Medscape Multi-Schema Search Engine

At Medscape, we integrated 3 different search engines

  • a Verity full-text-search of our articles
  • a drug database we had licensed
  • a Medline search engine which was run by a 3rd party but I scraped/wrapped to customize its style

To a data architect or librarian, this kind of search makes sense because different corpuses have different contexts, and so you'd search each in a different way. And even for a single search-submission, the results mean different things, so you can't merge/sort them in a meaningful/useful way. You could have separate results-sections of the page....

But in reality most users just type in 1-2 word to search for.

We considered hitting all 3 engines at once and bringing the results together on one page. But I was concerned about scalability. So I designed it as a 3-tab page, which would run the run just the Verity search for the first/default tab, and then if someone clicked the other tab it would just pass the same search text to that engine.

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