by Mary Schorn on Tue, July 14, 2009
Did you know that science information is available via web "mashups"? Web "mashups" combine multiple products/services into a single application for the purpose of consolidating information with an easy-to-use interface.
The Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) uses "mashups" to return search results from Science Accelerator, Science.gov, and WorldWideScience.org. These "mashups" include external sources of information, in these cases from Wikipedia and EurekAlert!, that are provided as a service to the user for help with additional background information or with the ability to further study their topic.
These "mashups" are made possible by OSTI's use of a federated search to perform all-encompassing searches of important databases and collections. Science Accelerator searches U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) databases of scientific and technical information representing billions of dollars of DOE research. Science.gov searches U.S. government agency scientific databases and web pages. WorldWideScience.org searches national and international scientific databases and portals.
Federated searching provides each of the three products with one-stop simultaneous searching of multiple networked data resources via a single query. When a query is entered, it is sent to selected databases, collections, and/or web portals that are available for searching. The individual data resources send back results, which are ranked in relevance order and are provided to the user as "mashups". Users can examine these "mashups" to find specific results that contain information that is useful to them. Users can then go to specific data resources to further delineate their search by using more sophisticated search and retrieval capabilities.
Science Accelerator, Science.gov, and WorldWideScience.org are an important part of the product lines that OSTI has structured to address the diverse types of information OSTI maintains, the diverse expectations of its constituencies, and to be complementary in the market.