Senior Networked Engineer
Library of Congress
Information Services Division
Ex Libris (USA) Inc.
Special Collections and Archives
University of Liverpool
SRW is an XML-based protocol designed to be a low-barrier-to-entry solution for searching and other information retrieval operations. It uses existing, well tested, and easily available technologies, such as URI, XML, SOAP, HTTP, and XPath. The design reflects the many years of experience gained developing and using Z39.50. SRW is both robust and easy to understand, while retaining many of the important aspects of Z39.50. New web technologies reduce the barriers to new information providers, allowing them to make their resources available via a standard search and retrieve service. Building on Z39.50 semantics enables the creation of gateways to existing Z39.50 systems.
NISO’s Metasearch, one-search access to multiple resources, across platforms, protocols, and vendors, will allow libraries to offer portal environments in which users can enjoy easy searching, as in web-based services like Google, but with added functionality that can normally be achieved only by employing more complicated protocols.
This briefing will provide background on both SRW and the NISO Metasearch initiative, outline Metasearch information retrieval requirements, and address how SRW might support these requirements.