ProQuest plans to significantly expand the content searched by CSA Illustrata™, a cornerstone in the company's strategy to make serious bibliographic searching more precise and efficient. This spring, the digital research tool, which uncovers data "hidden" in the illustrations and tables in scholarly journals, will be expanded to offer a Technology collection, improving the quality of research on virtually any technological topic. Key subject areas in CSA Illustrata: Technology will include aerospace, engineering, high technology, and materials science.
"CSA Illustrata takes research a step forward because it uncovers the essence of academic articles - the graphics that hold the actual data collected, observed, or modeled - and delivers it to the searcher," said Craig Emerson, vice president, editorial for ProQuest. "Until CSA Illustrata came on the scene, the data in an illustration or table could easily remain hidden on the open web. Traditional search tools just can't get at them."
Released in early 2007 with a Natural Sciences module, CSA Illustrata debuted a patent-pending process of deep web indexing, which surfaces relevant content by first extracting tables, charts and other illustrations from journal articles and then indexes it so it can be retrieved through a common search. CSA Illustrata: Natural Sciences was quickly embraced by researchers, librarians and reviewers, who hailed it as revitalizing the Abstracting & Indexing genre - it was even honored as an Outstanding Academic Title by Choice magazine. The release of CSA Illustrata: Technology will apply that same granular indexing and categorizing to graphics contained in key technological journals from Blackwell Publishing, Cambridge University Press, EDP Sciences, Elsevier, Hindawi Publishing Corporation, IGI Global (Idea Group), IOS Press, National Research Council of Canada, Oxford University Press, and Trans Tech Publications Inc.
CSA Illustrata was developed over the course of two years and in conjunction with end-users, researchers and librarians. "This input shows in its interface. I found the presentation of the information clear and easily navigable," said Searcher contributor Edward Vawter in his review of CSA Illustrata: Natural Sciences.
"One may argue exactly how many words a picture is worth, but my in-depth testing of CSA Illustrata showed that an image can be worth much more than a thousand words," said information guru Péter Jacsó. "It can significantly improve the precision, pertinence of the scholarly information retrieval process."
Additional information about CSA Illustrata: Technology as well as the concept and research behind Deep Indexing is available at http://info.csa.com/csaillustrata.
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