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One New Thing
Tuesday, March 23, 2004
One New Thing: Federated Searching

I believe federated searching, that is searching more than one database through one search interface is something we are all going to be working with in the near future, because it makes sense, of sorts. ResourceShelf pointed to an article from TechNewsWorld on federated search interfaces that answers a few of my questions about how it would all work. Factors such as different databases having different search features, duplication of results (even ProQuest will display duplicate results within itself if the same article was published in different publications), sorting by relevancy, and ease of use are some of the aspects to consider. And of course the costs…when you consider that the product you buy doesn’t have content itself, it’s just another way to access the content you’ve already paid for.

I would imagine that advanced searches in particular would be very difficult to manage – seeing as truncation and wildcard characters vary wildly indeed between databases.

But if I had the opportunity to make suggestions to the people who create such tools, how about we solve one long-standing issue and incorporate something to the differences in spelling from country to country – speaking as someone who works for an organisation, not an organization, and who has tyres, not tires, on their car...

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