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Google released a new search engine today. It focuses on academics and journalists and is designed to help them find the data they need more easily. Dataset Search provides an easy way to access millions of datasets from thousands of sources on the Internet.

At the moment Dataset Search is still in a test phase. The tool is free to use and, according to research scientist Natasha Noy of Google, is above all suitable for journalists and scientists. Noy writes in a blog post that there is an increasing number of scientists, data journalists and data lovers who live and breathe data.

Hard to find

According to Noy, Dataset Search is badly needed, because it is often difficult to find data. This is because datasets are scattered across multiple research websites, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Data-driven news sites such as ProPublica are also often very useful. But because of the large number of places where datasets can be found, many people don’t really know where to start.

However, Dataset Search makes it possible to search all these search engines in combination. To this end, data from publishers’ sites, digital libraries and researchers’ personal web pages have been combined. The tool developed by Noy and her team also provides a schedule for the publishers of datasets that can be used to describe their data, so that Google can also understand and index that data.

Google tries to encourage as many suppliers of datasets as possible to participate in Dataset Search. The initial reactions seem positive. Vlakblad Nature even reports that more and more universities are standardising their metadata so that they can be included in Google’s search results.

According to Noy, Dataset Search is the most suitable for social sciences and environmental sciences. The data of news organisations and governments are also easy to search.

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give Techzine.eu a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.