as conference title in SHINE’s DB, but this is not always the case. In fact, we can change the conference name we use to issue V-queries. The year interval is the same selected by the user through the interface.   When the plunging receives the result of a V-query, it extracts the snippets from the answers pages and matches the title of each paper with the title of the papes we have in the database for the same conference. It then updates the citation count of the paper in SHINE DB.  An important issue here is that GS returns only the first 1000 top ranked papers, divided into answer pages with 20 snippets each. Thus, the plugin browses 50 answer pages, making 50 requests to GS. The limit of 1000 answers is per query set to GS and, thus, is independent of the year interval. It is the same for 1 year and for 10 years!  Also, the ranking tends to privilege the most cited papers. A consequence,  conferences with many papers are hard to have the complete set of papers updated (but they will, eventually!! see [P-queries]). Notice that issuing queries with a short year interval can potentially update many papers in the interval. For instance, in our database, ICSE has 1466 papers from 2005 to 2015. A single 10 years V-query will  update at most 1000 papers from the 1466. Thus, V-queries with shorter intervals, say 3-years, can potentially update more papers in the interval.  For instance, all 65 papers in the DB for ICSE in 2008 to 2010 are likely to be covered  in this example. On a extreme case, 10 one-year V-queries, one for each year from 2005 to 2015, can be used. Notice that, V-queries are only issued if more to 10% of the papers covered by the user query have not been updated for at least 2 months.

P-queries: Queries sent to GS using a single paper title. Currently, the plug n issues  P-queries based on filters marked to select a subset of the papers being shown in the interface.

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Missing some conference?

To construct the current Live SHINE database, we started from the original SHINE database. Thus, first of all, we only have conferences that were previously in SHINE.

Furthermore,  we have also filtered out all conferences for which we have not detected regular activity from 2005 to 2015.

Thus, if you think that some conference is missing, please report to us. You can also help us providing the metadata data on this conference in a spreadsheet.

By the way, we are currently missing tools to help to import conference data from sources as DBLP, ACM, IEEE, BDBComp, etc. If you think you can help the project in developing such tools, please let us know!!

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Why some papers are not updated?

You are probably experiencing cases in which papers in the list are not updated, even after several trials. There are two important cases to distinguish.
First case: just a few papers are updated and several are not. This is probably to the fact that we are sending an unsuitable query to GS. Please, report these cases and we will change. Your feedback will help us in devising more general heuristics to automatically figure out wich query must be sent to GS to improve the coverage/recall of papers to be updated.
 Second case: several papers are updated and just a few papers are not. There are many possible causes, some of them being, (1) our schedule policy is leaving black spots; (2) GS simply doesn’t have information on this paper.
 We are aware of (1) and we are currently working on new policies to minimize the papers not updated, while keeping the update costs small.
Anyway, an important thing to keep in mind, for now, is that our current schedule policies try to prioritize the update of papers that are likely to change the value of the h-index. That is, papers that have relatively too many or too few citations may take long to be updated.
However,  having all/most papers update is important because our goal is also to provide other impact metrics, such as Impact Factor and normalized H-index, which required better estimations on the citations of ALL papers, and not only those who have citations. Thus, we are still improving our policies. Any ideas are very very welcome.
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Problem with Plugin Disabling

Edson and Antonio are reporting that their browser is disabling the plugin frequently, and they have to re-enable it many times. Is something else having the same problem? Anyway, it seems that this problem is related to the fact that we are not publishing the extension in Chrome Store. We are going to do this soon (I’ll let you know) and let’s see if solves the issues. Thanks to Edson and Antonio!

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Sending comments, questions, observations and suggestions

This blog was created to receive your comments, questions, observations and suggestions and share them with the community of users so that everybody can benefit. So, please, use it to communicate with us. You, as a registered user, is allowed to create new posts and comment on each other posts. In the last case, if you do not want your message to be shared for some reason, you can send us an e-mail to


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Using Live SHINE

Using Live SHINE is rather simple, in particular for those that are used to the traditional SHINE’s interface. In the following, we provide a quick explanation on how to use it and what is going on in the background. Before reading it, you may want to now how to install the plugin, and how to activate it for use. Also, for now, in the testing period, Live SHINE can only be used by registered users.

Below we have a typical screenshot from Live SHINE’s interface.

Screen Shot 2016-06-24 at 07.32.01

1) Select one conference from the drop-down field. You can type parts of the conference name or its acronym to help with the selection. Notice that LIVE Shine works with a predefined set of conferences. If you want some conference to be added, leave a message in the blog.

2) Select the initial and final year of the interval you want to search from the respective drop-down fields.

3) The plugin will show a list of papers in descending order of the number of citations. Besides the usual paper metadata, each entry in the list also shows a timestamp identifying when the current citation count was last updated for this paper. The list is divided into two sublists. One with papers that contribute to the H-index and one those that do not contribute.

4) The information on the H-index computed for the conference in the period selected is presented on the left upper corner of the interface.

5) On the lower left corner, the system shows a panel informing that the plugin is sending queries to Google Scholar on behalf of the user to get updated citation data for the papers from the target conference. If the are no papers in this conference that are considered as outdated with respect to its citation data, the plugin will not issue any queries. The citation data collected is sent to SHINE’s database, so that other users can benefit from this update operations.

6) As the queries are sent to GS after the list of papers is generated for the current query, the data gathered by alter the the current results. In this case, citations on the current screen may be updated to reflect the data gathered by these queries.


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