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Thursday, May 23, 2024

HuriSearch: The Human Rights Search Engine

HuriSearch, which is a human rights search engine was officially launched on December 10th, Human Rights Day. The search engine is designed to provide searchers with data specific to the area of human rights, and has indexed over 3,000 websites and 2,300,000 pages concentrating in this area. Its crawler refreshes between every 24 hours and 8 days, depending on type of site.

HuriSearch is a collaboration between FAST and HURIDOCS (Human Rights Information and Documentation Systems, International). The search engine itself is described in more detail below, but in short, it’s fast, effective and provides good solid functionality for searchers who require good quality content in this subject area.

The search interface is straightforward and is offered in 6 languages at the moment, and it does have an advanced search function, which reflects the content of the search engine, so it’s possible to search on elements such as countries and organisations, document types and up to 4 collections – non-governmental organisations, national human rights institutions, academic institutions and intergovernmental organisations.

What most interested me about the search engine however was the ability to drill down and narrow searches using the slim menu bar on the left hand side. Various options were presented to me, depending on the search that I was running, but commonly these include the ability to limit by language, country, organisation, HURIDOCS index term and keywords.

Although it is possible to combine various elements into one new search, I found that the best approach was to limit by one option at a time, as a failure to do this lead to limiting to the UK, but choosing (say) an American organisation, leading to zero results. However, once this is understood it was very easy to quickly navigate through the data to run a very tight search indeed, without the necessity of knowing the subject in great detail.

I did have a couple of little niggles with it – an RSS feed for results would have been nice, and there is no colour on the page at all, just black, white and various shades of grey. A little colour would have helped enormously I think, but perhaps it was felt that might be trivialising issues – I don’t know.

HuriSearch is an excellent search engine – both in terms of functionality, scope and focus. There has long been a need for an engine that really goes into detail in this area, and it’s nice to see this has now been filled – I suspect that it is going to become very popular very quickly.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.

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