The Fundación General CSIC has made a new version of its R&D search engine available to is the scientific community and any other interested users. This tool searches for content relating to research and development, innovation and scientific knowledge in general.
A lot of search engines are already available to the public, some of the best known being Google, MSN, Yahoo and Altavista. These are all computer systems that give the end user a list of web addresses in response to a set of key words. However, this can result in information overload, and all too often the content offered is untrustworthy. For this reason the Fundación General CSIC has supported the development of a special-purpose R&D search engine able to locate science and research-relevant content by restricting searches to verified sources of reliable scientific information.
The Fundación General CSIC’s R&D search engine, which is based on Google’s «personalised search engine» technology, limits its searches to research centres in Spain and abroad, scientific publications, public administrations and international organisations. The filters can be set to match the user’s areas of interest: research groups specialising in a particular field, relevant scientific literature, calls for research project proposals funded by various public bodies, etc.
Limiting searches in this way and avoiding a deluge of unverified references was made possible by an intensive effort to compile hundreds of web addresses associated with scientific authors and publications, scientific publishers and Open Access repositories, together with lists of public organisations and government bodies, The constraints on our R&D search engine focus searches on genuinely useful content of guaranteed quality. And to avoid possible omissions, users also have the option to suggest URLs that might be included.
We envisage the R&D search engine will be an extremely useful tool for the general public and specialist audiences with an interest in R&D as well as the scientific community. Although we are now presenting a new improved version of the search engine, we anticipate continuing development of this resource so as to make it easier to use and to expand its scope of application, in particular by enabling multilingual searches that produce results in several languages.