Best-of lists always save time and usually delight. This is true of the Internet Scout’s list of the very best sites they have reviewed in the past academic year. This year’s has some history, art, architecture, technology – digital, health, education, and calming sounds from Seaquence – fascinating “experiment in musical composition” – must be tried. Peruse at Best of the Scout Report.
Finding Current Research Using Free Online Resources by Trina Brown, Smithsonial Libraries Unbound (Mar 27) will bring you up to date on web resources for scholarly searches on the Web. The Smithsonian Research Online portal is one of the resources. Others:
- Google Scholar
Watch for other postings at the Smithonian Libraries Blog.
Good news from the Internet Archive – its Wayback Machine for archived web pages now contains 240 billion urls for web pages from late 1996 to early December 2012. This adds up to 5 petabytes of data. The Wayback Machine is an excellent research tool for historical research.
Wayback Machine Now Has 240 Billion URLs by Gary Price at Search Engine Land (Jan 14)
- Some of the oldest content is still in the old system – must search it separately until everything is brought into the new system.
- Internet Archive has received $ 1 million to buy more storage.
- A portion of the archive is keyword searchable through the fee-based Archive-It. It has 5 billion urls from public collections.
Yippy, the family-friendly search service, will be buying HighBeam Research. This announcement has prompted me to look at Yippy again. Has it improved in the last year and will this acquisition make it even better?
Yippy prides itself an Internet search engine and environment that is “family-friendly” – safe in all respects (no “adult” material here), and private (no tracking), highly suitable for the education field, and especially K-12. To many it may be chiefly known for its meta-search engine, formerly called Clusty, which it bought from Vivisimo a few years ago and is open to all. To avail oneself of the fully protected area, it is necessary to register and install a customized browser (described at Yippy Hub). This interface provides webmail, file storage place, video games, video conferencing and chat.
It has announced an agreement with Gale to purchase HighBeam Research, a for-fee subscription service for access to magazine and journal publications and diverse databases with information on companies and industry information.
Quoting from the press release Yippy, Inc. (YIPI) to Purchase HighBeam® from The Gale Group, Inc (Dec 24)
Edward Noel , the Company’s Chief Executive Officer, stated, “This is an acquisition that makes sense on every level.” He continued, “Yippy wants to provide its users with the best and most trusted tools to educate themselves on the web. With our clustering search technology and Highbeam’s extensive archive, we believe this will take us to the next step in becoming the featured destination for online research and learning.”
Yippy has been picking up content from HighBeam Research and linking searchers directly to the article along with HighBeam’s offer for a trial subscription. With this purchase, Yippy will be able to provide its users the full research package – and, one presumes, generate an income stream.
One problem, however, with HighBeam has been that articles are generally stripped of images – it’s just the text. And judging from its list of Canadian newspapers, there is a problem with the indexing. One of the serious challenges HighBeam has always faced is that the savvy searcher will connect online with the local public library to access databases – mostly from Gale – for free.
But what has it been doing to the search engine? Not much.
Yippy does not name all the web search sources it uses. It will list Gigablast, a lesser known web search engine, and HighBeam Research as two sources. Open Directory is still on its list – though the directory is seriously out of date and poorly maintained. Reuters will show on current topics.
Yippy has two generically named sources – Yippy Sources and Additional Sources. I suspect that Additional is mainly Bing. Yippy Sources might be their own robot – but this should be stated somewhere.
Other signs of trouble:
- The Preferences for customizing tabs no longer works.
- Cached links are broken.
- Breakdown by time periods is dubious – but may be correct for News.
We should check later to see how well HighBeam’s collections are integrated into Yippy, but I suspect that there will be very little change.
History buffs and students – depending on subject interest – will be pleased with Google’s Cultural Institute, a digital archive that is visually rich with photographs, historical documents, and videos.It began with 42 collections, and is partnering with museums and cultural organizations for more.
A time line on the front page scans from 1905 to the present. Many of the topics relate to the Second World War and aftermath or to South Africa – Nelson Mandela.
A fuller view of content may be obtained from the Explore option where projects are listed. Among these are:
- Art project – collections, galleries and artists around the world. Art Gallery of Ontario has some artworks on display. Browse the Art Project by museum or artist. People with a touch screen will have an advantage. Unfortunately, notes on individual artworks are scant.
- World Wonders has segments on regions, nature, archaeology, architecture – more.- shown through photographs, videos (of mixed quality ), and Google Earth 3D views.
- Dead Sea Scrolls was a partnered project with the Israel Museum through which five scrolls were put online. In the last week, another 5,000 images of scroll fragments of biblical sections have been released. Details were well covered in the press: Dead Sea Scrolls online library launched by Google and Israel (Dec 18 – MSNBC) and Google puts Dead Sea Scrolls sacred text online (PCWorld). Access the site directly at the Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library.
The Cultural Institute opened in October 2012 and was described in this CNet article – Google Cultural Institute brings dozens of new exhibits online (October 10)
Historic Whitby newspapers now online, Durham Region (Oct 31)
An anonymous donor who must have liked newspapers gave the Whitby Public Library money to digitize historic newspapers.
“Complete issues are available for the Whitby Gazette (1862-1912), Whitby Chronicle (1857-1912), Whitby Gazette and Chronicle (1912-1942), Whitby Weekly News (1955-1965) and the full run of the Whitby Free Press (1971-1996).”
Search them here — http://vitacollections.ca/whitbynews/search
Thanks to Research Buzz for this.
Science.gov Adds Multimedia, Spanish Translations, and More Search Features, Newsbreaks, (Oct 15)
“Science.gov, the gateway to U.S. federal science hosted by the Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) of the Department of Energy, now includes multimedia content and additional features, including an updated interface with enhanced navigation. For the first time, R&D video from the DOE ScienceCinema is available, as well as from MedlinePLUS, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the National Science Foundation (NSF). Images from the Library of Congress have been added to the image search, which is now integrated under a new multimedia tab on the results page. Search enhancements include visual representations of topical information in an easy-to-use touch and dial format.”
This may not be a surprise to others, but FindArticles, once a store of journal articles, has closed. The url redirects to search.com. Looksmart originally owned it, then CNET.