Recently I came up with Microsoft Academic Search and find some interesting features that I think are worth to know ;)
Especially it has some useful tools that may help you in writing papers, choosing conferences or journals to submit articles, getting to know scholar ranking and co-author relationship, etc..
This topic is limited to cover the author features only, okay let's see...
InMicrosoft Academic Search homepage, by clicking the Authors tab, popular authors overall/in certain domain show up. Such guideline provides shortcut for us to update the most popular/active authors in a specific field.
We can also get a list of top-ranked authors among the 23 domains in Computer Science (seems they're currently working more focused on this field). It significantly improves my search efficiency by narrowing down the search results and helps me to find out the most influential researchers to whom I can refer in my interested domain.
Author detail page & Visual Explorer
For me here's the most exciting part. Each of the author is dedicated a profile page, and besides some basic information like research interests, homepage link and publication/citation trend, Microsoft Academic Search has developed a tool called Visual Explorer, through which we can directly overview a scholar's co-author network.
In the graph each node represents an author; and the more publication one has, the bigger his/her node is. When clicking the "detail" button the co-author's detail information shows up; while clicking the linking line between two authors, we can see top papers written by them. For me it's amazing because following this network, I can easily reach a number of most relevant researchers and expand my knowledge in my interested domain.
That's it and hope you find it helpful.
Have fun with it, and any other tips, please share! :twisted: