Wednesday, October 22, 2008

FUMSI: Federated Search Report and Tool Kit

This report for Free Pint was a long time coming! Thanks to Robin Neidorf at Free Pint for asking me to write this. From the web site...

So many datasets, so little time. Federated search can streamline the process of searching across internal, subscription and web-based sources of information. But when is an organisation a strong candidate for investing in federated search solutions? And how can the information staff research, plan and implement a federated search solution that meets the organisation’s needs?

Jill Hurst-Wahl, a noted industry expert in digital collections, federated search, the nexus between information and technology and recent full-time appointee to the faculty of the information school at the University of Syracuse, provides a compact yet comprehensive resource with her Federated Search Report and Tool Kit. She begins with an explanation of federated search – what it does well and what it does not do well – and then lays out a process for making informed decisions about if and how to move forward.

The report’s 5 chapters provide guidance on conducting a needs assessment, building a project team and gaining buy-in – all essential yet often overlooked steps. Hurst-Wahl also covers researching the industry, considering open source as well as proprietary solutions, researching specific projects, and establishing success criteria so that the project can be measured.

Everyone faces the challenge of choosing the best resource to search for the right information… and we all want it to function as easily as a certain search engine whose name rhymes with ‘frugal’. Whilst that may not be a realistic goal, the Federated Search Report and Tool Kit can help you develop solutions that save your team time, improve usage of key datasets and help users more efficiently get to the information they need to make better decisions.

More...including the table of contents and a sample from the report.

11/4/2008 addendum: Sol Lederman reviewed the report.

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