FAQ

BASE in General

  • What is BASE?
    BASE is one of the world's most voluminous search engines especially for academic open access web resources. BASE is operated by Bielefeld University Library. Try searching with BASE right now!
  • What is BASE Lab?
    New features and tools will be presented in the BASE Lab first. Check our Blog or Twitter channel to stay up to date.
  • What is Different about BASE?
    BASE facilitates effective and targeted searches and retrieves high quality, academically relevant results. Other than search engines like Google or Bing BASE searches the deep web as well. The sources which are included in BASE are intellectually selected and reviewed. That's why data garbage and spam do not occur. Read more details about the project.
  • The People Behind BASE
    BASE represents a project of Bielefeld University: The BASE Team.
  • BASE Future Developments
    The strategic project BASE is in a state of constant development. More Details.
  • Get in Touch With Us!
    We highly appreciate your comments and feedback. Leave us a message, write a comment in our blog or twitter using the hash tag #basesearch.

Indexing / Content Sources

  • Which indexing software is used for BASE?
    Since May 2011 we are using the open source search technology of Solr/Lucene. Until May 2011 the search engine technology of Microsoft FAST (Fast Search And Transfer) was used.
  • Which criteria do new sources have to meet to be added to the BASE index?
    We are indexing all kinds of academically relevant material from content sources which use the "Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting" (OAI-PMH) for providing their metadata. We observe several repository directories like OpenArchives, ROAR and OpenDOAR or repository software directories like DSpace or OJS regularly and harvest and index the content of sources.
  • How can I recommend a new content source?
    If you are a repository manager or an editor of an academic e-journal and you couldn't find your content source neither in our list of content sources nor via a search in our index, let us know the name of your repository, the URL of the repository's home page and the basic URL of the OAI interface via our contact form. We will check the data immediately and give you feedback, if it's possible to index your content source.
    Even if you are not a repository manager you may suggest new content sources anytime. The source has to contain academic documents and should offer full texts for free (open access). Send us the name and the URL and - if possible - the basic URL of the OAI interface via our contact form. We will check if the content source fits our scope and give you feedback.
  • How do I set up an OAI interface, so that my content source can be indexed by BASE?
    If you want to set up an OAI interface, look for the implementation guideline at the Open Archives Initiative's website. You can find more general information about OAI at OpenArchives.org and Wikipedia. With our OAI validator OVAL you can easily verify if your repository is compliant with the BASE requirements.
    If your content source is an e-journal, it will be indexed by BASE automatically if an entry for your journal exists in the Directory of Open Access Journals (we index DOAJ's content regularly). You will find information about the procedure for getting a journal into DOAJ at the DOAJ-FAQ. You can also use the OJS software to provide your journal's content (in OJS an OAI interface is implemented). More information at the OJS website.
  • How often do you update the content of indexed sources?
    We are updating all indexed sources every weekend. In larger intervals all content is completely re-harvested and re-indexed.
  • Why are some sources or some documents indexed incompletely?
    If a data source is not indexed completely, this is generally related to trouble with the OAI interface of a data source. The web surface might be OK, but as we index OAI-metadata only, the web surface is not relevant for us. You can report errors via our contact form. If you are a manager of a repository, please check the compliancy of your repository using our OAI validator OVAL.
  • Do you delete data sources from the index?
    All data sources are checked regularly. If a data source is not working properly any more or doesn't offer any open access content, it is deleted from the index - temporarily or permanently.

Searching / Result List

  • How do I search BASE?
    See our search help.
  • Do you offer a full text search in the indexed documents?
    Due to time and performance constraints we are indexing only metadata (title, abstract …) of documents. Thus it's not possible to search the full text of the indexed documents.
  • Can I narrow a search on open access content only?
    Besides open access content, many repositories offer metadata of documents without a full text or links to documents with restricted access only. As we can't guarantee that the full text of a document is open access, there is no option to narrow your search only on open access documents or content sources.
  • Why can't I access the full text of a document?
    About 70% of the indexed documents in BASE are open access, the rest are mere metadata entries without full text or can only be accessed, if you are authorized for accessing this particular data source. You can search the metadata of all indexed documents. The authorization is always done by the content provider. If you don't have access to a full text although your institution supposedly is authorized, please contact your IT department or the content provider.
  • Why do I always end up with an error message when I try to access a document?
    If you get an 404 error ("Page not found"), the web address (URL) of the document might have changed or the document was deleted since we indexed the repository recently. Though content from academic repositories should provide permanent addresses and changes or deletion of documents should be communicated via the OAI interface, in practice it's often not the case. Therefore it might happen that links to documents which appear on our result list do not work. Another reason for an error might be, that the server of the content provider is temporarily or permanently not available. If you encounter an error, please leave us a message. We will contact the content provider or remove the content source from our index, if it's a permanent problem.
  • What are metadata?
    Especially in an academic environment you will often come across documents containing metadata. These are descriptive elements assigned to a document in order to specify it both in technical respect and in terms of content. Metadata are for example author's names, publication dates, abstracts, language or - in case of a journal title - details regarding the title or the issue. If metadata are available, you may perform a targeted search for authors. In the result list you may refine the search result by categories.

BASE Website

  • Why do I always end up on the German-language pages?
    The BASE web pages are presented in the language, which is preselected in your browser settings. These settings can easily be changed (e.g., if you use the Mozilla "Firefox" browser, choose "Preferences" and then "Settings"). Switch to "English" as preferred language and the BASE pages will be presented in English immediately.
  • Is there a print version of the BASE web pages available?
    The BASE web pages are designed to automatically change into a printer optimized version when the printing command is released.
  • Is there an optimized version of the BASE web pages for mobile devices (smartphones etc.) available?
    If you access BASE with a mobile device you will be automatically forwarded to the mobile version of BASE. You can access the mobile version directly at m.base-search.net
  • Do I have to enable Javascript, Java or something similar?
    The BASE web pages are designed to show complete functionality without Javascript or Java.
  • Are the pages "optimized" for specific browsers or browser versions?
    There are no restrictions of any kind. The pages are properly designed according to web standards (XHTML, CSS) and comply with the WCAG regulations.