Category Archives: Searching

Search engines – out with the old, in with the new

Back in the summer Yahoo announced that it was to close the search engine AltaVista, and that duly happened in July. I suspect that most people’s reaction would be either “what on earth is Alta Vista?”  or “Blimey! Is that … Continue reading

Posted in Searching | 9 Comments

Answering searching questions

For twenty years we have had some sort of desktop access to the scientific literature. At first we only had abstracts of articles, and accessed them through fairly clunky interfaces (anyone remember BIDS?). The introduction of PubMed in 1997 improved … Continue reading

Posted in Searching | Tagged , | 9 Comments

Google: how to un-personalise your search

Google never stands still. It is forever seeking to improve the way it tries to match your search request to its database, and then to show you potentially useful websites. Mostly we are not aware of how it does this, … Continue reading

Posted in Searching | Tagged , | 4 Comments

The challenge of going beyond

Change is a natural part of life so resisting it has always seemed futile to me. My hair falls out and turns grey and I prefer to just accept that it has happened rather than to wear a wig or … Continue reading

Posted in Information skills, Journal publishing, Scientific literature, Searching | 21 Comments

Ethical retrieval

It may surprise you to know that librarians have codes of professional ethics. The main  UK membership organisation for librarians,  CILIP, requires its members to follow its ethical code; the American Library Association have something similar.  Subject classification and indexing … Continue reading

Posted in Ethics, Searching | 5 Comments


The first Internet search engine I used, back in about 1990, was Archie. This was an index of content hosted across the internet on ftp servers; mostly software but there were documents and databases too.  Archie didn’t feel much like … Continue reading

Posted in Searching | 11 Comments