As with most things, all federated search products are not created equally. Recently, I ran across a situation where federated search was derided for lack of capability related to precision search and relevancy ranking. As is often the case, this derision is founded in a narrow view of federated search. The view that federated search is only capable of generically searching data stores or not providing relevance across the resources being searched is this narrow view of what the technology can achieve. At OSTI we see these issues as the challenges that federated search faces, not the reality it must operate in. Recently, I pointed out that OSTI has been on the forefront of the development of federated search for over a decade. During that time, working in close partnership with Deep Web Technologies, we have made significant advances in our federated search technology to combat the issues of the narrow view.
Precision search has been a focus for the development of OSTI’s federated search technology dating back to the original EnergyPortal Search deployment in 1999. As an information acquisition and dissemination organization, precision search is of paramount importance to OSTI. This requirement has led to the federated search technology deployed here at OSTI having the capability to provide fielded advanced search. Science.gov, launched in 2002, provides the ability to not only search the entire record, but also to do a fielded search against titles, authors, and publication dates. This feature is accomplished by developing very sophisticated data source connection technology that takes into account the unique search interfaces provided by each individual source in Science.gov....Read more...