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.”