[ Editor’s note: Darcy Pedersen, Mednar Product Manager for blog sponsor Deep Web Technologies (DWT), shares her enthusiasm about the latest good press that DWT’s new Mednar medical research portal has received. I welcome stories about good press from any federated search vendor. ]
What’s an alternative search engine, you ask? According to AltSearchEngines.com, their motto is: “The most wonderful search engines you’ve never seen.” On AltSearchEngines.com, you are not only exposed to eloquent reviews on current and new search engines, you get the low-down on up-and-coming technology in the search world. And guess what just poked its head around the corner?
Mednar, a free, publicly available, real-time federated search engine by Deep Web Technologies, made the top 10 list of alternative search engines of 2008. The review was just published today in the widely read blog, ReadWriteWeb. Designed for the serious medical researcher, Mednar allows you to blend results from 50 authoritative, medical sources, including PubMed, Clinical Trials, and Medline Plus. The results are de-duped, aggregated, made sortable, clustered, and ranked. If a particular result tickles your fancy, simply check it off as a “selection” and download, print, email or export it to your citation reader of choice. Hope Leman, AltSearchEngines.com writer and reviewer (and time manager extraordinaire) enthusiastically penned her review complimenting the Alerting capability:
“Well, as someone who works in a medical library and spends many happy hours working in the kingdom of medical search tools, PubMed, I am always interested in seeing what else is out there in health sciences search. One thing I liked right away about Mednar was how it easy it was to set up an email alert on the latest results on my subject of choice, in this case my consuming interest amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. I have been receiving daily updates of the latest research on that subject from Mednar and they are quite fascinating. Now that might some strike some as not particularly novel or exciting (think Google Alerts), but it is really surprising how few options one has in terms of current awareness of authoritative (where Google falls down) daily bulletins and it never hurts to supplement the services one can get from PubMed.”
While free federated search engines are not new to the general public — Science.gov, Scitopia.org, and WorldWideScience.org are all free and publicly available — their focus is largely scientific and technical. Deep Web Technologies, with its new line of NAR (Notably Accelerated Research) engines has brought federated search to the masses of serious researchers in different industries. Starting first with Biznar, a federated search site for business researchers and progressing to Mednar, Deep Web Technologies plans to introduce several new NAR sites in 2009, including LawNar and PharmaNar. As Abe Lederman, founder and CTO of Deep Web Technologies said, “We want to show off our technology, let researchers experience a different take on quality results. I’m thrilled that Mednar was recognized as one of the top 10 Alternative Search Engines for 2008!”
Charles Knight, editor of AltSearchEngines.com, and author of the Top 10 article stated:
“The gap between the major search engines and the alternatives to them, in terms of the user’s experience, continues to widen, a lot. Google has been compared to a luxury liner that is very, very slow to turn around, versus the speedboat sized startups that can turn, or innovate, on a dime. I guarantee that if you try these ten search tools, you won’t come away saying, ‘Hey, that’s just like Google.'”
Mednar is in beta, as Deep Web Technologies continues to fine tune features specifically for the medical community. The Deep Web folks love to get feedback on how to make Mednar (and Biznar) better, appreciating reviews like Hope’s, and Paula Hane’s in the InfoToday Newsbreak. Indeed, try Mednar for yourself and let Deep Web Technologies know what you think!