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WorldWideScience – Easy Access to Text, Multimedia, and Data!


WorldWideScience – Easy Access to Text, Multimedia, and Data!

For many years, scientific information was provided primarily in text-based formats, such as journal articles, conference proceedings, and technical reports.  Increasingly, however, scientists are communicating through multimedia formats (images, videos), and via direct access to their scientific data sets.  Information users face some unique challenges in finding scientific information, particularly when it can take several forms.  Imagine that a climatologist has created data sets detailing precipitation measurements for the North Slope of Alaska.  The climatologist might present these findings first at a meteorological conference, and the presentation might be taped and made available as a video of the conference.  Later, the climatologist publishes one or more technical reports, referring to the original data sets.  How does a user find all this relevant information?

WorldWideScience offers a solution to finding scientific information, regardless of format.  Simply by entering the search terms in a single search box, users can search over 90 databases from around the world.  Furthermore, the search results are segmented into text-based information (the “Papers” tab), images and videos (“Multimedia” tab), and data sets (“Data” tab).  It’s easy to view results in each tab, and users can quickly access relevant text, videos, and data sets.  A variety of English and non-English databases are searched, and WorldWideScience even provides multilingual translations capabilities for 10 languages.  As scientific communication becomes progressively more diverse and global in nature, WorldWideScience enables users to identify and locate scientific and technical information in many formats, all with one straightforward search.

Related Topics: climatologist, databases, foreign, multilingual, multimedia, scientific, (WWS)


World Wide Information: The Other Side of the Coin

Much has been written in this blog about  As regular readers well know, it is a global gateway to scientific and technical databases conceived, developed, and operated by the US Department of Energy’s Office of Scientific and Technical Information. accelerates scientific discovery and technological progress by providing one-stop searching of enormous quantities of information published on behalf of governments from around the world.

Of course, the world’s information covers numerous topics other than science and technology.  For information about the cultures of the world, a particularly noteworthy virtual collection is theWorld Digital Library(WDL) developed and operated by the Library of Congress,which is the largest library in the world, with millions of books, recordings, photographs, maps and manuscriptsin its collections.  It makes available on the Internet significant primary materials from countries and cultures around the world.  The principal objectives of the WDL are to:

  • Promote international and intercultural understanding;
  • Expand the volume and variety of cultural content on the Internet;
  • Provide resources for educators, scholars, and general audiences;
  • Build capacity in partner institutions to narrow the digital divide within and between countries.

WorldWideScience and the World Digital Library are complementary, one focusing on science and technology and the other on culture.  They are both free of charge and open to everyone with Internet access.

One key service provided by both WorldWideScience and the World Digital Library is that they help to transcend language barriers.  However, their approaches to overcoming language barriers differ.  The World Digital Library generally offers...

Related Topics: Enrico Fermi, history of science, multilingual, translations, World digial Library, (WWS)


The Importance of Small Business Innovation Research Funding

by Dr. Walt Warnick 09 Mar, 2011 in Technology


The Importance of Small Business Innovation Research Funding

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs were established to provide funding to stimulate technological innovation in small businesses to meet federal agency research and development needs.  Under SBIR, federal agencies with large R&D budgets set aside a small fraction of their funding for competitions exclusively among small businesses.  Each year, the DOE Office of Science sets aside 2.8% of its research budget for SBIR (2.5%) and STTR (.3%) awards.  Small businesses that win SBIR awards keep the rights to any technology developed and are encouraged to commercialize the technology.


Established in 1947, the DOE Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) fulfills the agency’s responsibilities to collect, preserve and disseminate scientific and technical information (STI) emanating from DOE R&D activities.  OSTI’s mission is to advance science and sustain creativity by making R&D findings available to DOE and other researchers and the public.  OSTI is founded on the principle that science progresses only if knowledge is shared; furthermore, OSTI is animated by the concept, now widely accepted, that accelerating the sharing of knowledge accelerates the advancement of science.  SBIR projects have been integral to OSTI’s success in speeding access to scientific knowledge to speed discovery, innovation and economic progress.


Since 2003, the Office of Science’s SBIR office has had a policy of funding knowledge technology SBIR projects under OSTI guidance that have produced technologies that today significantly benefit SC, DOE and science community researchers across the county – and around the world.  OSTI-managed SBIR projects have enabled OSTI to promote essential ongoing innovation in its products and services, which have enhanced its performance of its statutory mandate.  (Please see below for a list of technologies developed by OSTI-managed SBIR...

Related Topics: federated search, multilingual, r&d, relevance ranking, SBIR, sttr, translations


Connectivity and Communications in Global Science

The recent launch of a new multilingual search capability for international science-  multilingual (see ) represents a significant step towards increasing connectivity and communications in global science. Hosted at the DOE Office of Scientific and Technical Information within the Office of Science, this instant access to international scientific literature acquires special significance in today's era of international science and large multi-national collaborations.

Some might say the language of science is mathematics. Others would vote for experiments and observational data. In yet another sense simulations and modeling allow predictive science. Along with these 'universal' languages of science, scientists need to communicate via the spoken and written word.  With other nations increasing their investments in Science and Technology, and often publishing in their native languages, we may thus miss out on new results due to language barriers that restrict our access and search tools. Likewise, the dissemination of our science to geographically and linguistically distant colleagues is not fully successful if we are losing sections of non-English speaking readers.

Today we tend to take our easy access to information as granted. Without committing to actual years - many of us remember how difficult it used to be to access research publications in our efforts to understand the past to create science for the future. Especially difficult were the situations when we needed to find international journals and decipher publications in foreign languages. Sometimes...

Related Topics: multilingual, translations, (WWS)


Multilingual WorldWideScience.orgBETA Officially Launched

by Lorrie Johnson 20 Jun, 2010 in Technology


Multilingual WorldWideScience.orgBETA Officially Launched

On June 11, the Multilingual BETA was officially launched in Helsinki, Finland at the International Council for Scientific and Technical Information (ICSTI) annual conference.  This new capability is the result of an international public-private partnership between the Alliance and Microsoft Research, whose translations technology has been paired with the federated searching technology of Deep Web Technologies. now provides the first-ever real-time searching and translation across globally-dispersed, multilingual scientific literature. Multilingual

WorldWideScience.orgBETA allows users to conduct a single query of over 70 scientific databases from around the world.  Results can then be translated into the user’s preferred language.  Currently, nine languages are available (Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, and Russian) and more languages will be added in the coming months.  With the pace of non-English scientific publishing continuing to grow, it is vitally important that English-speaking scientists gain access to non-English content.  Conversely, Multilingual WorldWideScience.orgBETA also benefits non-English-speaking users by enabling translations of English-language content.

Since its inception in 2007, has grown from searching 12 databases in 10 countries to searching over 70 databases in 66 countries, covering more than 400 million pages of science. OSTI serves as the Operating Agent for, and as the product manager, I have been enormously honored to lead this project over the past three years.  From the beginning, the goal behind has been to broaden access to the world’s scientific information and to facilitate the scientific discovery process.  With each new database that has been added to’s searches...

Related Topics: microsoft, multilingual, MWWS, translations, (WWS)