Searching through works with multimedia content requires extra support beyond what is usually provided (e.g., searching through metadata or fulltext). Content based image retrieval (CBIR), searching in files of spoken language, and searching in video collections are all supported with special methods and systems.
While most ETD collections today allow search for multimedia content based on descriptions of such content (i.e., metadata), in the future, as collections grow and have richer assortments of multimedia elements, it is likely that multimedia database and multimedia content search software will be more widely deployed. Indeed, Virginia Tech carried out some preliminary work in this regard with its ETD collection, using tools provided by IBM (e.g., QBIC, VideoCharger). Other vendors and systems exist, and can be used for searching local, regional, national, and international collections of ETDs.
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