Two recent changes for the US government’s government search engine, USAsearch.gov:
- In the Advanced Search option, the option to limit a search to federal websites has been removed. USAsearch.gov searches both federal and state websites. An option previously available under the Advanced Search option of “Search In” allowed a researcher to specify that they were only interested in results from federal websites. The option never worked cleanly. I had dubbed it a “leaky limit” because some state website results always seeped in. Now there is no federal-only option. Fortunately, once you have your USAsearch.gov results, the agency-sort option makes it easy to view just those results coming from federal agencies.
- On the plus side of the equation, USAsearch.gov now indexes the USDA Forest Service websites that use the .fed.us domain. Any search engine can limit results to those that have a .gov or .mil domain suffix. But some federal websites are exceptions to that rule, as was the case with www.fs.fed.us. Now your searches will find that Forest Service information. I had often run a search in training classes for information about “remote sensing.” It was a good way to show how many agencies were involved with this technology, and to show off the agency sort option. Now I have one more agency showing up in my results!
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