Archive for the "industry news" Category


[ Editor's note: Blog sponsor Deep Web Technologies has announced important enhancements to its federated search technology that allows its Explorit Research Accelerator product to go deeper into the deep Web than ever before. ]

Researchers can now search text, audio, video and images in multiple languages

SANTA FE, N.M., June 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Deep Web Technologies?, the leader in federated search of the Deep Web, today announced full integration of multilingual and multimedia search into the company’s market-leading Explorit? Research Accelerator. The patent-pending multilingual search capability is the first such feature ever offered for Deep Web search.

Multilingual federated search, unveiled June 11, 2011 in Helsinki at the International Council for Scientific and Technical Information’s Summer Conference and originally only available as a beta release to users of the gateway to global science, is now available to all Deep Web Technologies customers who require seamless access to foreign language documents. Explorit’s multilingual search capability translates a user’s search query into the native languages of the collections being searched, aggregates and ranks these results according to relevance, and translates result titles and snippets back to the user’s original language. The multilingual translation functionality, powered by Microsoft?, makes it simple to search collections in multiple languages from a single search box in the user’s native language.

Multimedia federated search, first introduced in the and portals, allows for seamless integration of audio, video, and image content sources into Explorit. searches seven multimedia sources: CDC Podcasts, CERN Multimedia, Medline Plus, NASA, NSF, NBII LIFE, and ScienceCinema. ScienceCinema is an exciting example of the ability to search speech indexed multimedia content. The DOE Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) developed ScienceCinema in partnership with Microsoft. When multimedia sources are included in an Explorit search, images and links to multimedia content can be presented alongside text results or in a separate results tab.



Google just announced that they would buy ITA Software, regulators permitting. Here’s another Google purchase that would take Google deeper into smarter searching.

Semantic processing is taking a big step forward.

From Mashable:

Google Acquires Metaweb to Improve Search

Google has acquired semantic web and real world database company Metaweb, a move the company says will help them ?improve search and make the web richer and more meaningful for everyone.?

We wrote about Metaweb back in 2008 when they received a significant chunk of funding to the tune of $42 million, on top of their first round of $15 million back in 2006. Since then the company has built its Freebase open database into a collection of over 12 million items from entertainment (movies, books, TV shows) to locations, celebrities, companies and other ?real world? objects. Google says the plan is to preserve and further develop the database and hope to enlist other companies to make use of and contribute to the data.

In addition to fleshing out Freebase, Google also hopes to leverage Metaweb to enhance its efforts with features like rich snippets and search answers, both of which aim to give back ?smarter? and more immediate results to specific queries. Right now, simpler requests like ?Barack Obama birthday? and ?events in San Jose? can spawn relevant answers right at the top of the search results page, but Google hopes to take this initiative further by feeding in more facts about the real world from Metaweb?s data repository.

Resource Shelf has some very insightful thoughts on the acquisition.

Here’s a good video on what Metaweb is about:
YouTube Preview Image

Here’s Google’s announcement of the acquisition.


[ Editor's note: This article first appeared in the OSTI Blog. Dr. Walt Warnick, Director of the Office of Scientific and Technical Information, part of DOE, and I co-authored the article. For some important search applications there is no alternative to federated search.]

Discovery services have begun to appear in the search landscape. Discovery services provide access to documents from publishers with which they have relationships by indexing the publishers’ metadata and/or full text. Discovery services are marketed to libraries where patrons appreciate near-instantaneous search results and where library staff is willing to restrict access to sources available from the service (and optionally the library’s own holdings.) While these services tout themselves as improvements to federated search, the reality is that there is no alternative to federated search for a number of important applications. is a global gateway to science. The federated search application was conceived and developed at OSTI and hosted by us. The portal performs live federated search of 70 databases from 66 countries. Participating members provide access to their national research databases. For a number of reasons this important gateway to millions of research documents does not lend itself to the discovery service model.

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When I think of real-time search and automated retrieval I think of a federated search solution. Well, here’s a different kind of such a system. Evanced Solutions has built a robot (yes, an actual physical robot) that works like those in manufacturing plants. (No, the robot doesn’t look like the image here. This image is from the Wikipedia robot article.)

The U.S. designed and manufactured system allows libraries to provide books and audiovisual materials in convenient locations without the space and cost associated with constructing a traditional library branch or building.

The new library vending system will be powered by an industrial multi-axis robot typically used in manufacturing plants. The robot will deliver library materials to patrons from storage shelves in the machine. It also re-shelves those same materials to the machine when returned by the patron for check-out by the next person.

The press release, Robot Extends Library Services, says the prototype of its new BranchAnywhere library vending system was to be unveiled last month at the Public Library Association Conference in Portland, Oregon.

A hat tip goes to Stan at the Library Blog Buzz.


Noteworthy news

Author: Sol

In the past few days a number of noteworthy happenings have hit my radar. Here are three: debuts as the most comprehensive Deep Web science search engine

Blog sponsor Deep Web Technologies announced the official launch of The science research portal itself is not new. What’s new is that it now searches over 400 sources in real-time. It runs inside an Amazon Cloud to quickly address changes in demand. Amazon’s Web Services Blog reported on the launch. Paula Hane at Information Today also covered the relaunch in a good amount of detail. All of this press coincides with Deep Web Technologies’ founder Abe Lederman’s presentation today at SLA: Journey to 10,000 sources. is a key accomplishment on the road to searching 10,000 sources at once.
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The Computers In Libraries (CiL) Conference generated a fair amount of buzz on the Web. Those of you, like me, who weren’t there might appreciate some of the links I rounded up:


Computers in Libraries 2009 will be here in just a few days. It runs from March 30 through April 1, in Arlington, Virginia.

I was excited to see the April edition of Computers In Libraries Magazine (in printed form.) In it, there’s a three-page spread about the federated search writing contest and it includes the full text of Rich Turner’s first place essay plus acknowledgement of second and third place winners Steven Bell and Lee LeBlanc. I’ve already published Mr. Bell’s and Mr. LeBlanc’s essays. Mr. Turner’s essay should be available online, at the Computers in Libraries Magazine web-site, in the April edition, in about a week. I’ll let you know as soon as it’s up.

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ALCTS, a division of ALA, is hosting a series of ongoing electronic discussions of interest to the library community. You’re invited to join in. There’s no cost and you don’t even need to be an ALA member. And, the February 2009 topic includes federated search.

ALCTS is the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services. The ALCTS About page describes the organization:

Comprised of nearly 5,000 members from across the United States and 42 countries from around the globe, ALCTS is the premier resource for information specialists in collection development, preservation, and technical services. We are the leader in the development of principles, standards, and best practices for creating, collecting, organizing, delivering, and preserving information resources in all forms.

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LinkedIn recently added a news feature to their groups. If you are a member of a group you can submit, discuss, or recommend news articles that group members might be interested in.

I’ve started submitting articles I think are worthwhile to the group. I’ve posted six so far.

The LinkedIn Federated Search group has 83 members. Come join us, read or submit news items, or share in discussions.

Here’s the link to join the group:

You need to be a member of LinkedIn to join the group but LinkedIn membership is free.


This week the Alliance released 5.0. The release got a good amount of press from a couple of press releases (from the US Department of Energy and Deep Web Technologies) and from a number of bloggers, including Valerie Allen (Product Manager for on OSTI’s own blog and the SLA Government Information Division blog. When I worked for Deep Web, I supported the application and have enjoyed watching it evolve and grow.

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