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Posts Tagged ‘searching’

Google Magazine Search

12/10/2008 1 comment

It was reported today that Google will now include magazine contents in its search index. From an AP release:

 “As part of its quest to corral more content published on paper, Google Inc. has made digital copies of more than 1 million articles from magazines that hit the newsstands decades ago.”

So what does this mean for us? I would wager that we should be pressing for more integration of catalog searching via both institutional holdings but also Google indexing. Imagine if large portions of commonly held titles were available through Google. Small libraries could pay less in back log files and being to invest in new titles that they had to put on hold for that archival run of magazine articles.

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OCLC + Google = Forward Motion

OCLC announced that they would be sharing their bib records with Google.  This doesn’t include all records in Worldcat but instead those records made in coordination with Google Book Search items.  This link would allow users to locate items through either Google Book Search or Worldcat.org, and hopefully end up at their local library in the end.  I am curious to see how much more traffic gets pushed to the library from Google.

Cloudy days for searching?

01/07/2008 1 comment

cloudy field

In the competition for online search dominance, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has unveiled a new way to search the web in Search Wikia.   For a full description of this revelation you may want to read the PC World article from Monday, January 7th.

For those who don’t know, Wikia is a socially driven collection of topic based community wikis.  Or in layman’s terms–people talking about the same thing and editing the information about that thing in a shared web site. About Wikia.
The search side of Wikia is meant to remain true to the aims of open-source and provide free information, controlled by the people who know it best.  It also rests  on the concept of user generated feedback being a force in crafting the content; thereby removing the reins of some proprietary company (insert corporate name here: Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc.)  The concept is sound but requires quite a bit of input before any acknowledgeable results are seen.

The results are displayed with a “mini-article” at the top, if there is one created.  (Though they seem to frown on personal blogs and individual mini-articles.)  In essence, the “mini-article” is a light version of a Wikipedia entry and may be edited by those associated or with some factual knowledge.  The information also may contain images, which can be uploaded and applied by individuals.  To the right a result box for people matching your search terms appears.  This information is generated through the Wikia profiles you create in order to use the system to its fullest.  For instance, if someone typed in Google as a search term, then the “People matching “google” results may include a programmer who works at Google or maybe someone who really loves GoogleMaps, and put that in their profile.

I really like the social aspect being brought into the mix, but fear that it will only get so far as it takes so much to get input from  the public at large.  Of course all great concepts have to start somewhere, so if you have the time give it a whirl and see what you think.

I did want to mention how much this move reminds me of the Google Knol project and the possibilities I hinted at for Google searching with Knol.  (See my other post here.)

Where does the world search?

10/11/2007 1 comment

searching

From a BBC technology report, a study from comScore relates that Google is the most dominant search provider in the world.

Users performed more than 37 billion searches via Google, more than all the other major search engines combined.

This may seem disheartening to many in the library field, as this means that users are becoming more and more reliant on Google for their information searching needs. I tend to believe that even though this may seem shocking to some, it lights a path towards where our thoughts on library search designs should progress.

I blogged in an earlier post about Firefox extensions designed to lead a search on Amazon, or any other service utilizing ISBN’s, back to your own library holdings. This helped if your library was included in the list of accessible library catalogs, but even this didn’t help connect journal articles to library holdings. There is a Firefox extension which helps bridge that gap.

The Open URL Referrer links citations in Google Scholar, Google News, or any site containing COinS. The extension allows you to set up your full text service (SFX) and then allow the search results to link themselves to your holdings.  This may seem like cheating the library, but the re-resolved link takes you into the library service point and not the direct article.  To me, if the users are already in Google looking for citations, why not give them a way to jump directly into your library?

Whether we start designing our OPAC interfaces more akin to the Google way, or if we start redirecting users back from Google, the truth is that the big G isn’t going to be going away anytime soon.  So why not make the best out of an estranged relation?