OBSERVA Information

OBSERVA is a Science and Technology metasearch engine that offers relevant information on science, technology and innovation produced in Latin America. Its results are organized according to strategic information sources for technology watch such as:

 

  • Patents.Observa metabuscador ciencia y tecnologia
  • Scientific publications and papers.
  • Research groups.
  • Technological supplies and demands.
  • Trade fairs and conventions.
  • Open Educational Resources (OER).
  • Laws and regulations.
  • Calls and grants.
  • Innovative projects.
  • Good practices and success stories.
  • Contacts and collaborators.

Advantages:

 

This metasearch engine brings added value to traditional or general search engine. Firstly, it provides the user a unique and organized access to scientific and technological information of strategic value for an R&D&I project; and secondly, it adds results to technology watch practices. OBSERVA helps receiving signals on technology and innovation environment that can be processed and transformed into useful knowledge for decision-making.

 

Main characteristics:

 

Open: you can either use it freely online or you can register to enhance its functionality.

Specialized: it covers automatically multiple sources of scientific and technological information in Latin America.

Agile: it makes simultaneous searches.

Multilingual: it provides results in Spanish, English and Portuguese.

Efficient: it accesses the Deep Web and databases, classifying and grouping information prior to viewing.

Continuous improvement: through its automatic learning systems

Developers:

 

OBSERVA is developed by a multidisciplinary team. It is based on a continuous process of applied research and technological development led by GPLSI (Language Processing and Information System Research Group) and R&D experts of SGITT-OTRI) (Investigation and Technology Transfer Management Service) of the University of Alicante.

This team has a specialized know-how in natural language processing and semantic web techniques, which has been specifically adapted to the field of knowledge transfer, innovation and entrepreneurship. In this way, it can offer useful technology watch solutions and applications, especially in the stages of signal detection and relevant information retrieval for the designed strategy.

Technology:

OBSERVA uses human language technologies, developed under the semantic web standards, for retrieving, extracting and classifying documentary information. The Semantic Web is, according to Tim Berners-Lee, “an extension of the current web in which information is given well-defined meaning, better enabling computers and people to work in cooperation” (Berners-Lee, 2001). This is becoming possible thanks to the creation and maintenance of ontologies, the semi-automatic metadata assignment and the creation of semantic links and connections between these to extract textual information. This combination of strategies and techniques provides the user just the information that meets his needs.

OBSERVA works with several information search systems, depending on the original data source:

Web site search engines: they have the same structure as any current search engine. Firstly, they download web pages from websites that have been previously filtered and selected based on criteria from experts and their own ontology. These pages are used to extract their terms and then create an index that indicates from which document is extracted every term and their position within them. This process is known as indexing and its aim is to make searches faster (in tenths of a second). In addition, OBSERVA adds a specialized algorithm that manages to find the search stated terms taking into account the distance between them within the document. Thus, more accurate searches are achieved.

Databases search engines: They search for data in specialized databases on the topics tackled. OBSERVA, with prior authorization, indexes again the documents and contents within the database. In this way, it can search parts of the Internet that are not accessible in a simple search but that contain valuable information for users.

 

External search engines: There is information on certain web sites that is only accessible by using internal search engines. OBSERVA is able to search in those search engines, getting results and rearranging them according to the System Preferences so that the most relevant results are located at the top.  

OBSERVA, as a metasearch engine, does not show the information within the indexed documents, but just stores the required data to search efficiently and the links for accessing this information, respecting the original sources.

Users:

 

OBSERVA is specially designed for researchers, entrepreneurs, companies and professionals involved in R&D&I projects and interested in identifying new business and technological cooperation opportunities in Latin America.