Over a year ago I published a review of a paper: Initiating the Learning Process – A Model for Federated Searching and Information Literacy. I had recruited a number of volunteers to write reviews of essays from Christopher Cox’s excellent book about federated search. Scott Rice wrote that review.
Those of you who don’t have access to that paper, beyond reading Mr. Rice’s excellent review, can now read a number of the points the paper makes in the Begley Reference Blog. A dozen excerpts from the paper are highlighted.
The excerpt I found most interesting was about “weaning students” from tools like Google and toward more scholarly applications:
“When searching for information, students will utilize strategies that have worked in the past. If they use the Web for academic research and have not been introduced to other search possibilities, they will likely turn to the Web again when faced with a new information need. This is a challenge librarians face when introducing library resources as search alternatives. The search interfaces in many such resources are not always intuitive and easy-to-use. Federated searching provides opportunities to teach students about academic research by introducing search tools that they will want to use. The single search box model that most federated search tools employ provides a way for librarians to bridge the gap between Web searching and database or catalog searching. If librarians can wean students from the Web by presenting them with a similar tool that yields more scholarly results, then part of the process of developing their ability to choose appropriate information retrieval systems will be attained.” (p 249)
The excerpts and the paper itself provide good food for thought about how students and librarians view federated search.