Knovel, an online site and application that offers information and services for engineers, has redesigned its search platform to offer a simpler interface, more precise results and interactive results that can be integrated into third party engineering systems. The newly revamped search engine platform goes live today.
“Engineers in the corporate and academic world want answers to technical questions that are easily discoverable from trusted sources and that are actionable, said Ella Balagula, senior v-p, engineering and technology markets, at Elsevier, Knovel’s parent company, in a phone interview with PW. She said the Knovel search engine, a carefully curated cloud-based database of content from more than 100 STM publishers and scientific societies that offers more than 30 subject categories, has been “completely rebuilt from the ground up.”
Knovel.com contracts with tech publishers to use their content adding a layer of digitized interactivity that turns graphs and charts into animated models and manipulable interative tools, “we add value to content with metadata, interactive tables and charts, allow it to be used in an engineers workflow,” Balagula said.
The original or “legacy” Knovel platform offered a “daunting” interface of text, columns of information and results were a mixed bag of books, PDFs and links, according to Diana Bittern, Knovel director of product management. Now Knovel’s search engine page looks much like the Google search page, but with a Knovel logo and a now-simplified search field and a limited selection of search options. Bittern also said that Knovel's legacy search was book focused, but book results were often PDFs that had to viewed with an Adobe reader, “taking the reader outside of the search,” and slowing down the process.
Bittern said the new interface is more accessible and offers tutorials and help.” She said books are ranked, there’s no external PDF reader and, “search is faster, it highlights the navigation tools, and numeric information is delivered via interactive graphs and charts,” and “results are flexible, exportable.”
The new interface, Bittern and Balagula both emphasized, present Knovel’s “painstakingly curated and digitized content” and make it easier to find and to use. “New engineers need help to become productive faster,” Balagula said, “we’ve made Knovel easier to use for the novice and power user alike.”