Three cheers for federated search | Federated Search BlogFederated Search
29
Apr

Federated search gets beaten up a lot so it’s always nice to get some positive attention. If you want to read some over-the-top cheerleader-quality positive writing about federated search just check out this article at the Kansas State University “Talking in the Library” blog.

D.J. Beckley wrote this “Federated Search Engine = Awesome” “tips and tricks” article to entertain and educate. The article starts like this:

You might not know this little bit of information, but one of the coolest things to do in the library doesn’t involve acts that might get you banned from the building. It’s actually federated searching and you can do it in the future if you haven’t already! Seemingly contrary to its name, federated searching does not involve the Department of Homeland Security, illegal wiretaps, or raids on your personal belongings

And it ends with these sage words:

Federated search engines, aka portals, like these search many databases to provide you with the results you so desire. So, desire the results you need and use federated search engines like ProQuest. Once again, portals = federated searching = Awesome = the future.

I give this article an A+ for engagement value and an A- for accuracy. Google Scholar isn’t doing federated search. Sorry.

Three cheers for D.J. for her lovely words!!!

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2 Responses so far to "Three cheers for federated search"

  1. 1 Jonathan Rochkind
    April 30th, 2009 at 4:21 pm  

    Actually some people insist that “federated search” actually ONLY refers to an aggregated index like Google Scholar, and _shouldn’t_ be used to refer to broadcast search!

    It’s clear the word has been used to refer to both aggregated index and broadcast search “multiple source search” technology. There’s no going back in time to make the word mean the ‘right’ thing, and besides there are two conflicting sides on what the ‘right’ thing is!

    I’m accepting that both ‘federated search’ and ‘meta-search’ are used in common parlance (to the extent that they are at all!) to mean any kind of technology that lets you search multiple sources at once.

    I’m suggesting ‘aggregated index’ and ‘broadcast search’ as terms of art for the specific technology, that are minimally likely to have their meanings changed in the future, they’re as succinct but still specific as anything I can think of.

  2. 2 Sol
    May 1st, 2009 at 6:28 pm  

    Jonathan — Good point. I know you’ve been discussing the topic at code4lib. It is indeed a muddy issue and, now that I think about it, I am aware that “federated search” is sometimes used to refer to aggregated index. And, an aggregated index does “federate” content from different sources. Yuck!!

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