A Niche Search Engine for eBusiness

eBizSearch is an experimental search engine that focuses on a very small niche: academic and commercially produced articles and reports about e-Business.

eBusiness? Wasn't that the much heralded, but now long-gone fad that was supposed to wipe out traditional bricks and mortar commerce? Yes and no.

Despite the spectacular flameout of dubious ventures selling everything from pet food to pet rocks online, eBusiness is actually thriving, albeit in a very different way than envisioned by 20th century pundits.

eBizSearch makes it easy to find information covering the business and technical aspects of online business. The search engine comes from the eBusiness Research Center at Penn State University.

The search engine crawls websites of universities, commercial organizations, research institutes and government departments to retrieve academic articles, working papers, white papers, consulting reports, magazine articles, and published statistics and facts related to eBusiness.

According to Lee Giles, Associate Director of Research for the eBusiness Research Center, the search engine has currently indexed about 20,000 documents, though not all of these are full-text records.

For certain documents the database only stores hyperlinks to documents that it has found on other documents. This is similar to what Google does when a document may be accessible on the web, but cannot be indexed, for various reasons.

eBizSearch is based on the CiteSeer technology from NEC labs, originally developed by Giles, Steve Lawrence and Kurt Bollacker. The team's original product was a search engine for computer science research papers and articles.

eBizSearch performs citation analysis on all of the academic articles in its index, and lists them in order of their citation rates (the most cited articles are listed first). This makes it easy to see which articles are considered most important to the eBusiness research community.

There are two types of results: an overall result list that displays all relevant documents related to your query, and a detailed result page for each individual document.

Detailed results offer an abstract of the document, links to the full document and author home page(s), if available, and an "active bibliography," which is a list of closely related documents.

There's also a list of other articles that have cited the article, with links to the citing articles, if they're in the eBizSearch database.

Articles available through the eBizSearch engine can be downloaded (for fair use) without any charges. However, some articles may have only the abstracts listed, and you might need to buy them directly from the source to access them.

Even if you're not particularly interested in eBusiness, take a look at eBizSearch. Its rich results are a great demonstration of how search engines can provide searchers with much more detailed, helpful information than we're currently accustomed to getting in results.

eBizSearch is an experimental search engine that focuses on a very small niche: academic and commercially produced articles and reports about e-Business.

Research Index
Research Index is a search engine focusing on computer science research and articles, built using the same technology as eBizSearch.

eBusiness Research Center at Penn State University
The eBusiness Research Center is a resource and information clearinghouse for e-business.

Search Headlines

NOTE: Article links often change. In case of a bad link, use the publication's search facility, which most have, and search for the headline.

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About the author

Chris Sherman is a frequent contributor to several information industry journals. He's written several books, including The McGraw-Hill CD ROM Handbook and The Invisible Web: Uncovering Information Sources Search Engines Can't See, co-authored with Gary Price. Chris has written about search and search engines since 1994, when he developed online searching tutorials for several clients. From 1998 to 2001, he was About.com's Web Search Guide.