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Abe Lederman, founder and president of blog sponsor Deep Web Technologies, has been asked by partner Swets to speak at one of their Webinars about his experiences with federated search and with Deep Web Technologies’ Explorit – sold under the name SwetsWise Searcher. Abe will demonstrate the product together with Marieke Heins from Swets. The Webinar is free, live, and Abe will take questions. You can register here.

The Webinar is next Wednesday, May 12, 11.00 AM EST, and is open to an international audience.

Here is the topic of the Webinar:

With the amount of information available online rapidly expanding and residing in more disparate sources, you need to help your users simplify the way they discover and access the content they need.

Join our web information session and live demonstration on how SwetsWise Searcher can help you to provide your users with quick and relevant search results. In the Webinar, guest speaker Abe Lederman from Deep Web Technologies will share his experience with in the federated search field and how to accelerate the diffusion of knowledge. He has 25 years of experience in computer software engineering.

Here is more information about Abe’s talk:

Researchers, particularly students, are making Google their first stop for research because it is “quick and easy”. They assume that Google will find the authoritative, scholarly information that they are seeking. However, the information in Google is not always the highest quality or the most reliable content. Librarians now have the opportunity to team up with a Federated Search vendor to once again make the librarian a search authority in finding scholarly information. In this session, the audience will learn of the features and capabilities that are currently available in Federated Search. The audience will also learn how librarians can play a key collaborative role in bringing Federated Search to their patrons.

Free registration is on the Swets site.


Helen Mitchell, enterprise search consultant and one of our volunteer judges for this year’s Federated Search Blog contest, will be teaching a one-day course at SLA in New Orleans in June. Mitchell has over 30 years of experience in enterprise search. See her bio in this article (third one down.)

The course is divided into a morning and an afternoon piece. There’s a substantial discount for signing up for both parts.

Here are the descriptions for the two parts of the course:

Federated Search, Part 1: Evaluation and Assessment Methodology for Success
Saturday, 06/12/2010 8:00AM -12:00PM

In this age of “information explosion,” quickly finding the most relevant information is a huge challenge for information professionals (IPs). With a tidal wave of information technologies to choose from, IPs often lack the expertise to select the best solution to increase content findability. Consider a federated search (FS) system that can quickly search your subscription databases and unstructured content sources. Learn a methodology to evaluate, select, develop and implement the right FS solution for your organization. This can improve support of your mission, vision and goals.

Federated Search, Part 2: Selecting and Implementing an Effective Solution
Saturday, 06/12/2010 1:00PM – 5:00PM

Current and emerging search technologies can foster information sharing, collaboration, networking and feedback. Finding the most relevant information in a timely manner challenges information professionals because they don’t have an effective enterprise-wide federated search (FS) solution. If you want a better understanding of what federated search is, how to collect these specialized requirements, develop a “Request for Info” (RFI) and a “Request for Proposal” (RFP) and learn how to evaluate federated search products to meet your organizational needs, this course is for you!

Course price and registration information is here. SLA price and registration information is here.


In November I’ll be moderating a panel for the Enterprise Search Summit in San Jose, Ca. The topic – Federated Search: A Wonder or a Waste? The heavy lifting (answering of hard questions) will be handled by our expert panelists: Peter Noerr (CTO of MuseGlobal), Carl Grant (President of Ex Libris, North America), and Christopher Cox (Dean of Libraries at Western Washington University.

Here’s the abstract of our panel:

Opinions about the value of federated search vary widely. Some view it as the optimal way to discover unified content. Others believe it to be a slow and poor substitute for searching the underlying sources. Some see it as a necessary evil and learn to tolerate it within their organizations. Come listen to our three panelists discuss their experience with numerous federated search deployments. Learn about the benefits federated search can offer as well as its shortcomings and common pitfalls. Walk away knowing if federated search is right for your organization and how to get from a blank search screen to one that delivers the results your users need.

Carl, Peter, Christopher and I had a phone meeting the other day to plan for the panel. While we will solicit questions from the audience and otherwise engage them as much as possible, we also want to have some questions prepared to get the ball rolling. My question to readers of this blog: What are the hot topics in federated search and what questions do you have about them? We’ll be paying particular attention to federated search in the enterprise at the conference but, regardless of where you use federated search, if you were in the audience, what would you ask the panel?

Here are a few of the questions we came up with. (No, I don’t want to give away all of them.)

  1. Is federated search a dying technology?
  2. Can federated search and discovery services play nicely together? How would that look?
  3. Federated searching in the cloud: what are the pros and cons?
  4. Is there any hope that connectors will become easier to build and maintain?

What are your hot questions?


Michelle Manafy, Chair of the upcoming Enterprise Summit West Conference in San Jose in November, came up with the catchy “Wonder or Waste?” title for the conference’s panel discussion about federated search.

Michelle asked me to moderate the panel, an honor I was grateful to accept. Michelle and I worked together to identify and recruit panelists and to define the topic. Here’s what we came up with:

Federated Search: A Wonder or a Waste?

Thursday, November 19, 2009
10:45 am – 11:30 am

Moderator: Sol Lederman, Federated Search Blog
Dr Peter Noerr, CTO, MuseGlobal, Inc.
Carl Grant, President, Ex Libris North America
Christopher Cox, Dean of Libraries, Western Washington University

Opinions about the value of federated search vary widely. Some view it as the optimal way to discover unified content. Others believe it to be a slow and poor substitute for searching the underlying sources. Some see it as a necessary evil and learn to tolerate it within their organizations. Come listen to our three panelists discuss their experience with numerous federated search deployments. Learn about the benefits federated search can offer as well as its shortcomings and common pitfalls. Walk away knowing if federated search is right for your organization and how to get from a blank search screen to one that delivers the results your users need.

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The SLA 2009 Annual Conference is fast approaching. Blog sponsor Deep Web Technologies will have a booth at the conference. If you’re going to be attending they’d welcome your visit. Abe Lederman, founder and President of Deep Web Technologies, will be a presenter. His talk and contributed paper are titled “Science Research: Journey to Ten Thousand Sources.” The talk will be on Monday (June 15) from 3:30 to 5:00 as part of the “Adapt, Leverage and Communicate (Part I)” contributed paper session.

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Michelle Manafy, Enterprise Search Summit Conference Chair, asked me to spread the word that anyone can register for the May Conference and get free admission to the ESS Keynotes and Showcase.

We decided to offer a special VIP pass to our keynotes and the showcase this year, in recognition that the economy will make it difficult for some companies to send employees.

The Conference is May 12 & 13 at the Hilton in NY. Anyone who registers using this link will have the option of joining us for one or both keynotes for free as well as visiting our exhibits hall (all of which we usually restrict to paid attendees only).

This year’s keynotes are:

May 12 Keynote: Harness Information to Deliver Enhanced Business Performance

9:00 am – 9:45 am
Listen to a Preview (8 MB)

Ramesh Harji, Head of Information Exploitation, Capgemini UK

Despite the billions of dollars invested in information technology, organizations are still failing to realize the latent potential of their information. To be successful, organizations need to take a different approach—one that views information as a critical business asset, not an afterthought. Organizations must put exploiting information at the heart of the way they do business. A recent Capgemini research report concludes that poor information exploitation is costing the U.K. economy over $100BN/year in lost profits, representing an average 29% suppression of business performance per organization. Better information exploitation is one of the last bastions: an opportunity to both grow revenue and improve profitability.

May 13 Keynote: Improving Security Through Information Awareness

9:00 am – 9:45 am
Wim van Geloven, VP Information Technology, National Coordinator for Counterterrorism, The Netherlands

Approximately 20 agencies in The Netherlands are involved in combating terrorism. To boost the effectiveness in understanding terrorism and serious crime, four organizations decided to join forces in a unique venture, dubbed Improving Security by Information Awareness. The Program strives to improve the quality of intelligence and investigations within the public security sector. The approach revolves around the collaboration of the different agencies, operates from the perspective of the operational cases, and defines the IT case from these basic principles. Over the past 3 years, the Program invested in pan-organizational change, as well as IT techniques and also the (scientific) development of methods and techniques that improve the exchange, presentation, analysis, and storage of large quantities of data. This keynote will address the background and problems faced, the technological and organizational challenges, encountered, and the way in which this new approach has reformed information awareness.


On panel and tweets

Author: Sol

A couple of (unrelated) items for today.

1. I’ve been invited to lead a panel at the Enterprise Search Summit West conference in San Jose in November. I’m pretty excited since I’ve not been to conferences in a couple of years. Leading this panel will be interesting because the topic will be related to federated search in the enterprise and I know that not everyone agrees on what enterprise search is, on whether federated search fits in the enterprise, and on how necessary federated search is in the enterprise or anywhere else for that matter.

I’ve put a call out on the LinkedIn Federated Search and Enterprise Search groups looking for panelists who know both worlds. I’ve gotten a few replies and I’d like to receive some more. The exact topic has yet to be determined; ideally there will be sufficient diversity among those responding to put together a panel to share differing viewpoints and to also help shape the topic before we “go live.” This is not going to be a “federated search will save the world” panel by any means.

If you’re interested in being considered for the panel or know of someone I should be considering, please drop me a line (or have them drop me a line) in the next week via my email address in the About page.

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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.


The SLA 2008 Conference is June 15-18 in Seattle. The program, which includes events, activities, and the exhibitors list, is here.

Oddly enough, federated search vendor participation is very slim. The only two vendors with booths are:

  • Deep Web Technologies: Booth #1123
  • Serials Solutions: Booth #1707

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The slides are up from the Infonortics Search Engine Meeting that was just held in Boston (4/28-4/29). Here are a number of presentations that caught my eye. Not all are related to federated search but breakthroughs in search should be of interest to all of us.

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