IAEA logo Nuclear Information Newsletter
www.iaea.org/inis                ISSN 2410-4940 (online)
No. 17, September 2015
45th Anniversary Newsletter
45 years of INIS Liaison Officer Meetings
Rebecca Kunz
Written by Rebecca Kunz, with references from The International Nuclear Information System – The First Forty Years, 1970-2010 by Claudio Todeschini.

The IAEA’s mandate to “foster the exchange of scientific and technical information on peaceful uses of atomic energy”, as stated in Article III, paragraph A.3 of the Statute of the Agency, and in Article VIII, paragraph C that the “Agency …shall take positive steps to encourage the exchange among its members of information relating to the nature and peaceful uses of atomic energy and shall serve as an intermediary among its members for this purpose” , was the catalyst in the 1960’s for the Agency’s undertaking to provide a comprehensive computerized system for the retrieval and storage of information related to the peaceful uses of nuclear science and technology.

The establishment of an International Nuclear Information System, a decentralized information system to foster the exchange of nuclear information, began to take concrete shape in 1966 with the formation, at the direction of the IAEA’s Director General, Dr. Eklund, of a Working Group on International Nuclear Information System (INIS). The vision was to centralize the processing of the information, as well as the output products, while decentralizing the selection, scanning, cataloguing, indexing and abstracts of the information, which would be done by participating Member States and international organizations. Each country would provide bibliographic input for literature produced within their geographic territories.

Following the approval of INIS by the IAEA’s Board of Governors in 1969 and at the invitation of the IAEA’s Director General, Member States (MS) were invited to designate a national INIS Liaison Officer (ILO) to act as the official contact for the INIS Secretariat, which would be located at IAEA Headquarters in Vienna. The Member States were encouraged to submit input to the system by April 1970.

Thus began many years of fruitful partnership and cooperation between INIS and its Members.

INIS Liaison Officers are instrumental in deciding the path along which INIS evolves by providing advice to the INIS Secretariat on matters relating to administration, operation and the development of INIS; being responsible for organizing the collection and preparation of literature from within their national boundaries, or international organizations, for input to INIS; and taking responsibility for the dissemination and promotion of INIS products and services within their countries or international organizations. Communication between the ILOs and the INIS Secretariat takes place on a regular basis through correspondence and Consultative Meetings of INIS Liaison Officers (ILOMs).

The first INIS Liaison Officer’s Meeting, held in Vienna in November 1972, at the behest of the INIS Advisory Committee to encourage more direct involvement by the ILOs and offer an opportunity to exchange experiences and discuss operational activities, was attended by 35 Member States and five international organizations, along with numerous observers. Topics for discussion included output products, at that time consisting of microfiche, and magnetic tapes, along with acquisition lists, indexing, thesaurus maintenance and revision, scope descriptions, and pricing of output products, among others. A statement was read by the USA delegate regarding the format of the Atomindex, urging an enriched service to users, easily retrievable information, use of mechanic (automated) processes, and the adaption of two-level flagging. He also explained US indexing experiences with one of their most important products, the Nuclear Science Abstracts (NSA). Another interesting part of the meeting was, when asked to estimate the expected amount of input to be provided by Members in 1973, the combined estimate of 39 Members attending the meeting was slightly more than 63 000, most of which were expected to be provided by the USA, USSR, Germany, the UK, and the Netherlands, respectively. The actual volume of input for 1973 was 56 369. This was quite a jump compared to 1970, only 3 years earlier and the genesis of INIS, where the total input was 3950. Compare that to 2014, with over 3.7 million bibliographic records, and it is easy to see the substantial growth of INIS, made possible by the valuable cooperation of INIS Members.

In 1973, at the 2nd ILOM, two-level flagging of descriptors on a voluntary basis for the subject index of the printed Atomindex was agreed upon. The introduction of machine readable abstracts was also discussed, as it was believed that this would enhance the INIS Atomindex, at that time published in harcopy.

At the 3rd ILOM in 1974, which took place in Varna, Bulgaria, following the International Symposium on Information Systems: Connections and Compatibility, the need for increased training was discussed in support of INIS Centres short on finances and staff. The use of machine-readable abstracts was agreed upon, and completion of the translation of the INIS Thesaurus into French, German, and Russian, by the respective countries was announced. The Nuclear Energy Agency of the OECD also announced their willingness to prepare input to the INIS system of their national literature in the field of Nuclear Law.

4th ILOM 1975 in Vienna
FIG.1. 4th ILOM 1975 in Vienna

In 1975, at the 4th ILOM held in Vienna, data flagging of records containing numerical data was discussed and a recommendation was made at the 5th ILOM in 1976 to implement a plan for this. Most importantly, a recommendation was made at the 5th ILOM to establish an experimental cooperative computer network, giving INIS centres the possibility to search the INIS database directly from remote locations, to be implemented in 1977. This was the first step in establishing the Direct Access Project (DAP). 1976 was also the year that the INIS Atomindex was recognized as the sole international abstracting journal for nuclear sciences and technology.

Input increased from 3950 in 1970 to 60 402 in 1976.

In 1978, at the 6th ILOM, unanimous support for data flagging was given. A recommendation on the DAP expressed great satisfaction with the services provided and encouraged the Agency to continue development. The database grew to 420 000 records with 120 000 full-text documents.

In 1979, the 7th ILOM was held in the Federal Republic of Germany, at the invitation of the government. Discussions centered on the creation/publication of a multi-lingual thesaurus (English, French German and Russian), and satisfaction was again expressed with the DAP developments. The participants also expressed their satisfaction with an arrangement to provide full-text of non-conventional literature (NCL) with the British Library Lending Division (BLLD) and the Fachinformationzentrum Energie, Physik, Mathemathik GmbH. (FIZ 4), in cooperation with the  Technische Informations Bibliothek (TIB). Cooperation with the IAEA's Department of Technical Cooperation (TC) was also recognized in assisting National INIS Centres with equipment and computers needed for INIS operations.

1980 hailed the tenth anniversary of INIS and the 8th ILOM, the first to be held at the new Agency headquarters in the Vienna International Center. Much of the meeting focused on the INIS Review and Outlook, a paper commemorating the anniversary of INIS which had been prepared by the Secretariat, and which stressed the cooperation given by various Member States in making the system a success. The database passed 500 000 records and the ILOs reaffirmed the exclusive rights of ILOs to INIS output products within their national boundaries, including their authority to pass on these rights to third parties.

In 1981, the 9th ILOM was held in Rio de Janeiro — the first time that an ILO meeting was held outside of Europe. The first draft by the INIS Secretariat of the Definition of Participatory Arrangements for INIS, provoked heated discussions at the meeting, resulting in many revisions being presented throughout the next few years. A second draft was presented to the Advisory Board in 1982 and a third draft in 1983. However, it would not be finalised and approved until 1985. The establishment of a new INIS Unit, the Centre Services Unit (CSU), was also discussed. The new unit would be responsible for promotional activities, provision of information services, training, and the development of national services. The ILOs also suggested meeting in Vienna every second year with alternate years being held in other locations within and outside of Europe.

9th ILOM Rio de Janeiro, 1981
FIG. 2. 9th ILOM Rio de Janeiro, 1981

In 1982, Dr Hans Blix, the new Director General of the IAEA, opened the 10th ILO meeting and congratulated, encouraged and supported the achievements of INIS. The ILOs suggested that the Secretariat, in cooperation with Member States, monitor the completeness of the coverage of nuclear science and technical literature in the INIS database. An INIS Coverage Study was initiated and entries from INIS-related subject fields from the INSPEC, COMPENDEX, and MEDLINE databases were compared with the INIS database, using in-house software and hardware methodology developed by the International Centre for Scientific and Technical information (ICSTI). It was decided later to also include the METADEX and VINITI databases. Due to the arduous work involved using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) for the input preparation, alternate options were discussed in the hopes that it could be discontinued. The Subject Category scheme was revised, providing for a finer subdivision of the categories, at the proposal of the USA and after discussion with the Member States. In 1983, the first edition of the INIS Multilingual Dictionary (English, French, German, and Russian) was published. Although much work had been done on the Spanish translation, it was not completed in time for inclusion in the first edition.

The 11th ILOM was held in Paris, France in 1983. The thrid draft of the Definition of Membership Arangements for INIS dominated much of the discussion. The 4th Advisory Committee had met in January of that year and was not able to reach a consensus on the draft, which had been referred to their committee both in 1981, and again in 1982 by the ILOs. The main area of contention was focused on the paragraph which read: “The INIS Member is responsible for:… vii) obtaining prior approval from user Liaison Officers and from the Agency with regard to the commercial exploitation of the INIS database across national boundaries.” There were those who disagreed with “obtaining prior approval from the Agency” and preferred it to read “informing the Agency”. In the end, they were not able to agree and this was noted in the recommendation given to the Director General. The Advisory Committee also recommended that a decision to “institutionalize” the DAP be based on the results of a study which should be done, providing more information as to whether the project “…should be endorsed by the INIS Members as an appropriate and needed long-term function of the Secretariat…”.

11th ILOM Paris 1983
FIG. 3. 11th ILOM Paris 1983

At the 12th ILOM in 1984, the INIS Liaison Officers recommended a general review of INIS operations and policies, as well as of the DAP. The Secretariat undertook the General Review of INIS Operations (GRINO) between 1984 and 1985, in close cooperation with Member States, and five working groups were formed to review: General Operations; Scope, Coverage and Timeliness; Bibliographic Control; Subject Control; and INIS Services and Training. It was agreed to continue the data flagging experiment, hoping to improve input quality.

The 13th ILOM in 1985 coincided with the 15th anniversary of INIS output products. Much discussion was given to the recommendations made by the GRINO Working Groups and a draft Action Plan on Implementing the Recommendation of the GRINO Working Groups was adopted. The ILOs were also informed that the draft of the Definition of Membership Arrangements for INIS had finally been approved by the Advisory Committee and the Director General, who then presented it to the Board of Governors (GOV/INF/476). The results of the INIS Coverage Study were presented, showing that although INIS coverage of NCL was good, a 10-20% improvement in conventional literature coverage could be made. INIS Membership in 1985 had grown to 88 and the amount of input had reached almost 84 000.

In 1986, the 14th ILOM took place in Washington, D.C., at the invitation of the US government. It was at this meeting that CD-ROMs were introduced as a viable way forward for INIS to store and retrieve information in the INIS database, and a presentation was given on INIS database retrieval on CD-ROM. The participants also recommended that the Secretariat prepare a user manual for the INIS database, describing record formats, character sets, fields, etc. Optical Character Recognition (OCR) for processing input was discontinued in 1986. This year was a milestone for INIS with the INIS database reaching 1 million records!

The following year, in 1987 at the 15th ILOM, the ILOs learned of the status of the Computer Output on Microfiche (COM), for which equipment had been installed and programs developed and tested. COM output would be available towards the end of 1987. The participants were also given a demonstration of the Automatic Indexing and Retrieval (AIR) pilot project, being conducted on the physics database in Germany. This was a foreshadowing of the Computer Aided Indexing (CAI), which would be implemented by INIS many years later. A recommendation was also made to begin implementing the INIS database on CD-ROM, which had been demonstrated the year before. Various views were expressed regarding the discontinuation of the printed Atomindex, and the ILO of France mentioned that although its loss was inevitable, it would most likely be replaced with something else.

During the 16th ILOM, held in Istanbul, Turkey, in 1988, the ILOs were informed of the completion of the Spanish translation of the thesaurus by the INIS Centre of Spain, bringing the number of thesaurus translations to five. They were also informed of the participation of INIS Secretariat staff in the ARCAL X project, the establishment of a regional system within Latin America permitting efficient sharing of information resources between participating countries. The delegates recommended that CD-ROM development continue and that full distribution begin as soon as possible.

A solution had been sought to replace the subject specialists and descriptive cataloguers arduous task of using worksheets to prepare input and at the 17th ILOM in 1989, the delegates recommended that Friendly Input of Bibliographic records (FIBRE) be produced by the Secretariat and that it should “ proceed with distribution with all deliberate speed”. This integrated data preparation and checking software package was being coordinated by the INIS Secretariat and the Computer Section and involved staff of the national INIS Centres of Brazil and the USSR. In 1989, there were 94 INIS Members and input had reached 92 676.

The 18th ILOM was held in Obninsk, Soviet Union, celebrating 20 years of INIS operations. There was continued discussion of the FIBRE software, with the hopes that it would be available by the end of the year, and the Secretariat informed the ILOs that a contract with SilverPlatter for the CD-ROM production would be implemented. The previous company had been unable to solve internal software problems; ILOs cautioned that they be asked permission by SilverPlatter for how the product be distributed within their territories. There was also much enthusiasm expressed for the ETDE/INIS partnership, which had begun taking shape back in 1988 when ETDE adopted the format used by INIS for bibliographic records, with some modifications, for their Energy Database. The Expert System for Quality Control, using techniques of artificial intelligence (AI) to assist the subject specialists in processing input, which had been developed by INIS, was implemented in 1990.

At the 19th ILOM, held in Vienna in 1991, a recommendation was given to expand the support given by the Department of Technical Cooperation (TC) to support INIS Centres and especially in support of projects such as ARCAL X, and AFRA-7. The recommendation also encouraged other INIS Members to initiate similar projects within their regions “ including the possibility of projects being undertaken under the auspices of the IAEA’s Regional Cooperative Agreement for Asia and the Pacific (RCA)” .

20th ILOM Rio de Janeiro 1992
FIG. 4. 20th ILOM Rio de Janeiro 1992

In 1992, at the 20th ILOM, the delegates met for the second time in Rio de Janeiro. At the recommendation of the 8th INIS Advisory Committee, the delegates stressed the importance of a User Needs Study, especially with the drop in subscriptions to the printed Atomindex from over 1800 in 1977 to not much more than 500 in 1991. Further development of FIBRE was also supported. The application of the IAEA for associate membership in the Implementing Agreement for ETDE generated great interest from ILOs about the possible benefits for INIS Members who were not members of the International Energy Agency (IAE). Appreciation was expressed for the first version of FIBRE, which had been distributed in 1991, as well as for the first set of INIS database archival discs — one covering the years 1976-1988, and the second starting with 1989, to be regularly updated.

In 1993, at the 21st ILOM held in Vienna, the manner in which the User Needs Study should be conducted was discussed, especially relating to output products and the future of the printed Atomindex. Discussion also focused on the Definition of Membership Arrangements for INIS, encouraging more active participation by Members. It was in 1993 that input began to be sent via email. Version 2.1 of FIBRE was also released during this year. The decision to develop a completely new INIS Data Processing System (IDPS) was also taken.

The 22nd ILOM was held in New Delhi, India; the first time for it to be held in Asia. The Definition of Membership Arrangements for INIS was finally approved by the Director General in May 1994, and by the Board of Governors (GOV/INF/743). Other discussion topics included the status of the User Needs Study; the use of the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) to exchange authority files electronically; the preparation of a PC-based training package on INIS procedures; and the establishment of an electronic bulletin board to foster the exchange of information between the Secretariat and Members. It was also agreed to produce an annual Periodic INIS Report, to promote INIS services and the INIS database. 1994 was also momentous in that the Memorandum of Understanding between INIS and the ETDE was finalized and signed. This valuable partnership would continue for many years, bringing great benefits to INIS and ETDE, until the dissolution of ETDE in 2014.

The 23rd ILOM, held in 1995, coincided with the 25th anniversary of INIS, and the Director General of the IAEA, Mr Hans Blix, opened the meeting. The results of the User Needs Study were discussed in detail, and one of the outcomes was the agreement to discontinue the COM production as of January 1996. It was determined that the printed version of the Atomindex would only be discontinued upon the availability of a less expensive INIS database on CD than the one currently in production. Two articles were published in the IAEA’s Bulletin about INIS. It was after this meeting that alternative methods for obtaining more cost effective bibliographic records would be explored.

24th ILOM, 28-30 May 1996, Kyoto, Japan
FIG. 5. 24th ILOM, 28-30 May 1996, Kyoto, Japan

At the 24th ILOM, held in Kyoto, Japan in 1996, it was agreed to use barcodes on the full-text of NCL documents. The first version of the INIS website was launched and presentations were given on the INIS Homepage. Demonstrations were also given on the INIS Computer-Based Training package. A presentation was given on the final report of the Clearinghouse Imaging Pilot (CHIP), demonstrating the feasibility of electronic storage of NCL on CDs. With the possibility being explored of obtaining records directly from publishers, questions were raised by the ILOs about issues of copyright, intellectual property and cost, especially regarding the distribution of electronic full-text NCL. They therefore requested that “the INIS Secretariat prepare a legal document describing as exactly as possible the distribution and usage of documents foreseen by and allowed to the INIS Secretariat and INIS users and to offer the document to INIS Members to authorize them to obtain the rights to use full text information on behalf of the IAEA”. The number of full-text NCL available in electronic form reached over 500 000.

At the 25th ILOM in 1997, held in Vienna, a new license agreement policy for the distribution and sale of the INIS database on CD was presented, drafted together with the IAEA’s Legal Division, and clarifying the responsibility of each INIS member when providing full-text to INIS, as well as agreement of the literature’s producer on the distribution of it by INIS. Another INIS milestone was achieved in 1997 with the number of records entered into the database reaching 2 million. The new technology for electronic delivery of NCL, studied during the CHIP project, was implemented and the new computer based training package was released. An official ceremony took place at the Austrian Foreign Ministry in December to hand over a copy of the entire microfiche collection to the Zentralbilbiothek fuer Physik in Austria, which would serve as a depository library for INIS NCL and provide a secure ‘off-site’ storage facility, as well as offer support on a contingency basis to the master collection housed at the IAEA.

1998 proved to be a year of both endings and beginnings. At the end of 1997, the last printed Atomindex was published with Vol. 28, Issue 24. The INIS Advisory Committee met for the 10th and last time in December 1998. The INIS database under STAIRS on the IAEA mainframe computer ceased operation at the end of December, and was replaced by the INIS database on the Internet. In 1998, the 26th meeting of ILOs was held in Ottawa, Canada. Demonstrations were given on the CD-ROM retrieval and email delivery, as well as bibliographic reference retrieval from the online database using BASIS software. A joint project between ETDE and INIS was discussed to study the database record format and find ways for its simplification. The completion of the INIS Record Processing Sub-system (IRPS), part of the IDPS, was completed, enabling the processing of records at the Secretariat to be done electronically, rather than on paper. 

The 27th ILOM, held in May 1999, concentrated most of its discussions on how to solve the problem of the declining levels of input by INIS national centres. It was agreed to establish a Working Group to look into this issue, perhaps changing the Definition of INIS Membership Arrangements, and finding other ways to finance the creation of input, such as buying records from other publishing houses. The ILOs also agreed to “sensitise their respective Government Authorities on the importance of the INIS System.” and to raise the issue with the IAEA Board of Governors. The pilot project of the INIS Web Services was made available to INIS Members in August and, after enhancements, was to be made available to the public in January 2000.

29th ILOM Karlsruhe 2000
FIG. 6. 29th ILOM Karlsruhe 2000

The 30th Anniversary of INIS coincided with the 28th ILOM, which was held in Karlsruhe, Germany in 2000, the second time the meeting was held in Germany. Upon the recommendation of the Advisory Committee for INIS at their meeting in December 1998, a revised text of the Definition of Membership Arrangements (GOV/INF/743) was agreed to at the meeting by the ILOS after extensive discussions, and presented to the Board of Governors later that year, who confirmed the revision (GOV/INF/2000/21). As presented in the revised version of the Definition of Membership Arrangements, the ILOs agreed to share input preparation amongst their centres and a pilot program was suggested to determine the minimum number of records to be input by each Member. The first draft of the electronic INIS/ETDE Thesaurus was also presented at the meeting. At the end of the year, the INIS Distance Learning Program (INIS DLP) was officially launched to Member States and by 2002, 54 users from 31 countries were registered.

During 2000–2001, INIS entered into agreements with several publishing houses to purchase electronic bibliographic records of journal publications to be included in the database. These included Elsevier, the Institute of Physics Publishing, Nuclear Technology Publishing, the British Nuclear Society, and the America Institute of Physics. Another milestone for INIS was the end of microfiche production in 2001. From this time forward, NCL full-text was only available on CD-ROM, to be replaced later by direct access from the INIS Collection.

At the 30th ILOM, held in Sofia, Bulgaria, in 2002, it was decided to hold ILO meetings biannually instead of on an annual basis. Both the Institute of Physics Publishing and the British Library provided electronic records free of charge, resulting in the indexing of over 15 000 records.The Liaison Officers supported the active involvement of INIS in knowledge preservation activities at the IAEA and Member States, paving the way for the creation of the INIS and Nuclear Knowledge Management Section, which would replace the INIS Section the following year. In 2012, there would again be a reorganization of INIS, with the creation of a Nuclear Information Section, encompassing the INIS Unit, the IAEA Library Unit, and the Systems Development and Support Group (SDSG). 

At the initiative of the INIS Centre of Korea, an effort to load the INIS database on their computers and to make it available as either a mirror or separate host was discussed at the 31st ILOM held in 2003. After analysis and discussions, the decision to create a separate host was made. A domain was registered and the database was populated with over 2 million records, to be updated by the Secretariat through use of the Agency’s FTP. Due to the fast and ever changing information environment and at the recommendation of the 2002 INIS Programme Evaluation Report (GOV/INF/2003/12 Annex 3), the ILOs agreed to revisit the Definition of Membership Arrangements for INIS and recommended that it be updated.

In 2004, as agreed in 2002 by the ILOs and supported by the IAEA General Conference, a special meeting was held as a conference dedicated to nuclear knowledge and information management in Saclay, France. The International Conference on Nuclear Knowledge Management: Strategies, Information Management and Human Resource Development was organized by the IAEA together with the Commissariat de l’Energie Atomique and covered policies and strategies on both nuclear knowledge management and managing nuclear information, human resources for the nuclear sector, networking in nuclear education and training, case studies on managing nuclear information, and a special session on INIS. 2004 also brought the best ever result achieved by INIS, with the addition of over 106 000 records to the INIS database. This result was possible because of the cooperation of Member States in preparing their own national input, providing voluntary contributions, and the efforts of the Secretariat in covering the backlog of scientific journals. By the end of the year, there were more than 2.5 million records in the INIS database.

The 32nd ILOM, held in 2005, in Vienna, brought a review of the changes made to the Definition of Member Arrangements for INIS, and with the approval of the new text at the meeting, the ILOs decided to rename it Arrangements for the International Nuclear information System. However, these changes were never officially approved. 

32th ILOM 2005 in Vienna
FIG.7. 32nd ILOM 2005 in Vienna

In 2006, the 33rd ILOM was once again held in Vienna and a new INIS Mission statement, which had been drafted at the Consultancy Meeting on Strategic Input to INIS, held in April prior to the meeting, was approved. The Mission Statement read: 1) To provide quality nuclear information and knowledge management services to Member States; 2) To create a reservoir of nuclear information and knowledge for further generations; 3) To assist with the development of a culture of knowledge sharing within the Agency and among Member States; 4) To maintain and develop INIS in cooperation with Member States and active partners to preserve scientific and technical nuclear information. 

Also, as per the recommendations of the Consultancy Meeting on Strategic Input to INIS, the ILOs discussed implementing three areas of direction: 1) continued development of the database, developing full-text search capabilities, while finding ways to integrate other information types such as multimedia, videos etc.; 2) redefine the relationship between the INIS Secretariat and INIS National Centres to develop active partnerships, and share the workload of voluntary input, to increase the coverage of the database; 3) improve access to nuclear information by providing access to nuclear information resources both inside and outside the Agency, provide access to full-text referenced in the database, not only NCL, and develop multilingual retrieval capabilities, including cross language searches and Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs).

 The ILOs recommended setting up a remote access feature to CAI and also recommended that a survey be conducted reviewing all aspects of the role of ILOs in order to: gain a better understanding of the situation in INIS Member States; identify issues preventing ILOs from fulfilling their INIS mandate; and determine if there was a need for more support from the INIS Secretariat. By 2006, INIS membership had reached 140 and the number of input for that year totalled 122 412. A new version of the INIS database on the internet was launched offering a multilingual interface (English, German, Japanese and Spanish), including direct access to full-text documents, full-text search capabilities and other enhancements, and the availability of full-text NCL online. The first issue of the newsletter Nuclear Information and Knowledge was also launched in 2006.

33rd ILOM Vienna 2006
FIG. 8. 33rd ILOM Vienna 2006

By 2008, the total number of records added to the INIS database since 1970 exceeded 3 million, over 123 000 of which were added in 2008. The ILOs were informed at the 34th ILOM, held in November 2008, about a study, commissioned in 2007 by the IAEA’s Department of Nuclear Energy, on the operations model for a modern nuclear information system. The mission statement declared: The future information system is the world’s leading authoritative, trusted, and reliable international nuclear information system devoted to all aspects of the peaceful uses of nuclear science and technology for all users from all Member States and all over the IAEA. The three drivers identified in the study for such an information system were access, content, and web technology. There was much discussion on ways to promote and market INIS within Member States. The meeting also coincided with forty years of partnership between the IAEA and the OECD’s Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) Computer Programme Data Bank, throughout which INIS had provided one staff member to support this service. Probably the most important topic of the meeting was about opening access to the INIS database worldwide and making it freely available. Appreciation was expressed for the Pilot Access Project and support was given to gradually open access to INIS Members alphabetically by country name. It was recommended to implement open access on a country to country basis in 2009. As a result of these recommendations, the INIS database opened with free, unrestricted access to all internet users worldwide in April 2009, a momentous occasion for INIS. The possibility of extending the INIS/ETDE Joint Reference Series, which included the Joint INIS/ETDE Thesaurus, Subject Categories and Scope Descriptions, and the Manual for Subject Analysis, by adding a revised Joint INIS/ETDE Guide to Bibliographic Description, was discussed. The development of the Metadata Extraction Tool (MET) resulted in its launch in 2008 and the Conference Authority Tool (CAT) was implemented in 2009. By the end of 2009, more than 180 000 documents (over 9.6 million pages) had been digitized — almost 60% of the entire microfiche collection.

In 2010, the ILOs met in Vienna for the 35th ILOM. The participants of the meeting congratulated the INIS Secretariat on the pilot project of making INIS full-text NCL searchable and recommended that the Google Search Appliance be made the search tool for both NCL and bibliographic records. They also recommended revisiting the INIS Membership Arrangements with a view to adapting it to changed realities and creating appropriate usage guides for the INIS database. Further integration of INIS into global information networks was also encouraged. A recommendation was made to further develop the Metadata Extraction Tool (MET) and to make it available to the INIS Centres. The delegates also recommended further developing the Computer-assisted Indexing system (CAI). The English Thesaurus, ETDE/INIS Joint Reference Series No. 1 (rev. 2.3) was made electronically available to all users, as was the ETDE/INIS Joint Reference Series No. 2(Rev.1), Subject Categories and Scope Descriptions, thanks to the work of the ITC subgroup on subject category publication review. The INIS National Centres of China, France, Germany, Russia, Spain and Syria were commended on their work maintaining and updating their language versions of the Multilingual Thesaurus.

On March 11, 2011, the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan was hit by an earthquake and a tsunami. Later that same month, a customized search was devised to specifically cover the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in the INIS Collection. INIS created a Twitter account and made its first Tweet in August 2011, and in November, INIS was listed as one of the Open Access Repositories under UNESCO’s Global Open Access Portal under Thematic Areas/Sciences/Nuclear science.

In 2012, as mentioned previously, a restructuring in the Department of Nuclear Energy took place, creating the Nuclear Information Section. Efforts were made to enhance existing information products and services, as well as to introduce new ones. One of these was the creation of one access point, where over 90 000 IAEA Library bibliographic records were added to the INIS Collection Search, enabling a simplified and more efficient single access point to both the INIS and IAEA Library collections through the INIS Collection Search web interface. The 36th ILOM, held in October of 2012, gave its support to moving toward Unicode in the use of input preparation and the enhancement of WINFIBRE. The participants also acknowledged their appreciation in the coordination of the Thesaurus Advisory Working Group. Many enhancements were made to the INIS Collection Search, one of which was the integration of the INIS Collection, with its 3.3 million records, and the Joint INIS/ETDE Thesaurus, with over 30 000 well defined nuclear terms, in the Advanced Search, allowing users to fine-tune their queries before they are performed. Another improvement was the suggestion to use the list of thesaurus descriptors for searching. The INIS Secretariat was commended for conducting the website user survey, and encouraged to explore the use of modern e-learning tools, as well providing adequate training materials and presentations. INIS Members were encouraged to use the INIS search widget, which had been developed in 2010, and to add links to INIS from their web pages. INIS developed a version of the INIS website for use on mobile devices such as iPhone, Blackberry and Android. A new version of the INIS Interactive Multilingual Thesaurus was developed and placed on the INIS website. Descriptors can now be entered in Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish. After selecting a term, translations are also available in each of these languages. This is one of many examples of cooperation with Member States. Looking towards the future, increasing the use of social networking tools, fostering the further integration of INIS into global information networks, and exploring alternative methods for collecting metadata and related NCL were all recommended by the participants of the meeting. Using new information technologies and methodologies to continue the development of INIS were recommended as the way forward for INIS. The number of records input into the INIS Collection has steadily increased over the years. In 2012, 130 988 records were added to the INIS Collection. This remarkable achievement was a direct result of each participating INIS Member’s contribution throughout the past 43 years.

37th ILOM Vienna 2014
FIG. 9. 37th ILOM Vienna 2014

The 37th ILOM, held in 2014, welcomed Afghanistan as its 129th Member State. Appreciation was stated by the participants of the meeting for the input of 128 000 records in 2013, and, as of October 2014, the input of over 90 000 records. A review of the NCL copyright practices and drafts related guide to be used for the INIS Collection was recommended, as was finding ways to include more nuclear patents and publications by other commercial publishers in the INIS Collection. The participants appreciated the enhancement of FIBRE+ and encouraged the introduction of FIBREonline. A review of the possible use of the Invenio software for input was also recommended. In close cooperation with the INIS Liaison Officer of the USA, the INIS Secretariat was encouraged to review the impact of the new USA public access policy on INIS input and purchasing practices. The delegates recommended simplifying the existing INIS procedures and standards, particularly the update of the INIS Guide to Bibliographic Description (2009), taking into account current bibliographic standards. More Members were encouraged to join the Thesaurus Advisory Working Group, and to explore ways to transform the Thesaurus into an ontology, improving its use in subject analysis and information retrieval. Enhancements to the INIS Collection Search (ICS) were recommended by introducing an option to search only bibliographic records, improving help and guidance materials related to the use of UNICODE, creating easy to follow statistics for single, most frequently downloaded articles and developing Application Programming Interface (API) for searching the INIS Collection, as well as other tools such as selective Dissemination of Information (SDI). Over 14,2 million pages and 288 000 PDFs have been digitized from microfiche. In 2013, SDSG worked hard to extend the compatibility of the ‘NE News’ application, already available for the iPad, and it became available on both the iPhone and Android devices. At the request of the Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information (KISTI), translations of INIS bibliographic records were made available in Korean. One of the greatest achievements in 2014 was the placing of the public Non-Conventional Literature (NCL) collection, consisting of over 330 000 full text PDFs, into Google’s index. Between January and April 2014, the INIS Collection Search (ICS) achieved more than 1 million pageviews. In addition, the ICS had more than 465 000 visits from more than 360 000 unique visitors in the first four months of 2014. This was in contrast to 2012 where the ICS had 561 998 pageviews, 77 853 visits and 38 070 unique visitors. Almost all of the increase in traffic can be attributed to making ICS searchable trough Google. Looking towards the future, the following recommendations were made at the 37th ILOM: introducing alternative ways to collect INIS input metadata and related NCLs, such as harvesting, fostering further integration of INIS with other global information networks, particularly with the International Nuclear Library Network (INLN), exploring ways to create an open source discovery system for nuclear energy literature, cooperating with non-commercial discovery services, keeping the INIS Collection away from commercial vendors, keeping it open and free to all Internet users, the future use of Google Analytics and other evaluation tools, and creating an INIS Advisory Group, using modern electronic collaboration tools. It is obvious from this vision of the road ahead for INIS, that there are many great things in store, as well as many things still to be accomplished.

INIS, along with its Members, has achieved much in the past 45 years and it is not possible to list all those achievements here. From 55 Members in 1972, to 154 in 2015, INIS has grown by leaps and bounds, and will hopefully continue to do so in the future. Without the collaboration and commitment of its Members, the accomplishments of INIS would not be possible.

Steve Jobs once said, “If you look really closely, most overnight successes took a long time”. The success of INIS has been demonstrated by over 45 years of cooperation between the INIS Secretariat and its Members and, with continued joint efforts, will pave the way for many more years of innovation for the world’s leading database on the peaceful uses of nuclear science and technology.
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Nuclear Information Newsletter No. 17, September 2015
Prepared by The Nuclear Information Section (NIS)
Department of Nuclear Energy International Atomic Energy Agency
Vienna International Centre, PO Box 100
1400 Vienna, Austria
Email: NIS - Section Head Office
Websites: INIS     IAEA Library
This newsletter has not been edited by the editorial staff of the IAEA. The views expressed remain the responsibility of the contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of the IAEA or its Member States. The use of particular designations of countries or territories does not imply any judgement by the publisher, the IAEA, as to the legal status of such countries or territories, of their authorities and institutions or of the delimitation of their boundaries.