Special Assistant, Office of the Vice President for Information Technology
Vice President, Academic & Government Alliances
|David William Lewis
Dean of the University Library
Indiana University/Purdue University, Indianapolis
|Carolyn M. Walters
Executive Associate Dean of the Library
In August 2007, Indiana University (IU) entered into a strategic alliance with ChaCha, an Indiana company specializing in Internet search for research, development and services of next generation Internet search tools and practices. The alliance will incorporate the collective expertise of the University into ChaCha’s search architecture, which combines a sophisticated machine-based search with skilled human guides to quickly bring focus and precision to an info-seeker’s on-line query.
This alliance aims to provide:
Ready access to university experts
Assistance to info-seeker in finding relevant information and eliminate unwanted links
A research structure for IU and ChaCha to develop a better understanding of how guided search can best serve the complex needs of students, faculty, and academic researchers
Work began on the project in the fall, with the initial offering of accredited results provided by the University’s libraries and information technology staff. The next stage has been the development of a trained corps of guides, providing live assistance to info-seekers and working behind the scenes to ensure that only the most relevant, current results are presented to the info-seeker. As deployment and development continues, future deliverables will likely include integration with academic research disciplines, administrative offices, student guiding, and mobile research.
The project briefing will describe the ChaCha system, the strategy for applying it at IU, and the progress of the project to date.