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Archive for June, 2008


This article is the second in a series intended to help those exploring federated search to understand the steps to procuring a federated search product or service Part I explored the business case, i.e. the compelling reasons for pursuing federated search. While the exploration of the issues in Part I may have included discussion of benefits, the discussion was a high-level one. Part II drops to a deeper level of detail. Part III will consider features in the context of requirements and benefits.

Note that benefits are not features. While I am not a sales or marketing professional, my experience in working with customers is that they desire benefits and that they only desire the features that increase their benefits. Too many features can actually make an application undesirable if, for example, ease of use is an important benefit and the weight of all those features negates that benefit.

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Author: Sol

[ Editor’s disclaimer: I am paid by both Deep Web Technologies and by the DOE Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) for various projects. ]

On Wednesday, Deep Web Technologies was named Small Business Innovation Research small business of the year by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). (There’s a press release regarding the award here.) In order to receive the prestigious award, Deep Web had to provide a song and slide show; a small snippet of the song plus the slide show was played at the ceremony.

Can you guess what song Deep Web chose?

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[ Editor’s note: This review of one of the chapters from Christopher Cox’s collection of federated search articles is by Susan Fingerman. Susan is on the staff of the R.E. Gibson Library, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, in Laurel, MD.

Susan, like other reviewers, selected three articles to read and comment on. Susan picked the theme of user expectations for all three of her articles. Below is her first review which tells of how one library marketed its newly acquired federated search solution to its constituents plus lessons learned.

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A couple of weeks ago I wrote about ten unrealistic expectations that some people have about federated search. A few days ago The Krafty Librarian published a blog article expressing frustrations over PubMed having been down for a number of hours with no notification from PubMed. In my book, this makes for unrealistic expectation number 11:

11. If a source ever goes down, the content owner should immediately and widely broadcast this information.

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The ALA 2008 Annual Conference is fast approaching. This year it’ll be in Anaheim. The conference starts next Thursday (June 26th) and goes through July 2nd. Like in the very recent SLA 2008 Conference, I couldn’t find presentations that would be of particular interest to the federated search community. Federated search vendors, though, are better represented in the exhibitor booths:

  • Auto-Graphics, Inc. (Booth #1366)
  • CARE Affiliates (Booth #466)
  • Ex Libris (Booth #1694)
  • Serials Solutions (Booth #1652)
  • TDNet (Booth #1333)
  • U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Scientific & Technical Information (OSTI) (Booth #2471)

Note that Deep Web Technologies will be co-exhibiting with OSTI.

Update 6/23/08: Please see Peter Noerr’s comment on this blog post for vendors I missed.


As announced in Deep Web Technologies’ recent press release, six noted federated search experts will be serving as judges for the federated search writing contest. Predict the future of federated search and win $100, $250, or $500 in cash.

If you publish a blog related to federated search, information science, or to library science I’d very much appreciate a mention of our contest.

Entries are due August 1st.

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I’m on travel for the next few days. (I’ve been in Seoul, Korea, at the signing of the WorldWideScience Alliance Formation Ceremony and now I’m off for some personal travel in the Korean countryside.) I’ll be away from the Internet, and not posting again until Wednesday. When I return I’ll write more about the “predict the future of federated search contest” – we have six notable judges for the contest, I’ll be publishing more reviews of essays from Christopher Cox’s book, I’ll continue with the federated search roadmap series, and I’ve got some other interesting items to write about.

Have a great weekend. I’ll “see” you all Wednesday.


Search pundit Stephen Arnold started a series in February, Search Wizards Speak, in which he interviews people who, in Arnold’s words, “have made significant contributions to information retrieval.” Eighteen people, thus far, have made Arnold’s list. Abe Lederman is one of them. Abe is founder of Deep Web Technologies; his company sponsors this blog.

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[ Editor’s note: Scott Rice, E-Learning Librarian at Appalachian State University, was one of the volunteers who took me up on my offer to review several chapters of Christopher Cox’s book of essays about federated search.

Scott Rice reviews an article that asks the difficult question: Do we give students what they want or what we think they need?

You can find other reviews of essays from Mr. Cox’s book in the “Cox essay review” category.]

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When Google announced on April 11 that it was experimenting with crawling the deep web, the blogosphere buzzed with excitement, concern, and questions. The conversation, however, is not new. In March of last year, Geeking with Greg reported on a December 2006 paper: Structured Data Meets the Web: A Few Observations. The paper, attributed to Google, describes Google’s efforts to search structured data and to structure data that isn’t structured. And, an October 19, 2006 blog article at SEO by the Sea identifies a Google patent filed on April 5, 2006 and published October 12, 2006: Searching through content which is accessible through web-based forms. The three inventors listed in the patent are among the co-authors of the Google paper.

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