Monday, November 10, 2008

When librarians build a search engine...

I'm very curious to see what will come of Reference Extract, a web search engine "built for maximum credibility" that will weight results toward sites used heavily by libraries.

According to the article on Reference Extract in the Chronicle of Higher Education's Wired Campus, "The idea is to cull and promote recommendations from tens of thousands of librarians around the world."

I think this could be phenomenally cool, or a complete disaster. It would be nice to see a good marriage of search engine algorithms and librarian knowledge, something that would leverage the abilities librarians have developed as we evaluate information and attempt to teach others to do the same. It would be nice to have access to a search engine that was not so easily leveraged to bring up results corporations want us to see.

On the other hand, it often seems to me that librarians are really excellent at gathering and organizing information but not always so good at making it easily accessible to non-librarians.

Good luck, Research Exchange. I hope you do very, very well.

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