The press release about a partnership between Thomson Gale and Groxis hit my email yesterday, so I quickly sent off a query to Nader Qaimari, Thomson Gale’s senior director of PowerSearch Programs, InfoTrac, and Gale Virtual Reference Library. Luckily, he was available this morning to chat and provide some details.
Groxis, known for its visual search and discovery technology, and Thomson Gale announced that they have teamed up to provide enhanced search capabilities to Thomson Gale’s users of its PowerSearch products—K-12 schools and public and academic libraries. But Qaimari said that Gale was interested in more than just the visual search technology of Groxis’ Grokker tool. “We’ve been talking to Groxis for a long time and were really interested in its federated search capabilities.”
Thomson Gale will incorporate several of Grokker’s key features into PowerSearch, including the ability to run a search on a collection of databases not currently on the PowerSearch platform—library catalogs, other vendor’s reference databases, and Web sites. A beta version is planned for May, with a group of about 20 institutions participating. Thomson Gale hopes to have “something to show at SLA” in June and hopes to have as much done as possible by the ALA meeting. “It will launch this summer for sure,” said Qaimari.
He said that adding the Grokker technologies was part of a larger plan for upgrades to the PowerSearch platform. Other new features coming to the platform include search alerts, a “Did You Mean?” feature, and improved usability enhancements. Workflow tools—like cite it, translate it, download, email, etc.—would be more obvious in the interface. This summer, the company will launch the literature databases on the platform. Business, health, and bio products will be moved over the next year. All Thomson Gale databases will eventually be available on the PowerSearch platform.
News Bureau Chief, ITI