On The Origins of Federated Search

This post was written by Abe on September 1, 2009
Posted Under: Federated Search,View from Inside

A couple of months ago I was having a conversation with my brother Sol, main author of the Federated Search Blog, and suggested that he do some research and see if he could determine when the term federated search was first used and write a blog post on it.

Well, so far Sol hasn’t taken me up on my challenge, so I’m going to take a stab at it.

One of the earliest mentions of federated search that I know of is in a D-Lib article dating back to September 1998 entitled:

Multilingual Federated Searching Across Heterogeneous Collections

Doing some research for this article I just found an earlier mention of federated search in a May 1996 article in IEEE’s Computer Magazine entitled:

Federating Diverse Collections of Scientific Literature

Back in December 1997 I started implementation of my first federated search engine, Distributed Explorer, and for reasons that I don’t recall now I referred to the technology as Distributed Search and not Federated Search. A first presentation on Distributed Explorer that I gave in May 1998 is available here:

ESTN: Environmental Sciences Technology Network

Does anyone know of another early use of the term “federated search”? Please let me know!

Reader Comments

See a book from a google book search, Sociology and Scientism: The American Quest for Objectivity, 1880-1940 referencing a paper (not book) by Albion Woodbury Small from 1923.

Written By Gina Scioscia on September 6th, 2009 @ 1:13 am

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