Monday, October 02, 2006

I could be wrong, but I don’t believe my institution currently supplies APIs. For researchers to search our databases they must access the information directly from our web site. Some of my colleagues have complained for sometime that we need to reach a wider audience by allowing outside search engines access to these databases. After reading Cohen’s blog, I can’t figure out a reason why we wouldn’t, unless cost is the determining factor. Maybe I just don’t know enough about our computer systems to understand the institutions concerns. Probably the real concern is that researchers might start to use the third-party source more and would as Cohen writes, “devalue the hard work and thoughtfulness put into the more public front end for a digital project.”

In my opinion, as a public institution concerned with providing access to records, we should do whatever it takes to make the information more accessible. Third-party development might provide a more proficient way of doing things. It most certainly would allow us to reach individuals who start their on-line research at search engines such as Google or Yahoo.

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