April 1, 2005 (Vol. 25, No. 7)

URL:
http://www.wordiq.com/

Rating:
Strong Points: Links to traditional publishing sources
Weak Points: Needs Broader coverage

Summary:
As scientists, we’re all in a search for knowledge, so WordIQ’s subtitle seems apropos. In fact, it may be even more than it would seem at first glance, but I’ll get to that in a minute. WordIQ is another variant on the Internet search engine, performing search analyses of dictionaries, encyclopedias, thesauruses, and other reference tools. On the surface, that sounds great, but in practice, the site falls somewhat flat. Why restrict searches to particular reference works that have their roots in paper publishing, particularly when there is a whole world of information out there that has never been inked? Indeed, a few scans of the search engine convinced me that the Web has spoiled me for any kind of information retrieval. Sites like WordIQ that extract information from classic publishing sources are missing another world of information out there. Perhaps it should do a bit more searching and broaden its database.