2011 June | Federated Search BlogFederated Search

Archive for June, 2011

15
Jun

[ Editor’s note: This article was first published in the Deep Web Technologies Blog. ]

WorldWideScience is a global science gateway that combines national and international scientific databases into a search engine. From a single search form, a scientist, researcher, or curious citizen can search over fifty databases in English and now 22 multilingual sources (with translation to the searcher’s native language) and seven multimedia sources. WorldWideScience is the brainchild of the director of the DOE Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI), Dr. Walt Warnick. The gateway is maintained and hosted by OSTI and governed by the WorldWideScience Alliance.

Deep Web Technologies is proud to have developed the federated search technology behind WorldWideScience. And, with the cooperation of the Microsoft Translation services team, Deep Web Technologies also implemented the multilingual technology. It was a major undertaking but a worthwhile one for the science community, whose members can now greatly expand their reach to scientific papers in languages beyond their own.

Dr. Warnick was invited to deliver a presentation at the 14th session of the United Nations’ Commission on Science and Technology (CSTD). In a post at the OSTI Blog, Dr. Warnick shares the warm reception that WorldWideScience received.

I wish more of my OSTI colleagues could have been in Geneva to share the warm response from the attendees. Several country representatives offered up new sources for WorldWideScience (WWS). Another member of the audience searched mobile WWS for his own name and remarked that he found many of his papers. I received enthusiastic comments, so many that I couldn?t address all of them because of time constraints. Significantly, the Chair of CSTD volunteered to pay the costs of becoming a member of the WorldWideScience Alliance. There was great excitement about the possibilities for its use within the home countries of the attendees and how WWS advances the goals of CSTD.

The paper “Breaking down language barriers through multilingual federated search” co-authored by Abe Lederman (founder and president of Deep Web Technologies), and Dr. Warnick, Brian Hitson, and Lorrie Johnson from OSTI, explains the importance of the gateway:

“WorldWideScience.org (WWS) is a global science gateway developed by the US Department of Energy Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) in partnership with federated search vendor Deep Web Technologies. WWS provides a simultaneous live search of 69 databases from government and government-sanctioned organizations from 66 participating nations. The WWS portal plays a leading role in bringing together the world’s scientists to accelerate the discoveries needed to solve the planet’s most pressing problems. In this paper we present a brief history of the development of WWS and discuss how a new technology, multilingual federated search, greatly increases WWS’ ability to facilitate the advancement of science.”

Deep Web Technologies is delighted to be working with OSTI and other organizations to push the envelope of search technology and to make the world a smaller place.

1
Jun

On search neutrality

Author: Sol

Abe Lederman, founder and president of Deep Web Technologies and sponsor of this blog, wrote an article at the Deep Web Technologies blog: Preparing for ALA Panel and Federated Search Neutrality. Abe discovered this article at beerbrarian about the problem of net neutrality in federated search.

For those of you not familiar with net neutrality, Wikipedia explains it:

Network neutrality (also net neutrality, Internet neutrality) is a principle which advocates no restrictions by Internet service providers or governments on consumers’ access to networks that participate in the internet. Specifically, network neutrality would prevent restrictions on content, sites, platforms, the kinds of equipment that may be attached, or the modes of communication.
. . .
Neutrality proponents claim that telecom companies seek to impose a tiered service model in order to control the pipeline and thereby remove competition, create artificial scarcity, and oblige subscribers to buy their otherwise uncompetitive services. Many believe net neutrality to be primarily important as a preservation of current freedoms. Vinton Cerf, considered a “father of the Internet” and co-inventor of the Internet Protocol, Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the Web, and many others have spoken out in favor of network neutrality.

In the net neutrality battle, consumers worry about telecom companies unfairly biasing the delivery of some content (that which they have business interest in biasing) over the content of others. Add search to the equation and what you get are concerns over whether your search results are sorted by relevance or by the business needs of the search engine company.

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