CDL’s SearchLight, a cross-database, cross-vendor search tool, has allowed users to simultaneously search online catalogs, indexes, electronic journals, electronic texts, reference resources, and more.  It was among the first of its kind anywhere when it debuted in January 2000, but it will be retired in mid-September 2005, the date recommended by the UC campus libraries.

SearchLight is based on outdated programming that does not integrate well with the current online environment and is not robust enough to handle the breadth of resources licensed by the UC system.  The CDL has not added any new resources to SearchLight since 2002, and we have had to remove some of the databases that were initially included in SearchLight.  In the past two years, SearchLight’s usage statistics have significantly declined. During this time, an increasing number of our core database vendors (such as CSA, ProQuest, and NISC) have begun to offer cross-database searching.

Recognizing the limitations of this search tool, the CDL began looking in 2002 for a vendor product that could replace SearchLight.  MetaLib from Ex Libris was selected in 2004.

The CDL has been working with campus groups to build a robust metasearching infrastructure, rather than further developing SearchLight.  The Metasearch Infrastructure Project is not creating a “new” SearchLight, but rather is building tools to allow libraries to offer search portals tailored for particular audiences, purposes, or formats.  Users will then be able to search a more targeted group of licensed databases, crawled web sites, and harvested metadata, and to gather, create, and share resources.

The metasearch infrastructure project is no longer active. See: http://www.cdlib.org/services/d2d/metasearch/index.html