Experts predict explosive growth in mobile computing in the coming years. On mobiles devices alone, statistics show the number of smartphone users will reach 1 billion by the year 2016. The IAEA's International Nuclear Information System (INIS) is leveraging the increased use of these "on-the-go" devices by recently launching a mobile version of its Website, thereby helping it target a new audience.
INIS is operated by the IAEA in collaboration with over 150 Members States. It hosts one of the world's largest collections of published information on the peaceful uses of nuclear science and technology and offers free online access to a unique collection of non-conventional literature. It is a main source of nuclear information and contains over 3.4 million bibliographic records with 440 000 full text documents available online. The information shared on this platform is essential to governments, academic and research institutions and private companies.
"INIS is a main source of nuclear information for many IAEA Member States, and as such, represents a potential target for mobile visitors," Mr. Dobrica Savić, Head of IAEA Nuclear Information Section, explained.
"More than 5% of INIS visitors use mobile devices and many users have been requesting better mobile compatibility."
"Our aim is to make the INIS Website more accessible and convenient, especially for those who use mobile devices and are often on the go," Mr. Savić added. "Our visitors are now able to easily explore INIS on a variety of mobile devices. This is of particular relevance as lower costs of phone subscriptions and the removal of technological barriers to mobile computing are expected to create an even wider pool of users who would benefit from accessing INIS information on the go."
The mobile version of the INIS Website has been thoroughly tested on various types of mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets running different operating systems. INIS mobile users will be able to explore the website on the mobile device of their choice and download the information they need. The Website will automatically redirect to the mobile version when accessed from a mobile device.
Promoting Mobile Technologies
The expansion of the INIS bibliographic database to support mobile devices is part of ongoing iniatives at the IAEA to promote online-based knowledge-sharing and electronic learning (eLearning). To date, there are at least a dozen eLearning platforms within the Agency that cover diverse topics ranging from radiation oncology to nuclear law. In late 2011, the IAEA's Division of Human Health within the Department of Nuclear Science and Applications (NAHU) opened a mobile learning (mLearning) programme to the general public. (See related story)