U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Federated Search (Emphasizing WorldWideScience.org) as a Transformational Technology Enabling Knowledge Discovery


Federated Search (Emphasizing WorldWideScience.org)
as a Transformational Technology Enabling Knowledge Discovery

InterLending and Document Supply Conference
October 20-22, Hannover, Germany

Walt L. Warnick, Ph.D.
Office of Scientific & Technical Information
United States Department of Energy


OSTI Mission

To advance science and sustain technological creativity by making R&D findings available and useful to DOE researchers and the public.


Science progresses as knowledge is shared

OSTI Corollary:

If the sharing of knowledge is accelerated, then discovery is accelerated.

"If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants."
– Isaac Newton 1676
Profound implications for everyone in the information business.


Knowledge Investment Curve

Pace of Scientific Discovery

Vertical Axis = the pace of discovery

Horizontal Axis = the %, from zero to 100, of R&D funding for sharing scientific knowledge.


Knowledge Investment Curve

Pace of Scientific Discovery

Percentage of R&D Funding for Sharing of Scientific Knowledge at 0%.

If there were no sharing, there would be no progress.


Knowledge Investment Curve

Pace of Scientific Discovery

Percentage of R&D Funding for Sharing of Scientific Knowledge at 100%.

If all resources went to sharing, there would be no resources for research itself, and no progress.


Knowledge Investment Curve

Pace of Scientific Discovery

Decision makers affect the pace of discovery when they determine the fraction of R&D funding dedicated to sharing.

Optimum Sharing is between 0% and 100%.


But before we can accelerate the sharing of knowledge

… we must dispel the misperception that popular search engines are already doing the job.





Much of science is non-Googleable

The Deep Web is Huge

In fact, the vast majority of science information is in databases within the deep web – or the non-Googleable Web – where popular search engines cannot go.

We in the information business need to recognize this gap between availability and need, and seize the opportunity to …
Provide science information consumers with better tools.


The web is transformational technology for sharing knowledge

The web is still young and will certainly hold surprises as it evolves.

Just as another well-known transformational technology held surprises …





Eclipsing Current Search Technology

Google is capitalizing on this early era of web technology and is hugely successful, powering more than half the world’s searching.

But we must remember that we are just in the beginning of this transformation. Further technological transformations may very well eclipse today’s search technology!

A new, promising technology is now emerging: federated search.


We need systems, such as federated search, that probe the deep web

Federated search drills down to the deep web where scientific databases reside.

Surface Web

Deep Web Databases

Unlike the Google sitemap protocol solution, federated search places no burden on the database owners.


Our emerging solution: federated search

Science Accelerator: Integrates key DOE databases

Science.gov: Integrates 14 U.S. science agencies – 200 million pages of science information

WorldWideScience.org: Integrates science information issued by over 60 Nations – 400 million pages of global science information


WorldWideScience.org History

Concept introduced by OSTI Director, Walt Warnick, June 2006, Bethesda, Maryland

Bilateral U.S.(DOE)/U.K. (British Library) partnership, January 2007, London

Demonstration of first prototype, June 2007, Nancy, France

Multilateral governance structure WorldWideScience Alliance, established June 2008, Seoul

Dr. Jan Brase, German National Library of Science and Technology

Common ingredient: International Council for Scientific and Technical Information (ICSTI)


• Searches 61 science databases and portals sponsored by governments and national institutions in 61 countries
• Covers scientific literature from over three-fourths of the world’s population
• Includes a vast quantity of science (over 400 million pages), much of which is grey literature
• Proving WWS "deep web" value, recent analysis shows only 3.5% overlap with Google and Google Scholar


• Current research in multi-lingual translations technologies will enable searching of non-English databases from within applications such as WWS
• Prototype allows users to select their preferred language. Queries are translated into the languages of the databases being searched and results are then returned in the user's language
• We are committed to launching Multi-lingual WorldWideScience.org at the ICSTI Meeting in Helsinki in June 2010


OSTI, through federated search, ensures access to non-Googleable science

Volume of Content Made Searchable by OSTI

400,000,000 pages of Global Scientific and Technical Information (STI)
These web-available pages would fill 62,000 traditional 2-feet deep file drawers.

200,000,000 pages of U.S. Government STI
These web-available pages would fill 33,000 traditional 2-feet deep file drawers.

STIP Collection:
11,400,000 pages of U.S. Department of Energy STI
These web-available pages would fill 1,900 traditional 2-feet deep file drawers.

Amount of Data Transferred in FY08: 9.95 terabytes

Through OSTI products, librarians, researchers and the public can access a science page count comparable to, but not duplicative of, Google's entire science content


Is there a better solution for a high quality science search tool just over the horizon?

We think so…

Live Federated Search Tools + Crawled Indexes

For Example:

WorldWideScience.org + crawled indexes


The stage is set for the future

We are ready to scale up our efforts in federated search.

A billion-page, high quality science search tool may be available soon to spread ideas, increase learning, and further accelerate the progress of science.


Cognition Budget

• Making more info available is not enough
• It must be presented more conveniently – easier and faster to find
• To this end, relevancy ranking is being reinvented for federated searching

Try WorldWideScience.org!


Simply put, we intend to make more science accessible to more people more conveniently than has ever been done before.