A guide to search engines for digital libraries

Behind the user-friendliness that is an essential requirement of search engines –the key point of access to on-line digital library collections– lies a complex tool that it is important to understand to make best use of all its possibilities. Search engines begin with structured data provided by bibliographical records and full text and must optimise the relevance of basic search results in terms of user needs, particularly through weighting and statistical analysis. They must also offer an advanced search interface giving a spatial view of the collection.