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Subject: Launch of the "BASE - Bielefeld Academic Search Engine"
From: Urte Kramer <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:[log in to unmask]
Date:Mon, 28 Jun 2004 09:04:46 +0200

text/plain (94 lines)

Apologies for cross-posting

Bielefeld University Library: Launch of the "BASE - Bielefeld
Academic Search Engine "- Demonstrator

Dear colleagues,

It's my great pleasure to inform you, that the demonstrator "BASE
Digital Collections", our search engine technology prototype, has
gone life for the general public!

BASE, the Bielefeld Academic Search Engine, is the local
implementation of a search service prototype, that can have in the
future many other access points and brandings, e.g. in your own local
or subject specific information discovery environment. "BASE Digital
Collections" comprises a group of non-subject specific digital
collections incl. institutional repositories, digitised collections,
e-journals, pre-print servers and other full texts from Germany, the
U.S. and the UK. The "BASE Digital Collections" builds the prototype
of a real-life search service to digital collections that are not
restricted to a specific subject area. Beyond partial digital
collections of various partners it includes the complete digitised
collections of historical German journals (Host: Bielefeld UL) and
the "Internet Library of Early Journals, ILEJ" (Host: Oxford
University Library Services). Further collections are scheduled for
inclusion. BASE Mathematics, a further version of the demonstrator,
includes two further repositories, the complete mathematical records
of the Bielefeld Online Library Catalogue and a subset of the
"Zentralblatt Math"-database.

Key objectives of the planned new search service include:

++To create an integrated point of access to very heterogeneous and
distributed online content
++To offer access only to qualified, scholarly content
++To include resources that are usually not covered by commercial
search indexes because they cannot be crawled automatically (the so-
called "deep" or "invisible" web)
++Combine the proven strengths of commercial internet indexes
(performance, scalability, comfort in use) with the traditional
strength of libraries to identify and index high quality scholarly

The demonstrators can only give a first glance on the potential of
search engine technology in the context of scholarly search- and
retrieval services. The underlying indexing technology of the Fast
company has only partially been exploited and system components like
the linguistic modules haven't even been implemented yet. Further
activities, that are scheduled for evaluation, implementation or
development include among others:

++The extension of the current index structure which is mainly built
on the 15 Dublin Core fields
++The optimising of ranking algorithms for scientifically relevant
++Implementation and customisation of existing linguistic features to
support intelligent querying
++The development of intelligent and flexible search-/navigation and
retrieval interfaces

The further evaluation and large-scale implementation of search
engine technology into digital libraries and scholarly information
portals is one objective of a national project initiative
"Distributed Document Server" that is seeking funding through the
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft and the German Federal Ministry of
Education and Research, incorporated also into "vascoda", the German
Digital Library project.

The set-up of BASE is grounded on a strategic collaboration of
Bielefeld University Library and Fast Search & Transfer ASA, one of
the market leaders for intelligent search technology. Fast, an off-
shoot of the Norwegian National University of Technology, is based in
Oslo with branches in some European countries, the U.S. and Japan.
Research laboratories are located in Norway and at the universities
of Munich (Germany), Cornell and Penn. State (U.S.). Fast technology
has been the indexing technology for the AllTheWeb internet search

The public launch of the BASE demonstrators is supported by a
programmatic article on "Search engine technology and digital
libraries: Libraries need to discover the academic internet",
published in the June issue of the D-Lib Magazine (

Comments and suggestion are welcomed and encouraged.

Norbert Lossau

Universitaetsbibliothek Bielefeld

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