January 18, 2022

New Report from OCLC Research: "Single Search: The Quest for the Holy Grail"

Note: Terms like one-search, metasearch, federated search, central index,  harvesting, central index, central repository, and many other terms are all part of the single search world in one way or another.

The report discusses a number of issues including:

  • Institutional and Technical Considerations
  • Metadata Considerations
  • Access Considerations

Direct to Report: Single Search: The Quest for the Holy Grail (29 pages; PDF)
Authors: Leah Prescott and Ricky Erway
Source: OCLC Research

From OCLC Research:

In the era of global search engines, users are often puzzled by the realization that they can search the Internet through a single interface, yet the resources of universities and other institutions are often compartmentalized in a plethora of informational silos, each with its own dedicated system, search categories and user interfaces. Many institutions want to make the breadth of their local resources easily discoverable regardless of where and how the resources are managed.

To address this desire, OCLC Research facilitated a working group of nine single search implementers through discussions about the opportunities for, and obstacles to, integrating single search access across an institution. Members of this group told their stories, identified issues, and acknowledged similarities and differences in their approaches.

This report summarizes the discussions from an OCLC Research Library Partnership working group of nine single search implementers and highlights the emerging practices in providing single search access to library, archive and museum collections. The goal of the report is to foster successful single search implementations by sharing the experience of the working group with those who want to create single search but don’t know where to start.

See Also:  Additional Background and Material via the Single Search for Library, Archive and Museum Collections Project Web Page

Note: Leah Prescott is the Digital Projects Coordinator at Getty Research Institute. 10 days ago we pointed out that the Getty and the GRI had recently launched a single search tool to search one or more Getty databases simultaneously. You can read the INFOdocket post here.

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.