- Product Trial
Happy New Year! We thought that sharing 15 incredible libraries around the world would be a fun way to start the year, especially given that so many of our customers are in the library world. The 15 images in the article are quite stunning. And, for your viewing pleasure, there is another set of great images at 15 Beautiful Libraries Around the World.
We recently introduced blog readers to evidence-based medicine through an interview with Dr. Sam Keim on saving lives with leading-edge medical search. That interview shared Dr. Keim’s motivation for collaborating with DWT to develop next-generation evidence-based medicine (EBM) search technology. That technology, Explorit Everywhere! EBM, quickly and efficiently delivers information backed by the best evidence to clinicians providing bedside care.
We now have a demo up to demonstrate our EBM capabilities: http://demo.ebm-search.com/
We also authored an article in referisg that introduces Explorit Everywhere! EBM in some detail; the article includes a walk-through of a search and it introduces our integration with BrowZine. You can read more about BrowZine and Explorit Everywhere! in this article.
A while back we introduced the new open educational resources (OER) search engine that DWT and George Mason University (GMU) collaborated to build. We’re delighted to read that the Mason OER Metafinder is gaining some traction. Wally Grotophorst, Associate University Librarian for Digital Programs and Systems at George Mason University, and champion for the DWT/GMU collaboration shared the buzz:
This unsolicited (and favorable) mention on a listserv aimed at precisely the right group of people was catalytic. Within two days, I searched the LibGuides community site and found 28 institutions already linking to our OER Metafinder. Seeing it was catching on with LibGuides users, I added search widget code to our “About the Metafinder” page. As I write this, two weeks after [the listserv mention], I see more than 85+ sites are linking to us.
Congratulations, Wally and GMU!
In a world of Google we are all used to finding via searching. Before Google and the other popular search engines I remember browsing in libraries. I still browse. We all browse, if not in libraries then in bookstores, department stores, gift shops, and more places. Browsing is great when we don’t quite know what we’re looking for but we have some idea. Browsing is great when we find something we like and we wonder what similar things we might like. And, best of all, there’s the thrill when serendipity brings us to an unexpected discovery! Yes, we do browse via Google when we do broad searches and scan the search results. But, I’ll argue that there’s great value in using tools that were designed for browsing. Enter Browzine.
BrowZine touts itself as a “journal engagement platform.” BrowZine is web-based desktop/laptop/mobile service that lets you view journal articles in the context of the entire journal and in the context of journals in similar subjects. The idea is that, if you like a particular journal article, there’s a good chance that you’ll want to peruse other articles in that issue of the journal. BrowZine is the digital version of going to your academic library, picking up a journal you like, scanning the table of contents, and reading an article or three. When you’re done with that journal you might want to scan the other journals on the library shelf and pick up another one to look through. Additionally, BrowZine allows you to build your own personal “Bookshelf” with your favorite titles that you are likely to return to frequently. BrowZine then updates users when titles on their bookshelf have new articles available for them to read. Third Iron, the company behind BrowZine, wants to give researchers the “journal engagement” experience.
Deep Web Technologies (DWT) is proud to be partnering with Third Iron to integrate journal engagement into Explorit Everywhere! This means that we’re making it possible for libraries and other organizations to extend the power of searching to view your results through the lens of BrowZine. Note: Libraries need to subscribe to the BrowZine service to use its features.
Let’s look at an example.
We have a demo of results enhancement with BrowZine at http://browzine.deepwebaccess.com/browzine
If you do a search for neurodegeneration, the first few results look like this:
Note the cover images of the journal issues. Those images are provided via the BrowZine integration. And, note the small icon to the right of the journal titles. It’s the BrowZine logo.
If you click on one of the icons, let’s say the icon with the first result, then you’ll be taken to a BrowZine page that shows you the article in the context of the Neural Regeneration Research journal.
You can click through to the full text to read the article, add the article to a collection in BrowZine’s My Articles, export the citation, or share the article via social media or email. You can also scan the table of contents of that issue for other articles of interest. And, you can switch to other volumes and issues of that journal and browse other content. Note that BrowZine’s personal library and citation export features are separate from and independent of Explorit Everywhere!’s MyLibrary and citation export capability.
I want to take a brief detour to explain why some articles in the demo have BrowZine links and others don’t. BrowZine displays a clickable icon if all three of these conditions are met:
- The article has a DOI. Not all journals provide DOIs for articles. And, even journals that do provide DOIs may not have DOIs for old articles.
- BrowZine knows about the journal. BrowZine knows about a large number of journals but it doesn’t know about all journals
- Your library subscribes to the journal. Libraries give information about their holdings to BrowZine.
In this demo you may land on a page that looks like this when you click the BrowZine icon.
This won’t happen if your organization subscribes to journals. Our demo simulates the behavior of having subscriptions to show how Explorit Everywhere! and BrowZine work together with subscription content. If you land on this page while using the demo and your library does have subscription access to the journal article then clicking on the link will take you to the journal publisher’s website to view the article.
Note that going through BrowZine to view a journal article is completely optional. You can always click on the article title in the search results and if the article is publicly available or if your library subscribes to that content then you’ll have access to the full-text.
DWT is delighted to be partnering with Third Iron to extend the power of Explorit Everywhere! to our customers to include that nice element of engagement.
Check out Third Iron’s blog post about our partnership!
Taylor and Francis just published an article by Brad Long, formerly of Central Michigan University (CMU): Addressing a Discovery Tool’s Shortcomings with a Supplemental Health Sciences-Specific Federated Search Engine. The article tells of CMU’s experience with Ex Libris’ Primo discovery tool, it explains what drove them to Deep Web Technologies (DWT) as the only federated search option, and shares their positive experience with us. Of special interest is the fact that CMU’s medical program is brand new. Any university with a new program like CMU’s can glean important insights from Mr. Long’s experience. And, new medical school or not, there’s a lot of meat in the Taylor and Francis article.
Here’s the article abstract:
Some discovery tools may not necessarily be the best resources for searching the health sciences literature. This is especially true when the discovery tool is not a vendor-neutral product or when it does not deep search full-text electronic resources. Therefore, supplementing a discovery tool with a health sciences-specific federated search engine could be a viable option. This is a review of one university’s decision-making and implementation process for adding a health sciences-specific supplemental federated search engine. Included is a 30-month usage analysis of the federated search engine, along with website usability testing results.
In this blog I’ll highlight the major takeaways from the CMU article.
We’ve written quite a bit about the good, the bad, and the ugly of discovery services so I won’t go into much detail here on its pros and cons. CMU noted some pluses (fast simultaneous search of resources, relevance ranking, and link resolver support) but their list of negatives was longer. The biggest shortcoming was that only nine of the university library’s key health sciences resources were available in Primo. Mr. Long noted that this deficiency is due to Primo (and discovery services in general) not being vendor neutral and also not performing real-time full-text searches.
We’ve heard this “not vendor neutral” complaint time and time again. When it comes to selecting deep web sources to include in their index, particularly medical sources, the discovery services come out lacking. We could not have developed our evidence-based medicine and chemical safety vertical search applications without the ability to select exactly the sources each of our customers wants to search. In the vertical portal market, which we believe to be the future of search, it’s the laser focus on the content most valuable to each customer, and the lack of distracting other content, that is the winning combination.
More is not better. We’re all steeped in a culture where we do that Google search and we somehow feel proud that Google found us 23 million hits for our search terms. And then (maybe) three things dawn upon us: (1) we’re only going to look at the first ten of those millions of hits, (2) we hope the relevance ranking is good or we’ll never find the other good stuff buried beyond the first page of results, (3) we have to waste time sifting through the irrelevant and misleading results and hope we find some good stuff. Mr. Long voiced CMU’s experience of the problem as “There is not an intuitive way to limit search results only to health sciences resources.”
We wrote recently about our evidence-based medical search application which is built on a foundation of “search what we need and only what we need.” Bedside clinicians need to diagnose patient conditions and prescribe the best evidence-based treatment, i.e. the one with the strongest evidence supporting the best possible outcome, and they need to do it quickly and efficiently. In collaboration with Dr. Sam Keim, Professor and Chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the College of Medicine Tucson, University of Arizona, we built a distraction-free evidence-based medicine (EBM) application, Explorit Everywhere! EBM. With Dr. Keim’s team taking the lead on selecting the few best medical resources for 28 specialties and organizing those resources into different layers of the evidence pyramid (categories) based on strength of evidence, we developed a tool that keeps clinicians focused. When they need strong evidence to support a treatment plan they keep their attention on the top layer of the pyramid. When they need background information they can consult the sources in the “textbooks and other resources” layer of the pyramid. And, because every single resource is hand-selected and expertly vetted there’s never a question about the quality of information.
CMU decided to address the major shortcomings of Primo with a federated search tool. It’s worth mentioning that CMU found itself in a situation we’ve seen in other universities – they buy a license for a discovery service that provides access to the entire university. So, the medical school gets that service for free. But, it’s lacking in some ways and the university needs to figure out what to do.
The biggest shortcoming of Primo for CMU was that, of the 25 connectors that CMU selected for the initial deployment of their federated search tool, only nine were available from Primo, or just slightly over 1/3. The article goes into a little bit of detail about sources that were added, dropped, or changed during its first two and a half years of existence. That discussion may be of interest to other health sciences organizations looking to understand a bit of the thinking behind one organization’s resource choices and how their online library collections evolved.
CMU did something we’ve not seen documented elsewhere; they performed an analysis of their query data and wrote up their results in the article. Here are the kinds of data they gathered, graphed, and reported on: number of queries, number of queries with at least one click-through to a resource (which Mr. Long refers to as “effective queries”), number of click-throughs per connector, cost per query, and cost per click-through. CMU concluded:
Usage statistics have demonstrated Medical Searcher is a cost-effective tool for locating medical literature. This is based on the overall cost per query and cost per effective query data.
The article concluded with a brief discussion on usability testing. Testing in that regard was performed on a very small scale and it was not specific to their federated search product so we have no comments to share on that piece of the article.
CMU was pleased with our search solution.
Through the first 30 months of implementation, end users are using Medical Searcher to retrieve both article citations and full-text resources. The implementation of Medical Searcher has successfully addressed Primo’s shortcomings with health sciences resources.
And, we’re pleased with their conclusion. Reviews of federated search tools are few and far between, especially with any level of detail. Finally, it’s worth noting that it’s not always an either-or situation. CMU was able to employ both discovery and federated search together.
If you’re pleased with your Explorit Everywhere! solution you could follow in Mr. Long’s footsteps and journal your experiences in various ways: a blog article, a presentation at a conference, or in our customer corner (something like this.) Aside from that, you can share the love, promoting Explorit Everywhere! in a number of ways.
Dr. Sam Keim is Professor and Chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the College of Medicine Tucson, University of Arizona. Dr Keim is a member of Deep Web Technologies’ advisory board and a strong advocate for developing and using technology to save lives.
Dr. Keim has collaborated with us to bring to fruition a technology that brings a laser focus to federated search in evidence-based medicine applications. This technology greatly streamlines the research process, helping busy clinicians to quickly make the right decision for treating their patients.
Dr. Keim was kind enough to answer some questions about his brainchild, Explorit Everywhere! EBM. You can read more about this technology in our two-pager.
Tell us about your background as a physician in emergency medicine.
I have practiced emergency medicine for thirty years. Most of this time at Banner University of Arizona Medical Center in Tucson, which is a busy level-1 trauma center. We actively train residents in emergency medicine and pediatric-emergency medicine as well as subspecialty fellows, nurses, clinical pharmacists and paramedics.
What is evidence-based medicine (EBM)? What problem does EBM solve? And, what is the evidence pyramid?
EBM is the mindful use of modern technology to acquire the best relevant medical information to the bedside to support clinical decision making. A clinical provider that utilizes EBM greatly benefits their patients because they are able to apply the best and latest proven scientific advances! The Explorit Everywhere! EBM Pyramid is our translation of well-described scientifically-proven levels of strength by which different types of information can be “graded.” Answers to clinical questions are not created equal! A clinician should strive to apply the STRONGEST evidence available for every patient. This frequently does not occur because the clinician doesn’t have a tool, like this one, to find the STRONGEST evidence available. Clinicians and patients no longer need to be frustrated by not having access to information about the best therapies and evidence.
What is behind your passion for EBM?
My passion is for optimizing patient care and lifelong learning simultaneously through 21st Century technology solutions. Patient care currently suffers because new advancements, even some that are many years old, have not been “found” by today’s clinicians. This must become unacceptable to providers, health systems and patients! The best and latest medical information must be delivered to busy clinicians without undue hardship. Explorit Everywhere! EBM is the tool that does this.
You’ve dedicated thirty years of research and teaching focused on EBM. And, you’ve co-authored several journal articles about EBM and technology. What are the major takeaways from those articles and from your experience?
The major takeaways are that 1) delivering patient care informed by the best evidence is not only better for patients but nourishes the clinician’s need for continuous lifelong learning, 2) continued research into improving search and delivery technology is critical, and 3) an effective collaboration between clinicians, software engineers, and library scientists is essential in creating tools, like Explorit Everywhere! EBM.
Can you expand on your previous answer and tell us how you teach medical students to become better EBM searchers
We have an innovative medical school curriculum at The University of Arizona College of Medicine that requires medical students to become inquisitive evidence explorers. A superb clinician must first be expert in asking relevant questions. Such as what is the most likely cause of this condition? What is the most likely high-risk alternative? What is the most effective therapy? What is the best estimate of prognosis? What are the potential harmful outcomes of the standard and alternative therapies? What does this all cost? Our medical students have been learning to use federated search for over a decade to drive their information searching for classroom and bedside clinical problems. It works extremely well for both answering the question at hand as well as driving home the differences between truth and fiction. All evidence is not created equal!
What do you say to the busy medical practitioner who doesn’t see a need for new technology. To them, DynaMed Plus or UpToDate are good enough. And, when you’re not looking, they might go to Google or Wikipedia.
Electronic textbooks are better than nothing. They’re a small step better than the old-school physicians that are still out there “winging it” with decades-old knowledge. But busy clinicians need to experience choices that are as convenient as the common electronic textbooks. Explorit Everywhere! EBM gives them those convenient choices.
Best quality evidence and efficiency are two critical goals for EBM researchers. How does Explorit Everywhere! EBM leverage federated search technology to meet these goals?
Explorit Everywhere! EBM marries state-of-the-art federated search technology with quality filters to deliver a “buffet table” of choices ranging from highest quality to lower quality. Because not all clinical questions have been rigorously answered by leading systematic review organizations, the clinician might need to use other sources. Explorit Everywhere! EBM allows this decision to be made after ONE single search execution. All of the results are there, teed up, without a need to execute another search. This delivers the best quality at a convenience not equaled by any other system.
How is Explorit Everywhere! EBM an evolution beyond prior technologies?
It is a profound leap forward because only the highest quality sources are included in the federation. The user, therefore, does not waste time reading and sorting through low impact information and misinformation. With Explorit Everywhere! EBM you are ONLY delivered the gold!
Who are the best users of Explorit Everywhere! EBM? Clinicians? Medical students? Residents? Medical researchers? Nurses?
The best users are all clinicians and anyone who needs the best quality medical information and clinical research delivered and understood now. Not an hour or two from now, but now. In a few short minutes of searching and reading. This includes all of my physician, nursing, pharmacy and veterinarian colleagues. Medical students and residents will find that Explorit Everywhere! EBM brings their performance up to top level. Best evidence always trumps “years of experience” so this is a tool that will allow young clinicians to practice medicine at the state-of-the-art!
Tell us about the collaboration between your University of Arizona Health Sciences Center and Deep Web Technologies? What roles are each party playing?
Deep Web Technologies is the engineering partner that we need for Explorit Everywhere! EBM to deliver on the dream – best evidence, anywhere, in seconds. The University of Arizona brings EBM and library sciences expertise. All three domains have complexity and are exploding in rapid growth. The dream team requires expertise in all of these domains. We have it right!
What is your vision of the perfect EBM system?
The perfect EBM system supports clinical decision making by bringing the best evidence to answer clinical questions, from novice to expert, instantaneously at the point of patient care. It will have advanced analytics and artificial intelligence to continuously learn and further support decision making. Finally, because patient care does occur everywhere, including on streets, sidewalks, jungles and extreme environments, the perfect system must be wireless, mobile and easy to use. I have no doubt that our team will be there soon!
Update: December 20, 2017. You can read more about the evidence-based pyramid and laser-focused search technology in our referisg article. And, we’ve put up a demo of EBM search at http://demo.ebm-search.com.
At DWT, we want to make Explorit Everywhere! easy for our customers to integrate into their workflows. So, we offer hosted and self-hosted solutions, we support desktops, tablets and smartphones on all major browsers, and we make it easy to embed Explorit Everywhere!, well everywhere!
Our loyal customers have asked how we can help them to promote the “Explorit Everywhere!” solution in their organizations. In this article I’ll introduce some ideas on how you can help to spread the word to your communities. In the next article (or two) I’ll dive into the nuts and bolts of some of the things that your IT staff can do to link to and embed Explorit Everywhere! from your corporate or university website.
Here are the ideas.
Promote Explorit Everywhere! in your community outreach. Promote your search solution in your newsletters, blogs and other customer communication. DWT has a regular newsletter that you can subscribe to on our contact form. It notifies readers of our recent blog articles. Those articles might give you ideas for ways of communicating with your search community. In our blog, we periodically include a customer corner which highlights how customers have used Explorit Everywhere! One such article tells about Colorado Technical University’s deployment of federated search in 2016. Another customer corner shares the experiences of the University of the Arts London with Explorit Everywhere! Share your own experiences with your users or be the subject of our next customer corner! One other thing, we occasionally send a README document to customers with updates on new features of Explorit Everywhere! You can forward these documents to your users to keep them abreast of enhancements to your service.
Link to your Explorit Everywhere! application. Include links from your organizational website, your library’s catalog or home page, your online newsletter site or from anywhere! If your site has a header, footer, or a sidebar template, one of those could be the ideal place to link to your search page.
Educate your users. Your users and your stakeholders may want to know how federated search meets their needs better than Google and better than discovery services. We have a number of resources to help you educate your users in our Literature Library and in our information specific to enterprise, government, library, life sciences, medical, military, and multilingual users. Resources in our Literature Library include:
- Quality, Not Quantity: The danger of overlooking quality of search results
- Taking My Library Back from Google
- How to Maximize Your Strategic Investment in Federated Search
- Discovering Federated Search
Blog articles that make the case for federated search include:
- Is Google Good Enough for Medicine?
- Co-opetition with the Discovery Services
- What Am I Searching (And Do I Care?)
- Google is All I Need…Oh Really?
And, here are some blog articles about how Explorit Everywhere! works and its features:
- Ranking: The Secret Sauce for Searching the Deep Web
- Why Doesn’t Explorit Everywhere! Bring Back All Results?
- Faceted Navigation – Explorit Everywhere’s Coolest New Feature
- Explorit Everywhere! Search Builder – Have Search Your Way
- MyLibrary – Explorit Everywhere’s! Filing Cabinet
- A Little Thing Called Source Order
You are more than welcome to reference our resources in your communications resources. And, you may want to point your users to our FAQs and to your application’s help page, found in the About menu on your Explorit Everywhere! home page to learn more about our technology and product features.
Create search builders. Search builders are the perfect way to customize your users’ search experiences. You can create a custom title, description, and editor info, set the number of collection columns to 1 or 2, choose which collections are searched, and which fields are available. You can create multiple search builders to give different communities of users their own tailored search experience. We’ll discuss search builders in more detail in the next article in this series.
Embed. It’s the “everywhere” idea behind “Explorit Everywhere!” that makes it easy for your users to run searches from whichever of your webpages they’re on. You can embed our search widget (instructions at http://[yourApplication]/widget.html). Your web designer can easily customize the widget code to match the look-and-feel of your site.
Link to and embed us in your subject guides. If your library has LibGuide or another subject guide content management system then you can integrate Explorit Everywhere! into your subject guide published content in the same way that you can include links and widgets on your organizational web-site. Read about how University of the Arts London integrated Explorit Everywhere! into their subject guides here.
Integrate search into your learning management system. This is very similar to the last idea. Anywhere that you can integrate your own content, you can integrate Explorit Everywhere! Read our thoughts about including libraries in learning management systems here.
Those are our ideas. I’ll be blogging some of the techie details for folks who are inclined to dive deeper.
Finally, please leave us a comment. How have you promoted Explorit Everywhere! in your organization? How can we better support you?
George Mason University (GMU), in collaboration with Deep Web Technologies (DWT), has just launched Mason OER Metafinder. Wikipedia explains that OERs, open educational resources, are “freely accessible, openly licensed text, media, and other digital assets that are useful for teaching, learning, and assessing as well as for research purposes.”
Mason’s OER Metafinder is the brainchild of Wally Grotophorst, Associate University Librarian for Digital Programs and Systems at George Mason University. Grotophorst explains the motivation behind collaborating with DWT to bring his idea to fru
What we want to do is help faculty identify open resources that they can adopt for the courses–and thereby save the students some money and still provide quality instruction. To support that desire, I had the idea of developing a search engine that would go across the various OER sources and help a curious faculty member quickly see just what sort of things might be available.
Grotophorst also noted:
We believe so much in OER that we’re giving small stipends to faculty who want to produce open texts (which we’ll publish through our Mason Publishing imprint). And, the Office of the Provost is also encouraging faculty to adopt OER texts.
Mason OER Metafinder supports the vision of the Mason Publishing Group, which aims to make textbooks more affordable. Their web page on Open and Affordable Education Resources explains their vision:
At Mason, we want to make your courses accessible to all students. One way to do that is to reduce the costs of the textbooks and other educational materials you use—and University Libraries can help. We offer support for reducing the cost of textbooks and for making library-licensed e-content available to your students. We’re also ready to help you discover, use or even develop and publish your own open educational resources.
Mason OER Metafinder searches fifteen of the leading OER repositories with a single query. Users can perform broad queries across all sources or they can search for terms in full record, title, or author(s). They can also specify a date range and narrow their searches to a specific date range.
A full record search for “calculus” identifies over 322,000 resources and displays the 623 most relevant ones. Results are clustered by topic, author, source, document format, and document type, making it easy to drill down to explore results of a particular type.
GMU is a long-time customer of DWT. GMU built Mason OER Metafinder using DWT’s “Search Builder” technology, where customers can create a search engine with custom search fields and sources.
My niece just started her freshman year at UC Davis. She spent $500 on textbooks. Her parents sure hope the OER movement continues to grow!
Explorit Everywhere! can save your research staff time and increase productivity. Explorit Everywhere! can also significantly reduce the likelihood that important information is missed.
We’ve developed a very convenient little calculator that lets you estimate annual cost savings of letting Explorit Everywhere! be your one-stop search solution. And, the system can send you alerts when new articles in your areas of interest are published.
Just enter the number of knowledge workers in your organization, the average annual salary and benefits per person, and the average number of minutes per day each person spends searching. We’ll estimate your savings based on different numbers of sources searched.
Give the calculator a try and leave us a comment with your impression!
I just got back from an exhausting but very enjoyable 5 day trip to the Bay Area where, as usual, I crammed in as many activities and meetings as possible.
I started out visiting a couple of colleges with my college-bound daughter who is planning to major in Biology (I’m sure that she’ll also be taking some chemistry courses as well). Then I visited friends, customers and prospects in my old haunting grounds (I lived in Silicon Valley most of the 80’s and the early 90’s). On Monday night one of my most senior employees drove 3 hours from Paradise (a small lovely town with a very cool name in the foothills of the Sierras) to have dinner with me in Fisherman’s Wharf. We took a cable car (his first in 30 years) to get from downtown to the Wharf area.
Lest I forget to mention, I did manage to squeeze in an afternoon this past Tuesday (April 4, 2017) at the 253rd National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS). Let me digress for a minute. Speaking at the 253rd meeting of ACS got me curious as to when and where ACS held its first such meeting. So late Friday afternoon/evening I recruited Grace, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Librarian at Stanford University to help me answer this question. Although ACS was formed in 1874, the first of these twice a year meetings wasn’t held until August 6-7, 1890 in Newport, RI.
Back to my talk, I was invited to present the paper – Unique One Stop Access to a Multitude of Chemical Safety Resources to a workshop put on by CHAS (Chemical Health and Safety) Division of ACS. The paper summarized and demonstrated two gateways (a Stanford version and a publicly available version) that my company developed, working closely with Grace, that aggregate Chemical Safety information.
Please check out the public gateway at:
and do send me feedback through the blog on how we can improve the gateway.
Finally, as I have been reflecting on the work in Chemical Safety that we’ve done it’s become clear that what we’ve done is most of the way towards being a powerful resource to help accelerate Chemical Research in general.