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Cathey Daniels
November 16, 2005
                                                                3.0 – A More Precise Search

Alliance of 12 federal science agencies launches latest version of

Washington, DC – The latest version of, launched November 15, allows more refined queries for searches of federal science databases. While 3.0 is available to everyone, the upgrade will be especially helpful to scientists and information specialists. 3.0 introduces “MetaRank,” a technology which uses a sophisticated method for ranking science queries by searching the “metadata,” or bibliographic information such as title, author, date, abstract or other keyword identifiers. This technology complements the relevancy ranking capabilities of QuickRank, which was introduced in Version 2.0 and is still deployed on every search.

“We think all citizens searching for science information – especially those using advanced searches – will appreciate this latest version of,” said Eleanor Frierson, Deputy Director, National Agricultural Library and co-chair of the Alliance. “We’ve worked hard to implement MetaRank and other enhancements that help make search results more relevant than ever.”

Tom Lahr, Deputy Associate Chief Biologist for Information, U.S. Geological Survey, and co-chair of the Alliance, noted that researchers and information specialists should find Version 3.0 a step forward in relevancy ranking of government science information. “MetaRank will return more targeted results from deep Web databases, making the nation’s research and development data even more accessible,” said Lahr. 3.0 also offers enhanced Boolean search capabilities, fielded searching, intuitive site navigation, and early viewing of results while a search of databases and Web sites continues in real time., the nation’s FirstGov for Science, is a gateway to reliable science and technology information from 17 organizations within 12 federal science agencies. A single query searches across more than 1,800 Web sites and 30 databases. allows users to search the surface Web as well as the deep Web, where traditional search engines generally cannot go. The information is free and no registration is required.

Deep Web Technologies (DWT), a small business located in Los Alamos, New Mexico, performed the research for MetaRank, in part through a competitive grant award for infrastructure research from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program.

In addition to the SBIR grant, DWT’s efforts to prototype and implement MetaRank on were supported by contributing members of the Alliance: The Departments of Agriculture, Defense, Energy, Health and Human Services, and the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Government Printing Office.

Other science agencies participating in the Alliance are the Departments of Commerce and Education, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the National Science Foundation, with support from the National Archives and Records Administration. is hosted by DOE’s Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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