I am starting to get the message “Google Scholar has blocked the query.”
What does it exactly mean? How do I avoid it?
Hi Antonio, GS tries to avoid queries sent by bots. Unfortunately, their policy is too strict, and blocking can occur even if you, as a human user, are using the normal GS query interface issuing too many queries. In this case, GS sends captchas for users to solve. So, if this happens, open the normal GS interface and solve the captcha.
From my experience, GS has been more tolerant when I am using the Univesity network than when I am at home. I guess that it has to do with the fact the many users from the University issue queries through the same proxy. Thus, even when I am home, I am using the plugin trough the university proxy (using a VPN will also do).
As Altigran suggested, after a ban Google Scholar will send captchas. Solving a few captchas may help to proceed with queries. In order to do this, it is useful to use the Google Chrome developer tool. There is a network sniffer that is very useful to monitor what Live SHINE does and how Google answers to queries. To enable it:
– right click on the Live SHINE page
– select “Inspect” from the menu
– then go to the “Network” tab in the developer tool panel
– check the “Preserve Log” checkbox
You will see captcha requests in red. To solve them, right click on those and choose “Open in new tab”. Then, solve the captcha.
A few tricks we learned about bans:
a. bans are more frequent in some countries than others (they seem to be very frequent in the US and west Europe, less frequent in east Europe);
b. reducing the timespan may alleviate the problem; we noticed that running 3-year queries (in total, 3 or 4 queries per conference for the entire 2005-2015 timespan) may reduce the frequency of bans;
c. proxies help (they are pretty much necessary here in Italy: after the first ban, we are unable to process queries for the entire day);
Overall, however, I think that the new filtering features are crucial to complete the update. Given the frequency of bans we have experienced so far, we will not be able to complete the task unless we have a way to work incrementally over the same conference.
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