Wednesday, April 18, 2007

CIL2007: Federated Search

[04/22/2007 -- corrected formatting.]

Frank Cervone and Jeff Wisnewski – Federated Search: State of the Art

Standard features:

  • Support for multiple protocols
    • Z39.50, SRU/SRW. OAI. Other XML
  • Simple and advanced search
  • Post processing of results
  • Statistics

Advanced search features, e.g., integration with other software

Library Journal Automated System marketplace 2006 lists the competitors in this product space.

  • Ex Libris
  • WebFeat
  • Products based on MuseGlobal
  • And others…

However, we need to remove the confusion from having to make choices.

Gone from the marketplace: Endeavor. SirsiDynix’s solution is going away.

Database vendors are enhancing their market share by offering federated search. (e.g., ProQuest CSA Illumina/MultiSearch). But do our users understand the categories, for example, that are in MultiSearch?

Will ProQuest CSA kill MultiSearch in favor of Serial Solutions?

Ovid SearchSolver:

  • Based on Muse technology
  • Hosted
  • Results post-processing
  • Customizable, brandable
  • Integrates faceted browsing

Ex Libris – Endeavor: all of the Endeavor federated search is being integrated into the Ex Libris product line.

  • MetaLib
  • SFX
  • Primo

Metalib 4.0:

  • Now with faceted browsing
  • Interface with eventually be supplanted by Primo


  • Visual navigation
  • Different way of information discovery

Grokker in EBSCO:

  • Visual navigation
  • Exposes relationships between pieces of data that may not be apparent in a text environment
  • A pleasant experience for the user

Encore (by Innovative):

  • Includes tag clouds – associates works with LCSH (Library of Congress Subject Headings) and then associates those LCSH with phrases and creates a phrase cloud

Fretwell-Downing (OCLC PICA):

  • FDI Portal
  • OL2
  • Sounds like there were in the forefront at one point but no more. Frank showed a cartoon of a man yawning.

WebFeat Express:

  • Hosted version of WebFeat Prism
  • $7950 for an annual subscription
  • Several interface choices – brandable
  • OpenURL compliant
  • ProCite/EndNote compatible
  • EBSCO A-Z Integration
  • Trying to make it plug-n-play as much as possible

Who else is in the game?

  • Agent
  • Carlweb
  • Cameleon
  • DOM2
  • Millennium Access Plus
  • Encore
  • Explorit
  • Keystone
  • MetaSearch Solution
  • Muse
  • OpenSiteSearch
  • Polaris
  • Serials Solution
  • Searcher Analyzer
  • WebClarity

Looking outside of libraryland:

  • Autonomy -- with Universal Repository Interfacing
  • Endeca
  • Siderian -- Take Guided Navigation a step further…


  • Number of vendors is shrinking
  • Migration to XML information feeds
  • Integration of content with external systems
    • Organizational portals
    • Bibliographic management software
    • Course management/ learning management systems
  • Increased use of visualization and clustering
  • Greater possibilities for off-site hosting
  • Data pre-processing options
  • Google Scholar / Microsoft Academic Live

They skimmed through a lot of information. I wish they had gone more in-depth and perhaps covered less (deeper information on fewer topics, rather than a small bit of information on a lot of topics).

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