INIS Activities

As a service to its members, INIS has operated on cooperative principles since its inauguration in 1970. INIS Digital Repository consists of a bibliographic database and a set of non-conventional literature (NCL). It is by far the largest IAEA information source on nuclear science and technology. INIS continually evolves and adjusts to changes in economic, political and technological information requirements, the needs of its users and new information management practices.

Main INIS activities include:


INIS Repository Updating and Management

In cooperation with Member States and international organizations, INIS updates and manages annual input of around 120,000 new records. Every input record to the INIS Repository is checked by the INIS Secretariat assuring the correctness and quality of the bibliographic description and subject analysis (classification, indexing and abstracting).

INIS Members submit input, i.e. nuclear literature published in their country or by their international organization, to the INIS Secretariat in machine-readable form, via Internet (IMGM/FTP) or other media, in a standardized format conforming to the guidelines in the INIS Reference Series.

Most input centres utilize the PC based input preparation package 'FIBRE+' (Friendly Inputting of Bibliographic Records) which has been initially designed by INIS in cooperation with the national INIS Centres of Brazil and the Russian Federation.

FIBRE+ is a tool used by INIS Centres to streamline their input preparation, ensure higher quality and consistency, reduce costs through fewer corrections, and improve processing time.

Once the input reaches the INIS Secretariat, bibliographic descriptions of records are verified with checking programs; errors are identified and corrected by specialists in INIS Secretariat. Records are then converted by programs into an internal working format and processed.

The indexing and abstracting of records is subjected to a continuing quality control based on INIS production system. This system identifies records with a high probability of error for scrutiny by subject specialists of the INIS Secretariat. Their corrections and comments are passed on to the subject specialists in the national INIS Centres.

At the end of each processing cycle a final consolidated output file is created. This final file becomes the input to further programs that:

  • create the INIS output files in the INIS exchange format (ISO-2709);
  • create the input for the INIS Repository Search (web-based application).

An important activity at the INIS Secretariat is the treatment of non-conventional literature (NCL) submitted by INIS Members. Full texts of such literature are received in electronic form or hard copy, converted to pdf (full-text searchable) and processed for further use by users through the INIS Repository Search.

A user-friendly version of the INIS Repository Search is available on the web. It offers direct on-line access to over 4 million bibliographic records and many full-text documents of non-conventional ("grey") literature in pdf format. INIS Database is available at


Computer Assisted Indexing

A system for computer assisted indexing was developed to support the subject analysis by suggesting descriptors in analysing titles and abstracts of bibliographic records produced by INIS Members, the INIS Secretariat, or purchased from publishers. 

Preservation of Non-Conventional Nuclear Publications

INIS unique collection of, over 700 000 full-text documents of non-conventional "grey" literature (NCL), available on microfiche, is being digitized and made available through the INIS Database to users around the world.

The INIS NCL collection on microfiche is being digitized at an annual rate of about one million pages. Other IAEA publications, policy documents and full-text reports from Member States are also being digitized and made available in electronic format.


Creation of the INIS Multilingual Thesaurus

INIS specialists from Member States and the IAEA have developed a controlled vocabulary for indexing and searching the INIS Collection. As a result of systematic study over the years the INIS Thesaurus has evolved to over 30 000 terms. It is available in all official languages of the IAEA: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish, as well as in German and Japanese. It represents a unique multilingual thesaurus in the nuclear field.


Capacity Building (Training and e-learning)

To assist its Member States, the IAEA transfers knowledge and know-how in data collection and information processing, in particular to developing countries and new INIS Members. It also helps establish national INIS Centres in developing countries. Training seminars for staff of national INIS and the INIS e-learning support these efforts, as well.

INIS e-learning is intended and highly recommended for use by staff working in INIS centres for training in all aspects of input preparation and utilization. The INIS e-learning, currently in preparation, will consists of two courses:

  • INIS input preparation
  • INIS Repository Search (IRS)

INIS Progress and Activity Reports