INIS cooperation with the WorldWideScience.org
22 August 2015 - WorldWideScience.org (WWS) is a global science gateway—accelerating scientific discovery and progress through a multilateral partnership to enable federated searching of national and international scientific databases and portals. The goal is to eliminate barriers to finding and sharing scientific and technical information across national boundaries. WWS, as a federated search portal, offers users the ability to simultaneously search, in real time, over 100 scientific and technical databases from more than 70 countries.
WWS implements Federated Search to provide its encompassing coverage of global science and research results. It allows the information patrons to search multiple data sources with a single query from the user interface. When a query is entered into the search box, it is sent to each individual database or portal searched by WWS. The individual data sources send back a list of results from the search query, which are then ranked in order of relevance. The information user can review this hit list and visit the host site of a particular hit for more detailed information. Multilingual translation capabilities are available for ten languages, making scholarly material more accessible to the users.
This process offers WorldWideScience.org key advantages over existing crawler-based search engines. WorldWideScience.org does not place any requirements or burdens on owners of the individual data sources, other than handling the increased traffic. Federated searches, because they are searched in real time, are inherently as current as the individual data sources.
An important part of the open access and open science movement, WWS views these resources as a promising area for future economic, technical and scientific growth, and the sharing of information as a crucial ingredient for the advancement of scientific knowledge. Its unique content and search functionality is not offered by commercial products and search engines.
WWS is governed by the WorldWideScience Alliance, a multilateral partnership consisting of participating member countries and organizations. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) acts as the WWS Operating Agent. Being one of the sources covered in WWS comes with no obligation or cost to the resource owner. However, WWS is funded through contributions made by WWS Alliance members.
Cooperation between the International Nuclear Information System (INIS) and WWS dates back to June 2009 when the first contacts were made during the Summer Public Conference, Managing Data for Science, organized by the International Council for Scientific and Technical Information (ICSTI) in Ottawa, Canada. Following the conference, a WWS Alliance meeting was organized where inclusion of the INIS database as a new information resource into the WWS was discussed.
In 2009, WWS searched 61 science databases and portals sponsored by government and national institutions in 61 countries. It included over 400 million pages of science literature, much of it grey literature. In July of the same year, the INIS database became searchable through WWS and INIS’ full membership in the WWS Alliance commenced the following year. In November 2010, the Operating Agent informed the WWS Executive Board that INIS had joined the Alliance, who, in turn, expressed great pleasure on receiving the news. INIS membership in the Alliance was a meaningful sign of support for the open access movement, as well as a symbol of the broadened multilateral nature of WWS governance.
Following the world-wide open access of the INIS database, the number of monthly search queries went from 7000 to 79 000, while the number of full-text document downloads increased from 3500 to 26 000. This exponential growth of database usage was a result of the open access, as well as making the INIS database accessible via the WWS website. (INIS Progress and Activity Report 2009).
In July 2011, after retiring its old database and launching the new Google Search Appliance based INIS Collection Search, WWS made a switch and redirected its search requests to the new interface. In 2012, WWS was the biggest referral site for the INIS Collection Search (INIS Newsletter, No. 14, June 2013 ).
In his Opening Statement to the 36th Consultative Meeting of INIS Liaison Officers held in October 2012, Alexander Bychkov, then the Deputy Director General of the Department of Nuclear Energy at the IAEA, talked about future directions to further improve INIS operations, lower costs, increase efficiency, and improve usability. The first direction mentioned was cooperation with other nuclear and scientific information systems around the world, naming WWS as an example of successful cooperation, which had doubled the number of online users coming to INIS.
Current statistics of searches coming to the INIS Collection Search from WWS are impressive. There were almost 70 000 unique searches during the first 7 months of 2015 and this number is constantly increasing. The first 7 months of 2015 alone generated the same amount of searches as the whole of 2014. By the end of 2015, the number of searches coming from WWS to INIS is expected to reach 100 000.
In November 2014, D. Savic, the Head of the Nuclear Information Section at the IAEA, was elected as the Deputy Chair of the WorldWideScience.org Alliance, and in July 2015 as Chair. This nomination exemplifies the respect and recognition of the efforts made by INIS through the years to collect and promote scientific and technical information and to make it freely available. As a result of the close international cooperation and collaboration between 130 Member States and 24 international organizations, INIS has collected over 4.8 million bibliographic records and a half million full-text reports and offered them to the scientific community. Cooperation between WorldWideScience.org and INIS has made access to this great repository of nuclear information easier and much more efficient. It is our hope that this cooperation will continue to offer more benefits to users of scientific and technical information worldwide.
Follow @INISsecretariat on Twitter!