I probably should have noticed this when it was rolled out recently, but the GVSU library now has a fantastic new database search engine called Summon, which searches several databases (more to come?) to which GVSU subscribes. The best part about it is that you can get an RSS feed from Summon. So far, it seems to work flawlessly from on campus and off. Of course, you’ll need your GVSU username and password to access the articles.

The deep web refers to all of the information that is hidden in subscription databases or layers too dense for Google to penetrate. Some people think of it as the 90 percent of the iceberg that is under the water. Search tools like Summon help to bring some of that iceberg to the surface by making database content searchable. You still need a subscription, but now the data can been found.

I tested out Summon by search (egotistically) my name and adding a feed of my search query. A couple of my articles came up in the search results, along with my book. But here’s the funny part: so did an article about Dave Rozema, the former Tigers pitcher. It surfaced from an index containing archived articles from the Associated Press. This particular article detailed how Dave Rozema injured his knee when he attempted to karate-kick somebody from the Twins in a brawl. Funny.

Believe me, though, this new tool is going to dig up better stuff than this boneheaded move. English 384 students–try adding a summon RSS feed to your Google Reader account. Bet you’ll get some great articles.