School of Information Sciences -- Faculty Publications and Other Works

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Library Journal

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ONLINE COMPANIES continually tinker with their systems. Commercial aggregators need to accommodate new databases or new features such as linking. Search engines must change ranking algorithms to subvert rogue web sites or hackers who seek to manipulate ranking. Systems need to improve performance and keep up with the competition or the current fashions in interface design.

It isn't often that a system can afford to do a total makeover, including architecture, new programming code, and new functionality. Factiva did this over the last few years; recently the H.W. Wilson Company has totally revamped its system. Ed Tallent, Boston College, reviewed the new WilsonWeb (Database&Disc Reviews, LJ 1/03, p. 173ff.), focusing mainly on the search features and interface. But a total redesign goes beyond what the user sees and searches. It is also a redesign of the underlying structure and methods by which Wilson indexers and editors work.



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