Open access secondary sources for better access to scientific information.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paper

Abstract

Besides the more classical commercial, fee-based systems, an increasing number of open access sources and services is available that can be exploited to access scientific and technical information, knowledge, ideas and so on. This contribution gives an overview of open access secondary sources and services (subject directories, bibliographic databases, search engines, that point to primary commercial as well as open access sources, and thesaurus systems that can improve information retrieval).
During recent years these have been identified, evaluated, incorporated in study materials of students (http://www.vub.ac.be/BIBLIO/nieuwenhuysen/courses/), integrated in the WWW site of our university library (http://www.vub.ac.be/BIBLIO/) and in the OpenURL link generator of the university library search system.
The primary open access sources include
-billions of public access WWW pages,
-thousands of discussion groups based on electronic mail, Usenet, the WWW or combinations of these,
-many electronic journals, and
-open archives/repositories set up by scientific organisations.
Pointing out interesting ones is hardly feasible in view of the huge volume. This brings us to the secondary sources that help us to create order in the expanding information landscape. The secondary open access sources include
-numerous general, horizontal subject directories guiding us to WWW sites,
-more specialized, vertical subject directories guiding us to WWW sites in some specific subject area, such as onefish on fishing by FAO, and oceanportal on marine science by UNESCO-IOC-IODE,
-numerous general, horizontal search engines that lead us to WWW pages, such as Google, MSN Web Search, Search Yahoo; some offer categorization of results to cope with the classical problem in information retrieval of ambiguity of meaning of words in a query, such as Mooter, Teoma, and Wisenut,
-several search engines that guide us to open archives/repositories, such as Scirus and more recently Google Scholar,
-many meta-search engines that rely on existing search engines and that combine results; remarkable among these is Vivisimo which offers categorization of results to cope with the classical problem in information retrieval of ambiguity of meaning of words in a query,
-several general, horizontal search engines / databases that allow us to find/identify articles and other documents in most areas of science and technology
-several vertical, search engines / databases that allow us to find articles and other documents in some specific domain of science, such as Medline for biomedical science and related areas, and Eric for educational science and for library and information science,
-more specialised search engines to find images on the WWW, such as Google Image Search,
-a directory and database of scholarly open access journals and articles, named DOAJ,
-a search engine to find Usenet newsgroups and articles, Google Groups,
-several huge databases of booksellers that offer bibliographic descriptions of books and related information, such as Amazon, and of course the book databases/catalogues of many libraries, such as the Library of Congress and the British Library,
-a few databases that allow even full-text searches of the contents of a selection of books, such as Amazon and Google Print.
Some of the systems mentioned above even offer a current awareness service to alert users when a new document has become available that corresponds well with the user profile stored with the system. For public access WWW pages, Google offers this service.

The slides prepared for this presentation should be available from
http://www.vub.ac.be/BIBLIO/nieuwenhuysen/presentations/ (note: BIBLIO and not biblio)
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication“Open waters – Open sources”, Proceedings of the 11the biennial Conference of EURASLIC, Split, Croatia, May 2005, Editors; Sofija Konjevic and Marina Mayer, Ruder Boskovic Institute, Zagreb, Croatia.
PublisherRuder Boskovic Institute
Pages127-128
Number of pages2
ISBN (Print)953-6690-60-8
Publication statusPublished - 2006
EventFinds and Results from the Swedish Cyprus Expedition: A Gender Perspective at the Medelhavsmuseet - Stockholm, Sweden
Duration: 21 Sep 200925 Sep 2009

Conference

ConferenceFinds and Results from the Swedish Cyprus Expedition: A Gender Perspective at the Medelhavsmuseet
CountrySweden
CityStockholm
Period21/09/0925/09/09

Keywords

  • WWW
  • Internet
  • information searching
  • search engines

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