A big congratulations to Reprints Desk, Deep Web Technologies’ Document Delivery Partner who received top ratings in the 2012 Outsell. Document Delivery puts crucial content in information specialists hands allowing a backup model for cancelled subscriptions or incomplete collections. In light of the growing need for Document Delivery services, Outsell conducted a short survey in September 2012.
In the Scorecard, 3 specific categories of Document Delivery were evaluated:
- Depth and breadth of coverage: One of the critical elements of a document delivery supplier’s service is how comprehensive and deep its reach is across subjects. This attribute measures whether or not the content available from the vendor is what the buyer requires.
- Fair pricing: It is typical for buyers to want lower prices. We asked buyers to rate how reasonable (fair) they believe providers’ pricing to be.
- Ease of doing business: Sales staff turnover, company restructuring or acquisition, customer service, and processes or methods that fit the needs of enterprise buyers are factors in the ease of working with vendors.
In all areas, Reprints Desk was the highest rated Document Delivery vendor, scoring 4.4 out of 5 in Overall Satisfaction. “Reprints Desk has penetrated the market since it opened up in 2006, and its reputation for working closely with its customers has won it many fans.”
We’re pleased to be partnering with Reprints Desk, providing our joint customers with a state-of-the-search capability integrated with the best Document Delivery service on the market. Stay tuned for some exciting new enhancements to Article Galaxy Search coming soon.
Our clustering engine has always been among our customers’ favorite features. We introduced the feature and its tremendous value in discovering documents in our “Clusters That Think” article.
One of the most interesting features of our Explorit search product is our clustering engine, which analyzes results and produces “clusters” that represent a new and powerful way to navigate search results. The true power of these clusters is often overlooked, for they superficially resemble the output generated by the keyword-based systems and fixed taxonomies of other search engines. Our clustering technology, however, is more akin to a document-discovery engine, which provides a significant improvement over the alternatives in the library world.
Clustering is particularly powerful because, as our original article on the subject explains, “users think in concepts, not keywords.” Extending this line of thinking, we believe that many people think in pictures and not in lists and sublists of text so we introduced visual clustering to our Explorit feature set.
Here is a screenshot of a visual cluster of results for the search term “satellite communications.”
By clicking on the “Visual” link at the top of the cluster window, you can switch from the default outline view to a view that displays the five topics with the greatest number of results and the five sub-topics with the most results for each of the main topics. As you would expect, all of the areas of the circle of results are clickable and update the set of results you see to the right of the cluster. You can click on any of the triangles to see a third level of clusters. And, for those of you who prefer the outline view or want to dive deeper than two levels, you get that view by default or you can switch back to it by clicking the “Topics” link at the top of the cluster window. Whichever view you pick you get the same results so you needn’t be concerned about missing out regardless of which view you select.
This visually intuitive feature has been remarkably well received. You can give visual clustering a spin at our medical research application, Mednar, and at the science portals Science.gov and WorldWideScience.org as well.
Government Computer News (GCN) recently reviewed mobile apps developed by the federal government. Science.gov Mobile was among the top 10 listed.
GCN gave the Science.gov Mobile app (which runs on the Android and on the Mobile Web) scores of 7 for usefulness, 8 for ease of use, and 8 for coolness factor.
The Science.gov website has this to say about the accolade:
Coolness? Check. Usefulness? Check. Ease of Use? Check. The Science.gov Mobile application has been named among the Top Ten in Best Federal Apps by Government Computer News (GCN). The recognition is timely, too. The Administration recently issued Digital Government: Building a 21st Century Platform to Better Serve the American People, the strategy which calls on all federal agencies to begin making mobile applications to better serve the American public. GCN called its Top Ten “ahead of the curve” with apps already in place.
I downloaded the application to my Droid X. The install was effortless and the app has a very intuitive user interface, which allows for emailing of search results for later review.
While we didn’t have any involvement in creating the mobile app we did develop the search technology that powers Science.gov as well as the web services API that enables searches by Science.gov Mobile.
We’re quite delighted to see Science.gov serve the mobile web.
The other day Abe received in the mail the document from the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) granting us a trademark and service mark on the multilingual version of Explorit®, our federated search system. As any of you who have filed patents, trademarks or service marks surely know, the process is arduous and time consuming. So, needless to say, we’re delighted to have received the USPTO document.
Curious to see when we first began promoting Explorit®, I took a journey back in time, courtesy of Archive.org, aka the Wayback Machine. Deepwebtech.com was first crawled by Archive.org on August 2, 2002.
This was our original logo:
And, here’s a piece of the original description of Explorit®:
Explorit provides the capability to deploy small to large-scale collections of information on the web – fully searchable and easily navigable – to a wide range of user communities. Large organizations or information purveyors with many collections of heterogeneous information benefit from the consistency and usability of the Explorit user interface: whether they deploy one collection or one hundred, users quickly learn that all Explorit applications operate essentially the same way, and variances are determined by content rather than inconsistent design.
While Explorit® has greatly evolved over the past ten years some things never change. Yes, the architecture, the user interface, and the back end software were completely rewritten years ago to exploit modern programming technologies and web services standards. And, yes, the features have evolved to keep up with market demand. But, the values which drive the development of our software hasn’t changed. Explorit® has been and always will be about helping libraries and research organizations to mine the deep web for the most useful information from dozens or even hundreds of high quality sources.
We’re proud to have that piece of paper; we’ve framed it. But, more important than the document is what it represents – a commitment to serving research by being on the leading edge of information retrieval.
The Universidad Católica de Temuco (UC Temuco) in southern Chile is proud of their new search portal that we built for them. They recently shared some of their excitement in their official announcement. (While the announcement is in Spanish, Google Translate does a decent job of producing readable English.)
My version of the translated text, in part, reads:
The UC Temuco Library System implements powerful metasearch engine for academic information. 2012-05-16 16:08:55.
With the aim of modernizing and implementing new technologies that support education, the new metasearch engine, “Metabuscador DeepWeb,” will benefit students, teachers, and investigators in the search of bibliographic material.
A joint effort of the General Directorate of Research and Graduate Studies and the UC Temuco Library System produced the implementation of Metabuscador DeepWeb, a tool that will provide access from a single search interface to all academic resources to which the University subscribes, repositories, the library catalog, and databases with free access such as Scielo.
UC Temuco cites a number of reasons for valuing the contribution of Metabuscador DeepWeb:
- Improving the time to find documents
- Improving the search experience through customization
- Meeting the demand for increased technology
- Increasing the utilization of lesser known resources
Metabuscador will be available to teachers and students beginning the week of May 22nd (2012), during which time training will be provided.
Abe Lederman, our founder and CEO, recently got a couple of exposures at MobileGroove, a site which provides analysis and commentary on mobile search, mobile advertising, and social media. The two MobileGroove articles cover Deep Web Technologies’ Biznar mobile federated search app.
Biznar is a free service, sponsored and provided by Deep Web Technologies, to business people everywhere. It uses an advanced form of federated search technology, enabling specialized access to more than 70 freely available deep web collections related to business.
The first of the MobileGroove articles is a review by Charles Knight who has made a reputation for himself seeking out and reviewing the “alternative” search engines, beyond Google, Yahoo!, and Bing.
The second article is a follow-on article in which MobileGroove founder and chief analyst, Peggy Anne Salz, in which she probes Abe about the company’s motivation for developing mobile apps.
Have your own experience of Biznar mobile. Check out the app at the iTunes Store.
Here’s a paper worth reading: “A study of the information search behaviour of the millennial generation.” No, not because there are any earth-shattering conclusions, but you may want to read the article to confirm that what you already suspect to be true really is true. Here’s the introduction from the paper’s abstract:
Introduction. Members of the millennial generation (born after 1982) have come of age in a society infused with technology and information. It is unclear how they determine the validity of information gathered, or whether or not validity is even a concern. Previous information search models based on mediated searches with different age groups may not adequately describe the search behaviours of this generation.
Here’s the conclusion:
Conclusions. These findings indicate that the search behaviour of millennial generation searchers may be problematic. Existing search models are appropriate; it is the execution of the model by the searcher within the context of the search environment that is at issue.
Beyond telling us what we already know the paper gives insights as to how librarians can help students to become more sophisticated researchers. Areas in which librarians can add value include:
- Verification of quality of Web information sources
- A shift of focus from filtering content to first verifying its quality and then filtering
- Developing an orderly methodology for performing research
The paper might provide insights that search engine developers could someday roll into their offerings targeted at students.
Deep Web Technologies software engineer Nick Urban was developing a software library to implement some basic functionality in Ruby. He realized that his code could prove useful to other software developers. From this inspiration, well_rested was born.
In Nick’s own words:
Well_rested is a Ruby library that takes takes JSON data and it turns it into Ruby objects that you can call methods on and manipulate. It increases the efficiency of manipulating data by supporting http caching.
The code is freely available at Github. Full details are here.
Nick’s code is also included at RubyGems.org.
Deep Web Technologies has integrated its Explorit federated search application with Reprints Desk’s Article Galaxy. Our company and Reprints Desk share the goal of facilitating literature discovery so integrating our technology with theirs was natural.
The recent Reprints Desk press release describes the feature:
Federated search, powered by Deep Web Technologies, for simultaneously searching across multiple online databases covering more than 52 million records, with easy ordering from search results that have been aggregated, ranked, and de-duplicated
The partnership between Deep Web Technologies and Reprints Desk began last October with a press release which reads in part:
Scott Ahlberg, Head of Corporate Services at Reprints Desk, stated, “The integration with Explorit enables Reprints Desk to help its growing base of document delivery customers maximize the value of their journal subscriptions, while filling content coverage gaps. It also allows us to meet our customers’ need for integrating search into the literature retrieval workflow, while enriching the growing number of research services that are bundled into our hosted article management software platform. With the Reprints Desk implementation of Explorit, native publisher databases will be ranked first followed by PubMed and other secondary sources.”
The integration includes RSS feeds for Alerts results so that users can easily see, within the Article Galaxy application, new articles that meet their interests. Future plans include a unified login to our Alerts system so that users can easily switch between creating alerts with Explorit and accessing the Article Galaxy accounts.
The highly regarded Charleston Advisor, known for its “Critical reviews of Web products for Information Professionals,” has given Deep Web Technologies 4 3/8 of 5 possible stars for its Explorit federated search product. The individual scores forming the composite were:
- Content: 4 1/2 stars
- User Interface/Searchability: 4 1/2 stars
- Pricing: 4 1/2 stars
- Contract Options: 4 stars
The scores were assigned by two reviewers who played a key role in bringing Explorit to Stanford University:
- Grace Baysinger, Head Librarian and Bibliographer at the Swain Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Library at Stanford University
- Tom Cramer, Chief Technology Strategist at Stanford University Libraries and Academic Information Resources
The review upon which the scores are based, is available at Stanford. (Click on the purl.stanford.edu link for access to the full text.) At just six pages, the review makes for a quick read. The first four pages describe the Explorit features, infrastructure and support, and makes the case for the partnership between Deep Web Technologies and Stanford University that led to the development of the locally branded xSearch federated search product. Pages five and six provide the reviewers’ critical evaluation of Explorit, references, and their bios.
Key points from the critical evaluation include:
- “Compared to other federated search products, Stanford found that DWT offered the most compelling package of performance, features, and design.”
- “While federated search engines’ performance is inherently limited by the performance of its target sites, DWT’s progressive delivery of results gives researchers near real-time response with the first set of results while the application assembles a complete set of hits from all sources.” More information about how near-real time response works is available at the Federated Search Blog.
- Explorit was “the only service that included alerts, and the only service that allowed us to create customized “search engines” locally.
- “DWT’s performance, good relevance ranking, and faceting capabilities are very helpful to users.”
- “Because Abstracting and Indexing tools contain controlled vocabulary terms, when a user is searching xSearch, there are more discovery points than if they were searching Google Scholar or a publisher’s site.”
More observations are available in the review. More information about xSearch is available at Stanford. Our own press release about the review is available on our website. An Explorit overview is also available at our web-site.