The utility of German WWW Search Services for North American Users

Axel Schmetzke (Associate lecturer, University of Wisconsin‐Stevens Point University Library, Stevens Point, Wisconsin. <>.)

Reference Services Review

ISSN: 0090-7324

Publication date: 1 April 1998


Foreign Internet search services are unknown to most North American users. Focusing on German search services, Schmetzke investigates four hypotheses pertaining to the potential utility of these services for North American users interested in country‐ or language‐specific resources. He concludes that only for subject directory‐based searches are German services superior. For keyword searches, U.S.‐based Altavista is the tool of choice. No German search engine was found to be consistently superior to Altavista in the indexing of German resources, to be better equipped to limit queries to German‐language sources, and to deal more effectively with problems posed by special characters.


Schmetzke, A. (1998), "The utility of German WWW Search Services for North American Users", Reference Services Review, Vol. 26 No. 1, pp. 43-50.

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Copyright © 1998, MCB UP Limited

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