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Reegle: creating a dedicated climate and development search engine and glossary

Project Reference: KMGL-0001

Reegle is a powerful, subject-specific, search engine developed by the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP).  Initially, it specialised in renewable energy and energy efficiency.  The aim of this project was to allow them to extend their subject thesaurus to include the wider climate & development subject area, and to extend their custom search to cover more websites in this broader domain.  This intention was to enhance the value of the reegle search engine, and provide a search facility that CDKN and other organisations will be able to make use of on our own website.

The project involved:

1. Extending the reegle subject thesaurus to cover the wider spheres of climate climate development, taking account of advice from leading research players such as IDS, ODI, and SEI. The thesaurus now includes over 1400 concepts and terms across the whole CCD spectrum, and is the most comprehensive of its kind available.

2. Developing a glossary based on the thesaurus, providing definitions of key terms and allowing users to visualise relationships between related terms. This has been developed into an open source ‘widget’ that can be used on other websites, so users can ‘mouse over’ a technical term and be given the chance to click to find out what it means.

3. Extending reegle’s search coverage to include an additional 200 leading sources from within the climate and development spheres, drawing on advice from Eldis and other leading knowledge brokers.

4. Incorporating these features into the live version of the reegle website, which was launched in April 2011, and publicising them widely with a view to maximising their usage.  This resulted in a significant surge in reegle web traffic, which has risen from around 80,000 visitors per month in April, to over 120,000 in June.

A follow-on project is about to begin, in which the reegle glossary and thesaurus will be incorporated in to three other leading climate and development websites.  CDKN is hoping to incorporate this tool within its own website, as well as taking advantage of the reegle search to point users to relevant climate development content from other recommended websites.

Photo courtesy of Stephen Mitchell.

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