Thursday, September 16, 2004

Elsevier's Scirus Scientific Search Secures Web Marketing Association Honors

Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who's the fairest search engine of all? This year majors in the consumer's mind such as Google, Yahoo! and MSN had to take a back seat to Elsevier's Scirus scientific/technical/medical Web search engine as the Web Marketing Association announced its awarding of its annual 'Best Directory or Search Engine Website' WebAward to the STM Web whiz. Scirus scours the Web for relevant Web pages and serves them up in parallel with abstracts from scholarly journal articles made available from Elsevier's Science Direct database (full articles available with a SD subscription or via pay-per-view). Scirus does a good job of limiting results to relevant Web pages without washing out some of the more offbeat sources that offer good content value, while offering both the abstracts and more drill-down to related content categories to refine searches. The FAST-based search technology is a great example of taking a vertical approach to both open Web and premium content that provides significant editorial value via search technology, though as noted in yesterday's item about the Thomas B2B search portal vertical editorial approaches sometimes focus too hard on a given editorial goal and leave out key sites that are almost because of their popularity instead of in spite of it. Still some tuning left to go, to be sure, but overall it's a wonderfully positive sign that a highly focused approach to integrating professional Web and subscription content is gaining deserved high honors.
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