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Christina's LIS Rant
Friday, March 18, 2005
  CIL2005: Evaluating Search Tools
Mary Ellen Bates
She uses an evaluation of Exalead as an example (everyone should go look at this search engine. It looks very promising). I am only giving very, very sketchy notes here – she provides a ton of really neat tips – too fast for my typing…
1) first impressions, what can you see by looking at the front page (who’s it for? Help? About them? Advanced?)
2) run a bunch of searches with different issues to test for weaknesses (here’s a helpful hint: many search engines don’t limit well by country because they just look for the top level domain – like .au – and won’t pick up a .com or a .org)
3) refinements
4) presentation of results (sort? Cluster?)
5) what does it cover?
6) try it on different browsers
7) compare results with results from the big 4, make sure you look at the first 50-100 results at least
8) ads/pop-ups/additional software
9) customization?
10) who told you about it (if it was ResourceShelf, think about giving it another chance, maybe it’s down right now)
11) how long has it been around (in beta?)


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This is my blog on library and information science. I'm into Sci/Tech libraries, special libraries, personal information management, sci/tech scholarly comms.... My name is Christina Pikas and I'm a librarian in a physics, astronomy, math, computer science, and engineering library. I'm also a doctoral student at Maryland. Any opinions expressed here are strictly my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer or CLIS. You may reach me via e-mail at cpikas {at} gmail {dot} com.

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Christina's LIS Rant by Christina K. Pikas is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

Christina Kirk Pikas

Laurel , Maryland , 20707 USA
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