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WorldWideScience.org Global Science Gateway Now Open
You can now easily access science from around the world via a single Web entry point, WorldWideScience.org.
This new global science gateway opened for free public access on June 22, at the public meeting of the International Council for Scientific and Technical Information Annual General Assembly in Nancy, France. WorldWideScience.org currently retrieves research results from more than 200 million pages of information from 15 national portals of 10 countries – Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
WorldWideScience.org is an international partnership initiated by the U.S. Department of Energy and the British Library. Prior to its public launch, the global science gateway was demonstrated June 5 in Washington, DC, at the Energy Department. Officials from various federal agencies and organizations were in attendance, including Dr. Raymond Orbach, the Energy Department’s Under Secretary for Science, and officials from the British Library, who took part in the demonstration ceremony.
Dr. Walter Warnick, director of the Energy Department’s Office of Scientific and Technical Information, or OSTI, presided at the demonstration. OSTI (found at www.osti.gov) developed and maintains WorldWideScience.org. Dr. Warnick said:
"Today, we unveil a new tool for making science more accessible worldwide. It is called WorldWideScience.org. Sir Isaac Newton, one of the world’s greatest scientists in history, famously stated 'If I have seen further, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.' He knew that science advances only if knowledge is shared. Today, our goal is to accelerate the sharing of knowledge on a global scale. As a result, we believe that the pace of scientific discovery itself will accelerate."
To accelerate the pace of discovery, WorldWideScience.org relies on existing technology, called federated search. Federated search allows users to access multiple data sources with a single query. Again, Dr. Warnick:
"Today it can take a long time for discoveries to work their way across distance communities. Consider, for example, all the information in those national science gateways that are already included in WorldWideScience. Until today you would first need to know that those gateways existed before you could search them. WorldWideScience changes all of that. Through WorldWideScience, information customers can search numerous national gateways that they don’t even know exist otherwise. Because you search these gateways in parallel, with only one query, you save time and effort. WorldWideScience will speed up communication, accelerate discovery, and expedite scientific and economic progress."
OSTI works on the principle that scientific discovery can be accelerated by enabling scientists to become more efficient. Dr. Warnick spoke to the fulfillment of that goal.
"Our vision for the WorldWideScience is to become a world class tool that lets any scientist, any citizen, anywhere, easily stand on the 'shoulders of giants,' just as Isaac Newton talked about hundreds of years ago."
If you would like to see this view from “the shoulders of scientific giants”, please visit WorldWideScience.org, a growing resource for anyone interested in science. You will get the most current findings in fields such as energy, medicine, agriculture, environment and basic sciences, published by contributing nations.