Sure, many researchers could get more focused results if they used some of the advanced search tools and techniques that the large web engines offer. However, most don’t. Verticals are another option and we’re seeing lots of interest in this area. Finally, I like the idea of general web engines creating tools that search specific subjects/types/formats of material. In other words, offer interfaces that search specific “chunks” of the complete database. We recently saw Yahoo release a search tool that limits a search to material with a Creative Commons license. These tools can potentially help the searcher get better results without having to know about or use any type of advanced search option. Of course, letting users know that these tools are available and could potentially offer better results, is another matter altogether.
February 9, 2016