Science.gov upgrades to Version 3.0

The newest version of the Science.gov search engine uses metadata to rank results, which should give users more accurate responses to queries, according to the Science.gov Alliance.

'We're trying to plow new ground with searches among multiple databases,' said Walter Warnick, director of the Energy Department's Office of Scientific and Technical Information, which hosts the Science.gov site.

Warnick said the new version of the search engine makes searches for obscure terms easier, thanks to the new technology.

Version 3 of Science.gov, which went operational last month, incorporates bibliographic information into its searches.

The feature, dubbed 'MetaRank,' ranks the relevance of data to the search term by using title, author, date, abstract and other keyword identifiers.
It places those data sources that appear to be closest to what the user wants highest in the list of results.

'MetaRank greatly expands the amount of information that comes back with each hit, so the relevance ranking can be more sophisticated,' Warnick said.

Boolean searching has been modified so that the rules more closely resemble those used by commercial search engines. Users can now search in specific fields, such as dates or author.

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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