Search Engines

Audience: All
Technical Level: Moderately Technical, but not past the ken of most

Search engines help you find stuff, and customized search engines configured with your collections in mind are great tools for helping your audience and directing its attention toward important things on your web site. This presentation will discuss the architecture of search engines, and various means of using and configuring them so as to enhance the usability of your site. The SWISH-E open-source search engine will be used as the main source of illustrations, though most if not all of the techniques that will be discussed can be carried out in most popular software, and the discussion of indexing capabilities and search techniques will be sufficiently generic as to apply to most who are running their own engines. Moderately technical, but not past the ken of most.

Here is the FreeMind map that goes with this presentation. You can get the appropriate software to read it at

The file is here: CALI search engine

MP3: BruceLR3Fr100.mp3

Play It Now!

Watch the presentation.

Thomas Bruce
Director, Legal Information Institute
Cornell Law School

About Elmer Masters

Elmer R. Masters is the Director of Technology at the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction ( where he works on interesting projects involving technology and legal education like eLangdell, Classcaster, Lawbooks, QuizWright, and the CALI website. He has nearly 25 years of experience building tech tools for legal education and systems for accessing law and legal materials on the Internet. He is the admin of the Teknoids mailing list ( and has been blogging about legal education, law, and technology for over 15 years ( He has a JD from Syracuse University College of Law and was employed by Syracuse, Cornell Law School, and Emory University School of Law before joining CALI in 2003. Elmer has presented at the CALI Conference for Law School Computing (where he organizes the program), the AALL and AALS Annual Meetings, Law Via The Internet, and other conferences, symposia, and workshops on topics ranging from IT management in law schools to building open access court reporting systems to information architecture design and implementation in law.
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