Web Beyond Google Handout
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Title: The Web Beyond Google: Innovative Search Tools and Their Potential in Reference Services (Poster session presented at the Emerging Technologies Summit, Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS, September 17, 2010). Authors: Lauren Dodd, Graduate Student, School of Library and Information Studies, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL, email@example.com William C. Friedman, Graduate Student, School of Library and Information Studies, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL, firstname.lastname@example.org Qiong Xu, Graduate Student, School of Library and Information Studies, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL, email@example.com Brett Spencer, Reference Librarian, Gorgas Library, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL, (205) 348-1200, firstname.lastname@example.org
Abstract: Our poster will examine Internet search tools that incorporate emerging technologies such as Web 2.0 and 3.0 features, mobile applications, clustering tools, real time peer-to-peer searches, visual searches, and decision-making or computational abilities. Reference librarians everywhere have incorporated Google into their search repertoires, but should they also consider lesser known search engines with evolving specializations? Reference librarians must stay current in their knowledge of search tools to ensure the best possible services for their patrons. After assessing several Internet search tools, we will develop a Quick Guide that provides the names, URLs, search operators, scope, currency, indexing, three useful features, problems and limitations, relevancy rankings, and likely audience for each search tool. Our poster will address such questions as: do the search features embedded in these tools offer value not found in Google or other traditional search tools? Are these search engines more effective for certain types of reference questions or patron groups? We hope to discuss the implications of these emerging search tools for reference services.
Correspondence: We welcome your feedback. Please contact any of the authors listed above if you have questions or comments.
Search Engine Assessments Name/URL: Silobreaker http://www.silobreaker.com Description and Scope: A news aggregator, Silobreaker compiles news stories. Under news titles, it states when the news hit the internet. Further, the main link to the news article sends you to the latest article on the topic. From the main page, you can also filter news based on overall subject. Categories include Global Issues, Technology, Science, Business, Energy, and Countries. Along the right side of the page, there are different frames. In Focus lists names and terms that are buzzwords in current news. Network shows a name or topic and how it relates to other buzzwords in the news. Hotspots shows where the latest world news is coming from. Trends shows how much certain topics have been covered over a certain time period. Blogs, which can be sorted by date or relevancy, provides links to the latest in news blog articles. Audio/Visual links to the latest multimedia news resources. Finally, Press Releases details the latest press releases put out by organizations. Searching is as complex or simple as the user wants. The default, 360 Search, is a keyword search. Next is Network. To use it, one must click the link. This sends the user to a new page that explains that Network searching shows how a person or organization or a concept is connected to another person, organization, or concept. A few images show tools that can be used to narrow an initial search down. A few links are also present, which link to current topics in order to exemplify a Network result. Following Network is Hot Spots. This focuses on hot button news from around the world, the same as the box on the front page. However, one is allowed the freedom to search, in contrast with the top three issues presented in the front page box. The last search option, Trends, shows what topics are searched the most. This covers social issues, political issues, business issues, and more. There is also an advanced search option. When selected, a box opens over the webpage. Boolean operators used in advanced search are the standard AND, OR, and NOT. Limiters allow for users to chose what publication to search, what language (currently, the language options are All, English, and Swedish), the format (News, Reports, Press Releases, Blogs, Audio/Visual, and Fact Sheets), and the time frame in which it was published (from past 3 hours to past 30 days).Silobreaker also continues the trend of personalization. A login can be created, along with a custom page. This allows users to define which news articles they wish to see initially to reduce the amount of searching conducted and increase the amount of time spent reading. The inclusion of widgets adds another layer of personalization.
Currency: Silobreaker aims to be as current as possible by compiling all of the most current news articles. Search Operators: Standard Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) are used. Advanced searching offers more limiters. One can also use reserved words (like product, company, keyphrase) in brackets. Three Useful Features On the fly search disambiguation While typing in a word or phrase in any search box, different search options are recommended. Typing in katrina will cause a box to pop up that offers Hurricane Katrina [Keyphrase] along with persons names, other keywords (called keyphrase by Silobreaker), and even musical bands. Other options include companies and products. These types are shown in brackets. Advanced disambiguation In basic searching, using the disambiguation feature replaces the text one has entered with the text one wants to search. In advanced searching, selecting a disambiguated phrase locks in the terms. This means that Hurricane Katrina [Keyphrase] will show up as an static box in the search field. The box can be removed, but not edited. This helps prevent errors, like accidentally typing a new keyword in the middle of a word. Hotspots Though already touched on, some depth should be added. The front page box presents a map with 3 or a little more points that are the source of noteworthy news. If the cursor is placed on any of these points, a new box appears, containing the first paragraph or so of one of the more recent articles. This box also links to the full article, a paragraph called In Context that helps summarize the story, and other recent articles. Likely Audience: Those who want the latest information on the events in the world. Articles on the front page offer brief descriptions of a topic, but also when the news broke and how many other articles there are on the subject. Problems and limitations: Currently, the focus of the site is on English and Swedish language articles. Silobreaker.se is the only other version of the site. There is a lot to deal with here. Directing a user to Silobreaker without some instruction may not be the best option. A librarian should become familiar with Silobreaker beforehand to best instruct users. How Silobreaker Differs from Google: Silobreaker focuses solely on news. While blogs are searched, personal websites dedicated to a subject are not included. Also, while things like products and persons can be searched, only news articles will be returned.
Name/URL Zuula http://www.zuula.com Description: Zuula is a type of metasearch engine that does not use an algorithm to combine results for several search engines. Instead, each search engine is kept separate using tabs, and the user can review the same search using several popular and newer search engines. Currency/Indexing and Relevancy Ranking: Results are as current as each of the search engines are, and indexing/relevancy should be checked for each individual search engine. Zuula does not change anything about the search engines they perform the search exactly as they would on their own homepage. Search Operators: Users can utilize Boolean operators (including - in front of a term as not), phrase searching, and searching within a website or type of website - ex.: [Alabama football site:espn.com] or [Martin Luther King Jr. site:.edu] Three Useful Features: --users can utilize 5 different kinds of search: Web (the entire web), Images, Video, News, Blog, Jobs. Each search has at least four different search engines to search within. --users can customize which search engines they want to search at once. Dont like Bing? You can take it off of your tabs. Want Gigablast to be the first search engine in your list? You can drag and drop tabs to put them in the order you want. --if you click over to another search engines tab, your results will be on the same page you left them (ex. If after clicking on page 10 of Google, and you click over to Yahoos tab you will still be on page 10 of Google when you click back). Likely Audience: Anyone. Zuula can be useful for users in academic, public, and school library settings who are looking for a variety of free results. Each search engine has entirely different features and search algorithms. Public librarians can direct job seekers toward the Job search tab to increase their chances of finding more listings. Students looking for images can search across a variety of picture sites, not just Google images. The video search includes several sites that users may not have considered, with content they wouldnt have found on only YouTube. Zuula is also useful for information professionals; not only can librarians compare search engines and know which to recommend to users, but Zuula has been mentioned in a business research article (The Winning
Mindset: Effective Competitive Intelligence Research on the Internet by Terry Kendrick) as a way to search several different sources at once, saving time and energy (and the article warns business researchers to be careful with typical metasearch engines). In an interview featured on the blog Library Garden, Zuulas CEO, Boris Simkovich, reveal