Database Search API Integration Guide


With the abundance of electronic resources available today, many schools and public libraries prefer to access their educational assets in one place.  Federated Search Engines and other Discovery Tools allow libraries to do just that - easily browse through multiple content sources in their catalog at the same time.

The Infobase Search API provides a much needed "Communication Bridge" between our content and any Discovery Tool that our mutual customers may be using. quickly indexes search results from our Online Databases in a universal XML format.  These customizable XML search results can then be parsed with search results from other outside sources by an Infobase Discovery Tool partner.

In this Search API Integration Guide, you will find everything you need to know to get started as an Infobase Discovery Tool partner.

Available Products

The Infobase Database Search API is currently available for the following online products:

History Research Center

  • American History Online 
  • Modern World History Online 
  • African-American History Online
  • American Indian History Online
  • Ancient and Medieval History Online
  • World Religions Online

Additional Databases

  • Science Online
  • Health Reference Center
  • Bloom's Literature
  • The World Almanac
  • The World Almanac for Kids 
  • The World Almanac for Kids Elementary 
  • Vault Campus Edition
  • Curriculum Resource Center
  • Ferguson's Career Guidance Center
  • Issues & Controversies
  • Issues & Controversies in American History
  • Today's Science
  • World Geography and Culture Online
  • World News Digest

More of our products will continuously be added to the API and new connections are actively being developed now.  This guide will be updated accordingly.

Search Query

In order to utilize the API, there are certain query parameters that must be added to the URL routing:

Account ID

This is the customer's Infobase Account ID.  If you are using the API to harvest meta-data, there is a specific Discovery Tool Partner Account ID that can be provided.

Vendor ID

This is the Discovery Tool Partner ID that will be provided once a connection has been established with Infobase.

Product ID

This is the Product ID for what Infobase products you would like to query.  Here are the currently available product IDs:

Product Name

Product ID

All Available Products for your Account


American History Online


Modern World History Online


African-American History Online


American Indian History Online


Ancient and Medieval History Online


Science Online


Health Reference Center


World Religions Online


Bloom's Literature


The World Almanac


The World Almanac for Kids


The World Almanac for Kids Elementary


Vault Campus Edition


Curriculum Resource Center


Ferguson's Career Guidance Center


Issues & Controversies


Issues & Controversies in American History


Today's Science


World Geography and Culture Online


World News Digest


Search Term

This is the key words(s) you are attempting to search by.  In order to get all results, please leave this blank.


This is the desired output format you would like the results to be returned in.  The available formats are:

  • XML
  • XML-file (this will return a file stream)
  • XML-zip (this will return a compressed file that includes Full Article Text)
  • JSON


There is now a paging mode for the API query engine that should help get around any timeout issues. You have two new parameters added to the tail of the URL, after the format command.

They are the # of Rows to return in the query and what Row to start on.

suffix to add:    0/0 in form of     row/start 

The search below returns 1000 rows starting at the first item and highest weight

Here an example for databases:

For more results you can then change the last suffix to start further out.

Search Results


Field Name



The Infobase Product or Database that contains the record


Asset type of the record


The Infobase specific ID for the record


Record name


Type of record being returned


Account specific access URL to the record (authentication required)


Any relevant search tags for the record


Includes Full Article Text (only available in xml-zip format).   For images, article body includes the caption text for images

Please note: The Account ID in the Record URL will match the Account ID provided in the original Search Query.  Using a customer's correct Account ID is the only way for any authentication settings and usage statistics recording to work properly.

Sample Search

Here is an example Search Query for the term "frogs":

The Account ID and Vendor ID have been set to 0 for this example.

Once completed, the XML end result would look like this for the first record returned:


<Database>History Research Center</Database>




<Title>Walleye (Sander vitreus)</Title>




North America,Percidae,Sport fish,Walleye,Spawn (biology),Frog,Egg (biology),Blue walleye,Sauger,Environment,Fish,Sander,Fauna of the United States,Environment



Record URL Authentication

It is Discovery Tools partner responsibility to ensure that the customer's Infobase Account ID is used in the provided Record URLS.  When harvesting for meta-data, the Account ID returned in the results will be for the Discovery Tool Partner's specific account.  Using a customer's correct account ID is the only way for any authentication settings and usage statistics recording to work properly.  Please replace the Account ID when being displayed for a mutual customer.



Additional Help

If you have any questions/concerns, or are looking to establish a Discovery Tools partnership with Infobase, please contact our API Support Staff at


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