The international library cooperative OCLC has released a new report on multidatabase or single search called Single Search: The Quest for the Holy Grail
"Users can search Internet resources through a single search engine query, yet often the resources of a single cultural institution or university campus are segregated into silos, each with its own dedicated search system. The prominence of multidisciplinary research, the increase in the use of primary materials, and the desire to make new connections across disparate materials all would be advanced by the offering of single search to open up all the collections to the researcher (...)"
"OCLC Research facilitated the working group of nine single search implementers through discussions about the opportunities for, and obstacles to, integrated access across an institution. They told their stories, categorized a list of issues, and created and answered a questionnaire looking for similarities and differences in their approaches. This brief report summarizes those discussions and highlights emerging practices in providing access to LAM [libraries, archives and museums] collections, with a particular emphasis on successful strategies in the quest for single search."
"The goal of the report is to foster successful single search implementations by sharing the experience of the working group with those who want to create single search but don't know where to start."
Earlier Library posts on single search include:
- Implementing a Federated Search Product (October 22, 2008): "The Nov. 2008 issue of the AALL Spectrum has an article entitled The Wise Researcher: One library’s experience implementing a federated search product (...) The authors caution readers that federated searching can present some drawbacks. For example, the big commercial providers like Westlaw and Lexis do not allow federated search tools into their databases and some providers have not yet developed the code to allow the federated search tools to connect to them. As well, the increased convenience may come at a cost: many of the advanced search features and limit options offered by individual databases are not available in federated searching."
- Federated Search Report and Tool Kit (October 24, 2008): "The British site FUMSI features a new article by Jill Hurst-Wahl called Introduction to Federated Search ... The article is an excerpt from a larger Federated Search Report and Tool Kit available for purchase online. "
- Canadian Association of Law Libraries Conference Meetings (May 9, 2010): "Some highlights from this morning: the Courthouse and Law Society Libraries Special Interest Group (SIG) held its annual business meeting (...) At the meeting, a number of members briefly described some of their projects of the past year (...) The Law Society of Upper Canada Great Library launched a webinars series, created a reference procedures wiki and is testing (beta version) a new discovery tool that will offer one-stop searching of the catalogue, CLE materials and federated search."
- Electronic Resources and Libraries Conference - Web Scale Discovery (March 3, 2011): "...another big theme that emerged at the conference is what is called 'web scale discovery' or WSD (...) Basically, WSD tools claim to offer a unified search of all of a library's offerings through a single interface. Contrary to federated search, WSD tools are based on a pre-harvested centralized unified index of an institution's licensed and local collections. Services such as Serials Solutions Summon, WorldCat Local, Primo Central or EBSCO Discovery pre-index material from subscription databases, library holdings, dissertations, institutional repositories, e-book subscriptions, etc. to allow fast, simultaneous searching. We briefly looked into WSD at my place of work but decided not to pursue things further for a few reasons. In particular, not all vendors of legal research materials play along and will allow their content and metadata to be harvested into a unified index. And these tend to be relatively expensive products."
Labels: databases, e-resources, law libraries, legal publishers, search