By Dom Serafini

Google Translate is in need of a human touch, as recently reported in VideoAge‘s Water Cooler. Now that Google Scholar has become all the rage among academics, those of us at the Water Cooler went on a quest to find out what interests scholars the most about the international entertainment business.

Created in 2006, the “Scholar” is one of 10 specialized Google search tools and it indicates how many times a particular article is cited in academic books and scholarly research. We checked, and Google Scholar lists some 20 references for VideoAge, of which, one piece in particular, “U.S. dominance in the international trade in television” from February 1985, was cited 729 times. Number two for VideoAge is an article about the international TV market (cited 105 times), followed by a story about MIFED (cited 57 times), and one about TV in Canada (also cited 57 times).

Other VideoAge stories cited in academic papers as indicated in Google Scholar include topics such as LATAM, CEE, TV movies, Africa, Germany, Netflix, and DVDs.

The “Scholar” is actually intended for authors more than the publications they write for, and a search for this writer turned up some 20 references, mainly about MIFED, FCC regulations, and business, with, at most, 57 citations. But searching for a specific entertainment publication’s scholarly references is much easier (and eminently more practical) than searching for individual authors.

The Hollywood Reporter, another major TV trade publication, has over 30 references, reaching, at most, 65 citations. Another trade magazine with some listings is Broadcasting & Cable.

Officially, “Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. From one place, you can search across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites. Google Scholar helps you find relevant work across the world of scholarly research.”

Competing with Google Scholar is Microsoft Academy, which was developed in 2009. But for those academics who want to find references in the business of entertainment, it’s not very useful.

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