Ajax-powered metasearch service
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OJAX provides a highly dynamic AJAX based user interface to a federated search service for OAI-PMH compatible repository metadata.

OJAX is simple, non-threatening but powerful. It attempts to minimise upfront user investment and provide immediate dynamic feedback, thus encouraging experimentation and enabling enactive learning.

Benefits of OJAX
  • Provide a single search interface across all the repositories in use in an institution or consortium.
  • Or provide an improved search interface to a single repository
  • Faster resource discovery.
  • Easy to use, and support.

Read some of the feedback we've seen about OJAX.

Features of OJAX
  • Auto-completion of search terms
  • Triggering of auto-searches
  • Dynamically scrollable search results - no more navigating between pages
  • Auto-expansion of search result details
  • Rapid sorting of results
  • Integrated with the Firefox 2 / IE 7 search feature
  • Supports OpenSearch Discovery
  • Stored searches as Atom feeds
  • Includes an OAI-PMH harvester
  • Easy to install in your own institution


download image Download Now (a 2Mb download)

System Requirements

OJAX can be installed as a Web Application in any J2EE compliant servlet engine.

It has been tested with Firefox and Internet Explorer.

Science Foundation Ireland funds OJAX++

September 2007 - September 2010

The aim of this project is to investigate how concepts from the Social Web and recommender technology can be applied to the research environment in order to facilitate dynamic collaboration and the sharing of ideas among researchers. It will be illustrated via the creation of OJAX++, a next-generation collaborative research tool, using Web 2.0 technologies such as Web Services, Ajax, collaborative tagging and recommender functionality. OJAX will be a component of OJAX++.

Contact Dr Judith Wusteman (UCD School of Information and Library Studies)

In collaboration with "Dr Lorraine McGinty (UCD School of Computer Science and Informatics) and "UCD Irish Virtual Research Library and Archive Project (IVRLA)

OJAX federated search service software is now in Beta release and available for download. Version 0.7 has improved performance, stability and user feedback, as well as additional features.

RSS/Atom feed support

If you have searches that you repeat frequently, you can click on the "Save this search as a feed" link to add an Atom feed for that search to your feed reader. As content matching your query is added to your repository, your feed reader will detect the new additions. This feed is in OpenSearch Atom format. Some OpenSearch aware feed readers (such as Internet Explorer 7.0) will take advantage of the special features of this format and allow sorting and filtering by date, category etc. Here is an example of how the feed is displayed in Internet Explorer 7.0. Clicking on the "Subscribe to this feed" link will add it to your Feed List.

Search feed

The 1st European Workshop on the use of Digital Object Repository Systems in Digital Libraries (DORSDL) is taking place today (21st Sept) as part of the 10th European Conference On Research And Advanced Technology For Digital Libraries (ECDL) 2006 in Alicante, Spain.
As part of the Services Session there will be a workshop titled "OJAX: Facilitating dynamic access to repository metadata" facilitated by Judith Wusteman (UCD).
For more information see the
DORSDL Workshop Programme

OpenSearch discovery graphic

Firefox Search auto-complete graphic

The latest version of the OJAX metasearch service is now tightly integrated with the Firefox 2 / IE 7 search feature. Your repository can now be searched directly from the browser search bar, with no need to download or configure extensions or plugins.

OpenSearch Discovery

OJAX now supports OpenSearch Discovery. When users visit your repository search page their browser will automatically detect that the repository can be searched via OpenSearch and will offer to add your repository to the set of search plugins installed in their browser.

Once added, OJAX can be selected in the browser search bar and repository searches can be performed at any time without having to navigate back to your repository search page.

Search Suggestions (Auto-Complete)

Firefox 2.0 has extended the OpenSearch protocol to allow auto-completion in the browser search bar (which it calls 'Search Suggestions'). OJAX is one of the first search engines to implement the server side of this extended OpenSearch protocol, after Google, Yahoo! and Answers.com. It is probably the first open source search engine to do so.

The above new features requires users to use the very latest versions of the two major browsers, Firefox 2.0 or Internet Explorer 7.0 as OJAX 0.6 uses the increasingly popular OpenSearch 1.1 search descriptions.

More details on Version 0.5

As of Version 0.5 OJAX no longer requires ARC in any way, and no longer requires a relational database. Instead Apache Lucene is used to index and search the content. This also provides a much more powerful query language for advanced users of OJAX. In addition, OJAX now includes its own OAI-PMH harvester.

Two alternative packages are available

  1. OJAX GUI, Web Services & Harvester
  2. OJAX GUI, Web Services, Harvester & example repository index
The second option is a larger download, but allows you to try out the software without having to harvest a repository.

More information on OJAX 0.1

See Using Ajax to Empower Dynamic Searching by Judith Wusteman and Pádraig O'hIceadha. Information Technology and Libraries (ITAL) Vol. 25, No. 2, June 2006, pp 57-64.

Research Team

This software was developed by UCD School of Information and Library Studies, Dublin, Ireland, with collaboration from Industry.

It leverages open source solutions funded by Sabre Holdings.