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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)


WorldWideScience and data


WorldWideScience and data now offers the capability to search scientific data collections.  Six new data sources have been added to, representing a significant milestone in improving access to scientific data from around the world.  Users seeking scientific datasets can conduct a real-time, one-stop search and immediately gain access not only to the metadata but to the actual scientific data itself.’s unique federated searching capability meets many of the challenges users face in the discovery of scientific and numeric data.  Unless users are very familiar with a particular data center or know that specific datasets exist, it is very difficult to identify and locate scientific data. provides access to over 80 of the world’s most authoritative scientific information and data sources, all nationally sponsored or sanctioned.  Users can simultaneously search across many databases/collections in text, multimedia, and data formats, and receive consolidated, relevance-ranked results.  In most cases, links direct the user to the full text document; or in the case of scientific data sources, the user can often link directly to datasets.  As access to scientific data becomes increasingly important, offers the ability to easily identify, search, and access this information – contributing to the spread of scientific knowledge and advancements worldwide.

Related Topics: data, databases, multimedia, relevance ranked, scientific, (WWS)


Recording Science: From Parchment to Pixels.

by Dr. Jeffrey Salmon 06 Aug, 2010 in Technology


Recording Science: From Parchment to Pixels.

One of the more fascinating pieces of work at a DOE National Laboratory was the examination of an ancient work by Archimedes on parchment that had been erased, written over, and so, mostly, lost to history. Lost, that is, until the SLAC synchrotron X-ray beam tore into the parchment and was able to let us see and read much of the original Archimedean text. Archimedes would have used a lab notebook, if he had had paper, or a computer and a thumb-drive to record his work if they had been available, but he did not live long enough to invent those things, which he probably could have if given the time. One hopes that before his study was erased, others were able to read it, profit from its insights, and use the knowledge as a springboard to another discovery. That’s one way we make progress.

We often hear that with declining costs in storage, increased bandwidth, and faster processing speeds, the power and potential of the electronic age to spread and communicate science are amazing things to ponder. I guess. But the work can still be lost, no matter how it is recorded. And some material, let’s face it, isn’t worth saving. Between this blog and Archimedes’ method of mechanical theorems, the work that SLAC was looking at, which would you save? What is needed now, as then, is someone to care about preserving the scientific findings that are worth preserving.

That goes for what is called “new media,” as it does for parchments. Multimedia (video, animation, visualization, interactive publishing, image and object recognition) is widely used to record, share, and collaborate in science. Because of the U.S. Department of Energy's central role in science, we are also at the center of technology for collecting and disseminating this new media, as well as the old. Acquiring and disseminating are separate but equally essential (and complicated) elements to accelerating scientific discovery.

On the acquiring side, it's essential that DOE's policy and...

Related Topics: archimedes, multimedia, new media, slac