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One-Stop Search for African Knowledge: Deep Web Technologies Creates ASKIA Portal for United Nations
Published:
9/1/2015 3:04:45 PM

The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) launched their Access to Scientific and Socio-economic Information in Africa (ASKIA) portal recently. The federated search-based portal, built and created by Deep Web Technologies (DWT), serves as a one-stop, real-time search of multiple information sources, and includes a multilingual search and translation capability, a localized user interface and a responsive mobile design. Researchers can find information from any device in one of four languages, and translate the results back into their language when the search is finished.


The UNECA portal contributes to the goals of the ASKIA Initiative, designed to implement a single search of scientific and socio-economic knowledge by and for African researchers, academics, students, economists, policy-makers and other professionals. "This launch was critical in implementing the ASKIA Initiative," said Irene Onyancha, Chief Librarian, Knowledge & Library Services, PIKM Division at UNECA. "The ASKIA portal taps into the major knowledge on and from Africa through a cohesive, centralized search available in the major languages and devices predominant throughout Africa."


Based on Deep Web Technologies' (DWT) Explorit Everywhere! federated search technology, the ASKIA portal searches 31 knowledge sources simultaneously. When a user performs a search, Explorit Everywhere!, in partnership with Microsoft Translator, translates the user's query from their selected search language, English, French, Portuguese, or Spanish, to the source's language, searches for the user's query, retrieves results to the portal, and translates the results back into the user's selected languages. In addition to the multilingual search, the portal is localized to automatically update the screen text into the selected query language.


The portal includes a responsive, mobile design. Researchers viewing the ASKIA portal from their mobile device will trigger an automatic browser detection which loads a mobile-friendly version of the application. Also included is MyASKIA, which implements the Explorit Everywhere! MyLibrary feature allowing users to save and tag selected results under his or her account. Users can email, export, print or download results at any time.


DWT CEO and CTO, Abe Lederman, stated, "UNECA's vision is far reaching. DWT proudly supports the ASKIA Initiative, empowering African researchers to find global information in a single search, in their language, from their phone or tablet. It's truly groundbreaking."

 

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