Thursday, March 17, 2005

Let's All Search Together - A9 OpenSearch

OpenSearch is a collection of technologies, all built on top of popular open standards, to allow content providers to publish their search results in a format suitable for syndication.

...and very pretty it is too. The idea is for search engines to have the option of returning their results in an extended form of RSS 2.0 referred to as OpenSearch RSS 1.0. To complement this is a standardised query language, OpenSearch Query Syntax 1.0.

The library sector have been thinking about generic queries for some time of course, (for example, check out this Symposium from 2003 on The Next Generation of Access: OpenURL and Metasearch). OpenURL consists of a BaseURL that points to a "link server" capable of resolving the link, plus a query string which contains bibliographic data expressed in a well-defined format [ref: here]

While sort of on the topic of OpenURL, the OpenURL/Google Scholar Firefox extension, made more usable here lets you look up responses from Google Scholar using your local academic library's link resolver... If that doesn't make any sense at all to you, here's an FAQ.

I did try once to get my local academic library to provide an RSS output feed from their Resources for Open University TEachers and Students (ROUTES)...(I offered this as proof of concept, though it's very ropey, doesn't escape special characters, doesn't necessarily give clean RSS etc)...but they preferred a bespoke XML format...

o hum - it will be interesting to see if they like OpenSearch RSS any better...


Blogger Tim Wales said...

N.B. correct XML demo link is:

6:56 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home