In March, Abe Lederman, CEO and CTO of Deep Web Technologies, visited the Library of Congress to train Federal Librarians on federated search. (You can view that presentation here). Abe explored public federated search science portals as well as multilingual translation tools. Much of his talk was about Google, emphasizing why it isn’t suitable for serious government researchers.
As an alternative to Google, Abe showed examples of public federated search portals as search resources for government librarians. Federated search is well suited for government research for a number of reasons.
- Federated search is fast: Results are returned in less than 2 seconds, aggregated, de-duplicated and ranked to make searching simple. While not as fast as Google, federated search focuses on quality of results rather than speed, returning results from vetted sources and ensuring researchers get critical information, not information overload.
- Federated search is efficient: Federated search speeds the search process by consolidating the most important sources into a single unified search. Because these portals search in real-time and are connected directly to the source, it’s almost as though the researcher is going directly to each information source to perform a search, rather than searching all sources from a single search box. Additionally, researchers can hone in on the right information with filters and sorts, narrowing results from all of their resources to the needle in the haystack.
- Federated search for FEDLINK libraries is inexpensive: In addition to the public federated search portals that are available, Deep Web Technologies offers an inexpensive package deal designed for FEDLINK libraries. This package includes Alerts, Personal Library, Clusters and Facets, Search Builder, the ability to select and search a single source, Search Widgets, and more.
You may already be using federated search if you use Science.gov, WorldWideScience.org, Mednar.com, or Environar.com. The beauty of having your own custom federated search solution is that you can include your frequently searched public resources, your own subscription content, and even internal resources into a single search portal for your researchers. Using federated search allows your organization to efficiently use resources while delivering critical information in a timely manner.
Darcy Katzman, Deep Web Technologies, firstname.lastname@example.org