WorldWideScience.org – a Cut Above the Web

This post was written by Darcy Katzman on March 26, 2016
Posted Under: Clients

WorldWideScience.org just recieved yet another pat on the back from the blog Inside Science Resources. WorldWideScience a Cut above the World Wide Web – Inside Science ResourcesKhue Duong, Science Librarian at California State University, Long Beach, posted a review titled, “WorldWideScience, a Cut above the World Wide Web.” Yes, the title summarizes it well.

Users are often surprised to learn that the engine behind WorldWideScience.org is a federated search engine, bursting the myth that federated search is an antiquated, dusty bit of technology that doesn’t aggregate source results and is dreadfully slow.  Here’s the first sentence of the review:

Are you still looking for a reliable federated search tool that goes beyond the run-of-the-mill results?

Enter Deep Web Technologies’ next-generation federated search, Explorit Everywhere!, the powerhouse behind WorldWideScience.org. In the review, Khue Duong explored the search functionality (including Advanced Search) on WorldWideScience.org, and performed four searches to test the application results. Three of the tests performed well, returning relevant results:

Without displaying the additional results, searching “Isle Royale National Park” as Full Record yields 66 papers and 49 data sources. Regarding papers (document type: articles, reports, etc.), the first 40 displayed results seem to be to the point; the rest probably has some mentioning of the search term in its document. The first twenty data results has some mentioning of Isle Royale National Park in the title. The rest, such as the DNA sequences from the DNA Data Bank of Japan, shows that the sample originates from Isle Royale.

One of the four searches didn’t yield as many relevant results.

Note that adding an additional layer of parentheses in the search of (“isle royale national park” AND (wolf OR wolves)) also yields many misleading results in all three categories: papers, multimedia and data.

This is hardly surprising. On public search portals like WorldWideScience.org, many sources do not support title search well. Trying the above search as a full-record search brought back many good results, including the top-ranked results containing all of the search terms in the title.

We would also like to point out that the additional search results should be displayed when the search completes as these additional results may contain some of the most relevant results available. Also displaying the additional results should significantly reduce the variability in the results returned by running the same search multiple times.

Khue Duong, however, still recommends WorldWideScience.org as a science resource for researchers:

Overall WorldWideScience.org is another one-stop-shopping platform that one should consider when searching for publications, data, and media files from governmental and international scientific domains.

Over the last year, WorldWideScience.org has garnered lots of attention as not only an excellent search portal for scientific information, but a multilingual search portal as well. In January 2015, Microsoft published a Case Study about WorldWideScience.org. A few months later, Deep Web Technologies published an article in Multilingual.com magazine. And WorldWideScience.org isn’t the only portal using our federated search. Explorit Everywhere! is used for several other public search portals, such as Science.gov and Askia.Uneca.org

We’re proud of WorldWideScience.org and proud to support the DOE Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) in bringing this free, publicly available, multilingual search portal to science and technology researchers around the world.

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