Posts Tagged ‘search engine’
There is plenty of enthusiasm for search engines like Google from researchers and the general public alike.
Google and Google Scholar are well-known for the wide breadth of the information they search. Google brings in news, factual and opinion-related information, and Google Scholar also emphasises scientific content across many disciplines.
But do these search tools give as comprehensive a picture of a particular research field as a specialist database?
This is the question that the team behind the specialised scientific database on energy-related information, ETDEWEB (the Energy Technology Data Exchange – World Energy Base) set out to answer by studying user search results.
The ETDE team compared the results of 15 energy-related queries performed on all three systems – ETDEWEB, Google and Google Scholar – using identical words/phrases.
More than 40,000 search result records from the three sources were evaluated. The study concluded that ETDEWEB is a significant resource to energy experts for discovering relevant energy information. In the 15 searches, nearly 90 per cent of the results in ETDEWEB were not shown by Google or Google Scholar.
Google is certainly a highly-used and valuable tool to find significant ‘non-specialist’ information, and Google Scholar does focus on scientific disciplines.
If a user’s interest is scientific and energy-specific, ETDEWEB continues to hold a strong position in the energy research, technology and development (RTD) information field and adds considerable value in knowledge discovery
Cutler, Debbie (ETDE). Database versus search engine. Research Information, Dec. 2010 / Jan. 2011. online:
1) no search engine covers everything;
2) different search engines miss different things;
3) retrieving large numbers of results is not necessarily bad;
4) all search engines offer advanced search techniques to improve results;
5) meta-search engines are not the same as search engines;
6) Google is great but not the only search engine; and
7) be prepared for changes in all search engines.
This comes from Middle-Age (2002!) but seems still relevant.
Tenopir, Carol. Online Databases-The Web: Searchable, Hidden, and Deceitful. Library Journal, 2002
Xerox was one of the first companies to work on clustering services in the early 2000′s, in their Research center in Grenoble (France).
Many changes happened since then, in the clustering search services: Kartoo, among others, has disappeared.
The authors gives here a good overview of current systems which may allow you to try a more efficient search on the web.
Youngkin, Andrew. Clustering search strategies: an overview and update. FUMSI, September 2010. Online:
World Wide of Science, built by several american organisations on a Deep Web technology,
is projected to enable scientists to simultaneously search and translate over 400 million pages of scientific research published in 65 countries from around the world in multiple languages.
It offers researchers real-time searching and translation of articles written in Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Russian and English simultaneously.
This is the proposal of Susan Feldman from IDC, interviewed by Elsevier’s Illumin8.
“We now all spend time creating, manipulating, reviewing, publishing, searching, discovering, retrieving, archiving, and communicating electronically. We have access to too much information, with relatively few tools to help us sift through it all” (…)
According IDC studies, information workers spend an average of 9.5 hours each week gathering information. Researchers spend more. (and 14.5 hours a week to answer their emails!!)
Today’s default interaction model (the search box) is actually a barrier to innovation.
By going beyond basic keyword search and incorporating semantic analysis of underlying information, today’s tools can help categorize results, make them easier to navigate, highlight key people and topics, suggest related areas for investigation, and allow the user to more easlily explore complicated subject matters.
They help control information overload, prevent information trash, and promote serendipity. (…) these new offerings will be a prominent feature in the arsenal of tomorrow’s breakthrough innovators”
The white paper (Feldman, Susan. The Business Case for Innovation, May 2009) can be downloaded at:
… advocates Andrew Richardson, VP of business development at Wolters Kluwer Heath.
they need to ‘move up the value chain’ by providing more useful search tools than publicly accessible services such as Google (…)
Really smart and funny this approach chosen by Elsevier to promote the new design of ScienceDirect! I like it… (except a few mistakes in the French translation…)
Type your favorite query into a kind of meta-search engine google-like form to see how search engines (Google, Yahoo!, etc.) give you an amazing number of hits (that indeed you will never look at)… By the opposite, ScienceDirect gives you a limited number of responses but they are high-quality and peer-reviewed… so, you save your time!!!
http://www.research-engine.com/ (don’t skip the intro)
Despite a very limited content, the concept of this engine is really promising:
Further info on the Yale project:
Novoseek is a smart tool to find out easily and efficiently your literature from Medline database.
On the left side of your results list, you get clustering features suggesting filters (key biomedical concepts such as: Diseases, Genes, Organisms, Biological functions, etc.) linked to your request. That helps you to refine your search with one click.
My opinion: Excellent for Medline afficionados; Should replace the “old-fashion” PubMed!