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OSTIblog Articles in the osti Topic

The Role of Federated Search at OSTI

by Sol Lederman 19 Feb, 2008 in Technology

Federated search is very much at the heart of OSTI's ability to realize its mission. OSTI provides a simple description of what federated search is and how it works in the OSTI environment. The best way to experience the tremendous value of federated search at OSTI is to try several of OSTI's flagship applications:

These, and all, federated search applications search databases "live", which means there is no delay or "lag time" between when a collection is updated by its owner and when the new content can be searched. Science Accelerator provides searchable access to a number of science databases that OSTI manages. Its aim is to accelerate science discovery by greatly reducing the time and effort required for researchers to find relevant science information. Science.gov was OSTI's break-through federated search product; the first version was launched in December 2002. Science.gov provides access to more than 50 million pages of science information from 17 scientific and technical organizations via the collaboration of 13 federal agencies. WorldWideScience is a global science gateway to national and international scientific databases.

The technology used to mine content from the deep web is called "federated search." While federated search is not the only search technology...

Related Topics: federated search, osti, Science Accelerator, Science.gov, WorldWideScience.org (WWS)

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Mixing Science.gov, Coffee, and a Laptop

 

Yesterday my son had an emergency appendectomy - these days a pretty routine procedure. But far from routine was the array of drugs offered to get him through the long night ahead.

What were the side effects behind these strange-sounding names? How would they affect his recovery? Would all these drugs interact minus a negative outcome? And were they even necessary?

Happily, my job is community outreach for OSTI which hosts Science.gov. So, armed with a laptop in a corner coffee shop with wifi connectivity, I knew I could log onto Science.gov for a quick and thorough search of government science information.

Why not Google or Yahoo? Well, certainly I could get science information from many of the popular science engines. In fact, I often use these sites in combination with Science.gov for an extensive and comprehensive search. But I didn't want to spend a lot of time sorting through Internet noise on popular Web searches. (No drug ads, no hits on the drug habits of rock bands!) I simply wanted information that was directly related to the drugs my son might take that night. And I wanted the information quickly so I could get back to the hospital room and spend time with my son. So I chose Science.gov.

Of note: Science.gov is a lot more than medical info. You can find winter weather safety tips, science internships, supernova Web sites ... all kinds of science information available for free.

Final word: Happy 5th Anniversary Science.gov!

Cathey Daniels, OSTI Editor

Related Topics: medical information, osti, Science.gov

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Naming the First World Wide Science Gateway

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Naming the First World Wide Science Gateway

In 2005, the idea of creating a global science gateway for the web was conceived at OSTI.  It would make the best collections of scientific information from nations around the world act as if they were a single enormous collection.  It would be searchable via a single query, and it would be available at no cost to anyone anywhere with web access. 

In the beginning we called the gateway Science.World.  This pithy title properly conveyed that the gateway would be about science and would be truly international in scale, and the "dot" indicated that it would be on the web.  From the first, however, we knew the name Science.World could only be a placeholder.  In reality, "dot" World is not a legitimate domain, so eventually the gateway would have to be renamed.

This led to a contest throughout OSTI to find a URL that was brief but descriptive, and available, all at the same time.  Since I had only been working for OSTI for less then a year, I didn't feel that I should give my input on the options that were being brought up.  Thinking of a name that fits such an amazing website was very hard to do. 

Seeing the choices being narrowed down, however, I finally spoke up about a URL I found that I thought best described what was being created, www.WorldWideScience.org.  Being that it was short, to the point, and available was why I chose it as my favorite.  Still a bit nervous, I submitted the name for consideration by OSTI senior staff.  Later, my boss told me that he knew I had "hit a homerun" as soon as he heard "WorldWideScience.org".  The majority of OSTI senior staff had the same reaction.  I won the contest!

WorldWideScience.org is now a live site that has performed millions...

Related Topics: osti, WorldWideScience.org (WWS)

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