Office of Information Policy | New Search Tool Improves User Experience

“, the government’s central resource for information about the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), was updated today with a new Search Tool that helps the public more quickly locate commonly requested information.  This update reflects one of the most significant improvements to the site since the release of the National FOIA Portal in 2018 and fulfills one of the Department of Justice’s commitments made in the United States Fifth Open Government National Action Plan.

The Search Tool is designed to simplify the process of making FOIA requests and finding federal government documents. It can help a user connect with the right agency to make a request or find publicly available information quickly and easily.  With over 100 agencies subject to FOIA and hundreds of FOIA offices, it can often be difficult for the public to find information efficiently.  We developed the search tool after in-depth research and information gathering from agencies and public users to help identify the best solution.  Through these efforts, we identified six topical areas that comprise the largest portion of FOIA requests.  These “common topics” launch users into logic-based pathways that ask a series of questions to help get the user to the right place.  Alternatively, users can enter their own search terms.  The tool relies on a combination of logic and machine learning to provide a user with publicly available documents and/or a suggestion of where to request information.  Click here to learn more about how the Search Tool works….”

Libraries and open access discovery

“The Open Access Discovery project is investigating how Dutch libraries integrate OA publications into their users’ discovery workflows. We hope the research will provide valuable evidence for libraries wanting to make their own discovery practices surrounding OA publications more effective. We interviewed library staff at seven universities and universities of applied sciences. We asked them about:

Exposing metadata for OA publications produced at their institution
Selecting and adding OA publications to their library collections
Helping their campus community discover OA publications
Collaborating with others to improve OA discoverability

The interviews were followed with a survey of their user communities. Users were asked about their experience searching for scholarly peer-reviewed publications, the barriers they encountered during access, and their experience with open access. Our data analysis is well underway, and we’re excited to begin sharing our findings….”

Data sharing and reuse practices: disciplinary differences and improvements needed | Emerald Insight

Abstract:  Purpose

This study investigates differences and commonalities in data production, sharing and reuse across the widest range of disciplines yet and identifies types of improvements needed to promote data sharing and reuse.


The first authors of randomly selected publications from 2018 to 2019 in 20 Scopus disciplines were surveyed for their beliefs and experiences about data sharing and reuse.


From the 3,257 survey responses, data sharing and reuse are still increasing but not ubiquitous in any subject area and are more common among experienced researchers. Researchers with previous data reuse experience were more likely to share data than others. Types of data produced and systematic online data sharing varied substantially between subject areas. Although the use of institutional and journal-supported repositories for sharing data is increasing, personal websites are still frequently used. Combining multiple existing datasets to answer new research questions was the most common use. Proper documentation, openness and information on the usability of data continue to be important when searching for existing datasets. However, researchers in most disciplines struggled to find datasets to reuse. Researchers’ feedback suggested 23 recommendations to promote data sharing and reuse, including improved data access and usability, formal data citations, new search features and cultural and policy-related disciplinary changes to increase awareness and acceptance.


This study is the first to explore data sharing and reuse practices across the full range of academic discipline types. It expands and updates previous data sharing surveys and suggests new areas of improvement in terms of policy, guidance and training programs.

Anna’s Archive Scraped WorldCat to Help Preserve ‘All’ Books in the World * TorrentFreak

“Anna’s Archive scraped WorldCat, the world’s largest library catalog, in an effort to help preserve digital copies of every book in the world. The meta search engine is well aware of the legal risks but believes that these are well worth taking to preserve the written legacy of humanity. In addition, the archive’s database has gained interest from AI developers and LLM teams too….”

Social-media Search Comparo

“Bluesky, Threads, and Mastodon (as of last week) all have a built-in search capability. So now’s a good time for a first-look comparison.

My social-media life is at, a member-owned co-op Mastodon instance, but I regularly visit Bluesky and Threads, just to keep in touch. I continue to believe that the evolution of humanity’s tools of conversation is terribly important. This week, our member-owned co-op instance installed Mastodon 4.2 and turned on search….”

CRKN and Library and Archives Canada partner to improve access to digitized handwritten materials in Héritage Collection | Canadian Research Knowledge Network

“The Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN) and Library and Archives Canada (LAC) have partnered on a pilot project to improve access to LAC’s materials in the Héritage collection through Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR). The pilot project will process a subset of RG 10 collection, “Records relating to Indian Affairs,” with Transkribus ICR software developed by READ-COOP. This project will improve access to a highly used set of records and begin the journey towards our long-term aspiration to make the Héritage collection full-text searchable….”

New OSF Search Features for Rapid Research Findability and Sharing

“Key to success with open and transparent research is have tools and workflows that enable it across the lifecycle. Over 600,000 researchers utilize over 12 million public registrations, projects, files, and preprints for research planning, management, and sharing. OSF Search is the discovery infrastructure that surfaces all of these public objects so that they can be cited, reused, and reproduced.

OSF Search now provides results for registrations, preprints, projects (and related components), files, and users in one easy to use interface. In each search result, you will find key metadata to help you determine if these are the results you are looking for. There is also a new “Context” section in each result, which will provide a preview of the metadata fields that reference your search term. For example, a search for “climate change” will return all objects with “climate change” in the title, abstract, subjects, registration responses, wiki, contributors, institutions, funders, and copyright holders.

In combination with a variety of Persistent Identifiers (PIDs) implemented across the OSF, users and other data consumers can easily discover the content that is relevant to them while moving past results that are not helpful. For example, the funder facet utilizes the funder metadata field on OSF objects, which is powered by the Crossref Funder Registry. For our institutional members, we include their Research Organization Registry (ROR) identifier in the metadata of research shared by their affiliates. That means there is no misidentification or confusion due to a funder or institutional name being spelled differently or with a previous name; the PIDs are permanent and unique to them….”

the source / Introducing the All-New Journalytics Academic & Predatory Reports

“We have some exciting news to share – a new and improved Journalytics Academic & Predatory Reports platform will soon be here. Our team has been working on multiple updates and enhancements to our tried and true platform that will benefit users in multiple ways. Along with our ongoing addition of new verified and predatory journals, users will experience better search results, new data points and visualizations, increased stability and speed, and more secure logins.

In addition to the visual elements and expanded analytics of this redesign, a key component is the full integration of our Journalytics and Predatory Reports databases. This integration will allow for comprehensive searches that present the full range of publishing opportunities and threats in a given area. Our goal is to facilitate journal discovery and evaluation so our users know the journals and know the risks.

Last month we hosted a webinar to give users a sneak peek at the upcoming changes, which include a new guided search page to jumpstart journal discovery, updated platform and journal card designs, and new data points such as fees and article output. Check out the video below or visit our YouTube channel where you’ll find a time-stamped table of contents in the description for easy navigation to specific points in the video….”

Impact and development of an Open Web Index for open web search – Granitzer – Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology – Wiley Online Library

Abstract:  Web search is a crucial technology for the digital economy. Dominated by a few gatekeepers focused on commercial success, however, web publishers have to optimize their content for these gatekeepers, resulting in a closed ecosystem of search engines as well as the risk of publishers sacrificing quality. To encourage an open search ecosystem and offer users genuine choice among alternative search engines, we propose the development of an Open Web Index (OWI). We outline six core principles for developing and maintaining an open index, based on open data principles, legal compliance, and collaborative technology development. The combination of an open index with what we call declarative search engines will facilitate the development of vertical search engines and innovative web data products (including, e.g., large language models), enabling a fair and open information space. This framework underpins the EU-funded project OpenWebSearch.EU, marking the first step towards realizing an Open Web Index.


Comparing different search methods for the open access journal recommendation tool B!SON | SpringerLink

Abstract:  Finding a suitable open access journal to publish academic work is a complex task: Researchers have to navigate a constantly growing number of journals, institutional agreements with publishers, funders’ conditions and the risk of predatory publishers. To help with these challenges, we introduce a web-based journal recommendation system called B!SON. A systematic requirements analysis was conducted in the form of a survey. The developed tool suggests open access journals based on title, abstract and references provided by the user. The recommendations are built on open data, publisher-independent and work across domains and languages. Transparency is provided by its open source nature, an open application programming interface (API) and by specifying which matches the shown recommendations are based on. The recommendation quality has been evaluated using two different evaluation techniques, including several new recommendation methods. We were able to improve the results from our previous paper with a pre-trained transformer model. The beta version of the tool received positive feedback from the community and in several test sessions. We developed a recommendation system for open access journals to help researchers find a suitable journal. The open tool has been extensively tested, and we found possible improvements for our current recommendation technique. Development by two German academic libraries ensures the longevity and sustainability of the system.

Wissenschaftsrat – Publikationen – Empfehlungen zur Transformation des wissenschaftlichen Publizierens zu Open Access (Drs. 9477-22), Januar 2022

From Google’s English:  Abstract:  The faster and more widely research results are received and discussed, the faster other scientists can build on them. Not only through themCOVID-19-pandemic, it has become clear that immediate free access to new scientific knowledge is of great importance for the progress of science and for society. The Science Council therefore advocates that the final versions ( version of record ) of scientific publications be made freely available immediately, permanently, at the original place of publication and under an open license (CC BY).


The 1970s librarians who revolutionised the challenge of search | Aeon Essays

“This group of academic guinea pigs, mostly graduate students in education, psychology and librarianship, were part of a radical online search experiment run by the Syracuse University School of Library Science. SUPARS was one of many ambitious information-retrieval studies that took place between the late 1960s and mid-1970s on US university campuses. A number of factors led to the surge in this research. Developments in computer-processing capability for speed and storage had allowed academic databases and catalogues to be digitised and moved online. Computer terminals were newly modular and could be placed around campuses for decentralised access to mainframes. And military and industry funding for computer-based research was more abundant than it had ever been. Given the opportunity, academic librarians took advantage of the chance to explore this expensive new technology. In turn, universities offered unclassified environments for collaborations with corporate technology firms and military groups; SUPARS was sponsored by the Rome Air Development Center, the laboratory arm of the US Air Force….”

The Beilstein-Institut collaborates with

“ is a secure and open infrastructure to provide our readers with the most comprehensive and accurate overview of the impact of individual published articles. The discovery and citation tool is owned by Cambia, an independent non-profit social enterprise dedicated to democratizing problem solving using science and technology.

We are looking forward to our collaboration with to support free, open and secure patent and scholarly searches while ensuring privacy and confidentiality.”

Performing Patents Otherwise: Archival conversations with 320,000 clothing inventions

Performing Patents Otherwise is one of several experimental book pilot projects conducted by the experimental publishing group at the Community-led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs project. In the spirit of open infrastructures, we documented the publication process for each pilot book. Towards this end, the experimental publishing group curated the Experimental Publishing Compendium, which collates experimental book publishing tools and practices and examples of experimental scholarly publications. While we share some insights on the making of experimental scholarly books in the compendium, we will zoom in here on what it takes to make database books and Performing Patents Otherwise in particular.
In the Compendium, we categorised Performing Patents Otherwise as a database book. We define database books as books containing a dynamically searchable database within their pages; or books generated from a database. In ‘making of,’ we reflect on the making Performing Patents Otherwise in the hope that it will be helpful to other authors and publishers who are experimenting with database books.



© 2023 Julien McHardy & Kat Jungnickel, chapters by respective authors. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) license. Data from the Politics of Patents research project hosted at Goldsmiths, University of London, and funded by the European Research Council under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (#819458).