Deep Web Tech Blog

Federating the Un-Federatable

Many mainstream libraries have a standard list of sources they search: EBSCO, ProQuest, ScienceDirect, Military PeriscopePubMed, and others. Including the usual “suspects” in a single search isn’t terribly hard for most discovery solutions (federated search or discovery services) unless they are competing information vendors who do not want to play nice – see this post: The Last of the Major Discovery Services is Independent No More.

But, once information journeys down the road less traveled, sources are less likely to be included in a discovery solution. The information may be considered more valuable by content owners and so they are reluctant to include it in an indexed service. If the content is specialized, interest in the source may be limited to only a small group of customers, excluding the source from discovery services and most federated search vendors where broad appeal prevails. Some sources also may be technically challenging to include in a discovery solution.

These sources are considered un-indexable and un-federatable.

Fortunately, Explorit Everywhere! specializes in un-federatable sources. We connect to databases that most discovery service vendors steer clear of, and most federated search services are simply unable to touch with their lightweight connector technology. The robust connectors included in Explorit Everywhere!, however, can tackle the most ornery sources for special libraries and research organizations.

For example, one of our newest customers chose DWT as their discovery solution vendor because they were mired in this un-federatable dilemma. Their previous discovery solution vendors were not able to include quite a number of their important subscription information sources, leaving researchers to inefficiently spend time searching those sources separately. Once our prospect tested the proof-of-concept built by DWT, they realized that DWT could federate their un-federatable sources and chose Explorit Everywhere! as their discovery solution.

This particular customer, specializing in military and defense research, included challenging sources like these two:

  • JANES – IHS Jane’s International Defence Review,  specializing in defense and security.
  • PERISCOPE – Includes open-source global defense information.

Really, what’s the point of having a single search technology if only half of your sources can be included? Explorit Everywhere! federates the unfederatable. Not only do our connector developers consider it a challenge to build robust connectors to these specialized sources, DWT’s focus has always been to connect our customers to their information, wherever it may be. New customers requiring “unfederatable” sources are pleasantly surprised when they find that not only are we willing to build connectors to their difficult sources, but we don’t charge extra to do so.

Interested in hearing more on how we connect to your “un-federatable” information sources? Email us, or find us at one of our upcoming conferences.

PTFS Europe Customer Day
Military Libraries Workshop