So, we have recently described some new ways to find good virtual patient cases on a single OpenLabyrinth server. But wouldn’t it be nice to be able to search across multiple servers at once, just as Google does?
In techie terms, searching multiple servers at the same time is called ‘federated search’. There have been some discussions about ways in which we could do this. Indeed, a group at AUTh in Greece have developed a promising federated search tool for virtual patients, within their Melina+ content management software: http://www.meducator.net/?q=fi/content/melina-open-source-content-management-system-medical-educational-resources - this is a work in progress and shows how difficult this is to do.
We have posted some of our exemplar cases in a Google Docs spreadsheet, as we told you recently. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AmgSucgM9Y3NdGdZMFFteGdJN1RDUkhXRTdVbllON0E&usp=drive_web#gid=0
Google Docs allows us to collaboratively annotate and post such examples, but this is not federated search. Do you have any suggestions on how we could improve the discoverability of our cases? Please contact us.