IPSWICH, Mass. — July 15, 2013. EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO) has improved upon its already superior platforms for Middle Eastern Studies by enhancing multilingual content search technology, which will make the Arabic-language content in EBSCOhost databases and EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS) more discoverable.
EBSCO products, including Arab e-Marefa, benefit from the improvements which overcome many of the challenges that arise when performing keyword searches in the Arabic language, such as variations in spelling that can occur across the Arabic speaking world. The search engine also accounts for unique characteristics in the Arabic language by removing common prefixes and suffixes that only serve a grammatical purpose. For example, the definite article and many prepositions are attached to the word they follow; the equivalent of ‘thebook.' The recent search enhancements allow the user who is searching for ‘book' to find ‘thebook' and vice versa.
Finally, it is quite common in Arabic for a noun to have an irregular (or "broken") plural, similar to English with mouse/mice or child/children. The search engine recognizes broken plurals and returns documents containing either version.
EBSCO Chief Information Officer Mike Gorrell says that the Arabic language search upgrades are part of EBSCO's efforts to support multi-language capabilities for non-English language searches. "We have specifically focused on making significant improvements to searches of languages that include non-Roman character sets such as Arabic. As we continue to add important content, we want to make sure that the searches are producing the best results possible and incorporating the characteristics of some of the most difficult languages to search will help address that."
These enhancements are improving the already superior platform for Middle Eastern Studies that EBSCOhost and EBSCO Discovery Service provide. In addition to Arab e-Marefa, EBSCO also offers Index Islamicus, the premier index on all aspects of Islam and the Muslim world and Middle Eastern and Central Asian Studies and users can search Al Manhal's eBook, eJournals, eReports and eDissertation collections via EDS.
EBSCOhost is fully Unicode compliant, enabling keyword searching for hundreds of languages.The platform provides improved language-specific searching for seven of the most common languages in EBSCOhost resources—a number that will continue to expand as development continues. These ongoing developments offer library patrons improved search results whether the search begins in EBSCO Discovery Service or EBSCOhost databases. With EDS and EBSCOhost, users can also combine search terms in multiple languages in one search.