SDARTS is a protocol and toolkit designed to facilitate metasearching. SDARTS combines two complementary existing protocols, SDLIP and STARTS, to define a uniform interface that collections should support for searching and exporting metasearch-related metadata. SDARTS also includes a toolkit with wrappers that are easily customized to make both local and remote document collections SDARTS compliant.
This paper describes two significant ways in which we have extended the SDARTS toolkit. First, we have added a tool that automatically builds rich content summaries for remote web collections by probing the collections with appropriate queries. These content summaries can then be used by a metasearcher to select over which collections to evaluate a given query. Second, we have enhanced the SDARTS toolkit so that all SDARTS-compliant collections export their metadata under the emerging Open Archives Initiative (OAI) protocol. Conversely, the SDARTS toolkit now also allows all OAI-compliant collections to be made SDARTS-compliant with minimal effort. As a result, we implemented a bridge between SDARTS and OAI, which will facilitate easy interoperability among a potentially large number of collections. The SDARTS toolkit, with all related documentation and source code, is publicly available at http://sdarts.cs.columbia.edu.