An Interagency Model for Collaboration and Operation

Background - Relationship to CENDI - Funding - Operations - Milestones

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  • CENDI Meeting, Nov. 4, 2010

    An Interagency Model for Collaboration and Operation

    Background - Relationship to CENDI - Funding - Operations - Milestones

    CENDI Meeting, Nov. 4, 2010

    Sharon Jordan
    Assistant Director
    DOE Office of Scientific and Technical Information
    (Operating Agent for
  • CENDI Meeting, Nov. 4, 2010

    What Is

    A Unique Collaboration with Tangible Results!

    • An interagency science discovery tool, providing single-query access to multiple government-sponsored R&D results and other S&T information
    • A cross-agency search that integrates and simplifies access to 200 million pages of content from 14 U.S. science agencies
    • The "" science portal (formerly "FirstGov for Science")
    • A voluntary large-scale collaboration of U.S. government agencies

    Drills down to selected databases and websites in parallel, then presents relevancy-ranked search results
  • CENDI Meeting, Nov. 4, 2010

    How Did It Begin?

    • Two workshops spawned origin:

    • 2000: Blue-ribbon panel explored concept of a physical science information infrastructure. This prompted interagency involvement.
    • 2001: "Strengthening the Public Information Infrastructure for Science" Here the interagency Alliance was formed
    • Participants included federal agencies, academia, information professionals and science experts.
    • gained approval as "Firstgov for Science" in early 2002
    • was launched in December 2002.
  • CENDI Meeting, Nov. 4, 2010

    Founding Agencies in 2001

    • Department of Agriculture
    • Department of Commerce
    • Department of Defense
    • Department of Education
    • Department of Energy
    • Department of Health and Human Services
    • Department of Interior
    • Environmental Protection Agency
    • National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    • National Science Foundation

    New Alliance Members

    • Department of Transportation
    • Library of Congress
    • United States Government Printing Office
    • National Archives and Records Administration

    Alliance only

    • United States Forest Service
    • National Institute of Standards and Technology

    Support and coordination by CENDI – an interagency forum of senior information managers
  • CENDI Meeting, Nov. 4, 2010

    Shared Premises

    • Science is not bounded by agency, organization or geography
    • Each agency has vast stores of information that fulfill its mission
    • A single web gateway is the tool of choice*
    • A commitment to voluntary collaboration is necessary

    *In OCLC Perceptions of Library and Information Resources, it was reported that 84% of public began search using search engines; only 1% began with online databases. Thus a "Google-like" easy search of authoritative sources with relevant results was desired.
  • CENDI Meeting, Nov. 4, 2010

    Integration Challenges

    • Broad scope of Federal science and technology research and development missions
    • Wide-ranging interest of potential audiences
    • Information organization (taxonomy) issues given the broad scope of disciplines and audiences
    • Blending information resources from different agencies into cohesive functionality and page design
    • Politics, human resources, funding, sustainability
  • CENDI Meeting, Nov. 4, 2010

    Guiding Principles for Content

    √ Select authoritative web-based government-sponsored information resources
    √ Rich science content, not merely organization pages
    √ Databases contain primarily R&D results in the form of STI (bibliographic data and/or full documents)
    √ Supplemented by websites for currency
    √ Only freely available content that is well maintained
    √ Our audience is "the science-attentive citizen"!
  • CENDI Meeting, Nov. 4, 2010

    Agency Potluck

    • Agencies brought to the Internet table their unique information specialties and resources
    • Flagship service a commitment
    • Notable contributions of many:
    • Alliance and CENDI - seized opportunity without mandate
    • - supported the early stages with advice and two grants
    • Member agencies - provided participation of 200 staff members to working teams
    • NLM – provided usability testing prior to initial launch
    • USGS – managed original website search engine (surface web search)
    • NTIS - created initial catalog of S&T websites
    • IIa Inc. – provided secretariat support (CENDI special task)
    • DOE/OSTI - conceived idea, developed technologies/deep web search and hosted website
    • NAL and USGS – provided Alliance co-chairs
  • CENDI Meeting, Nov. 4, 2010

    Collaboration Is Key

    • Alliance enjoyed extraordinary voluntary collaboration
    • Vision and strategic direction provided by Alliance principals
    • Administration provided by Chair(s) selected from Alliance
    • Technical team provided original technical direction and recommendations
    • Major support provided by CENDI
    • Additional task groups formed as needed
    • taxonomy
    • Content guidance and development
    • Website management and redesign
    • Outreach activities
    • Enhancement development
    • Subject expansion
    • Image library
  • CENDI Meeting, Nov. 4, 2010

    The Funding Approach

    • Built and maintained with "in-kind" contributions: each agency's staff time and existing information resources
    • Initial development benefitted from CIO Council e-gov grants for catalog + initial deep web search
    • Alliance annual dues help fund routine operations
    • CENDI support leverages resources
    • In-kind contributions supported special events
    • SBIR R&D resulted in innovations that were implemented in subsequent versions
    • "Pass the hat" contributions to take advantage of an opportunity, such as Version 3.0 development
  • CENDI Meeting, Nov. 4, 2010 Funding

    Doing "a lot with a little" by implementing creative funding methods

    • 2001: Cross agency portal grants: $170,000
    • 2002: DOE SBIR conducts relevancy ranking research
    • 2003-2004: Voluntary Pass-the-Hat contributions: $200,000
    • 2001-Present: Participating agencies and in-kind support develop and maintain Average since 2005 = approx $180K annually (fees plus in-kind support)
  • CENDI Meeting, Nov. 4, 2010


    • CENDI promotes the productive intersection of science content, technology and interrelationships
    • The Alliance, made up of CENDI agencies plus others, provides direction and support for this intersection in the form of
    • Through financial and in-kind commitments from its agencies, CENDI provides the ongoing infrastructure needed to offer a large-scale
    collaboration across organizational boundaries
  • CENDI Meeting, Nov. 4, 2010

    Overview of CENDI Finances

    Total Membership Funds Are Combined into One "Pot"

    CENDI Reserve

    Executive Secretariat for CENDI Includes Support

    Maintenance Costs include Alliance Only dues*

    A portion of Secretariat effort is used for Tasks

    * Alliance Only dues are deposited into the CENDI treasury, with option of being used for direct costs/purchases for (such as exhibit expenses) or being included in funding for overall Secretariat support of
  • CENDI Meeting, Nov. 4, 2010

    Content Management Is Distributed

    • NTIS developed the original "catalog" with input from agencies
    • CENDI Secretariat now maintains catalog with agency participation
    • Agency content managers submit and edit their information via a web form
    • Websites identified in the catalog were indexed by USGS; now done by OSTI
    • Deep web databases are identified by agencies and reviewed by team for suitability
    • Real-time search of content in large databases is maintained by OSTI, which continues to host the website and serve as operations manager
  • CENDI Meeting, Nov. 4, 2010

    The Alliance Members' Page

    Provides administrative information, meeting minutes, usage statistics, content selection and cataloging guidelines, subject category information, and outreach materials such as presentations and flyers.
  • CENDI Meeting, Nov. 4, 2010

    Easy-to-Use Search

    Get the simplicity of a "Google-type" search box; get results that are not "Google-like" at all.

    Less than 1% overlap with Google; approximately 3.2% overlap with Google Scholar
  • CENDI Meeting, Nov. 4, 2010

    Precise, Accurate Results

  • CENDI Meeting, Nov. 4, 2010

    More About You May Not Know

    • Goes where traditional search engines cannot go. Full-text documents if searchable on the target site are searchable via
    • Real-time search: If a target database adds a document or record, it is available on immediately
    • During the query, the most-relevant documents or records from each source are gathered – approx 100-200 from each source – and then the combined set is relevancy ranked
    • Topic and date clusters for search results – subtopics, publication years displayed on-the-fly to enable efficient drilling down
  • CENDI Meeting, Nov. 4, 2010

    Usage Continues to Grow Page View Totals (Dec 02 - Sep 10)

    FY10 - 5,166,126
    FY09 - 4,074,747
    FY08 - 2,946,801
    FY07 - 2,591,717
    FY06 - 2,593,449
    FY05 - 1,793,483
    FY04 - 965,146
    FY03 - 751,180
  • CENDI Meeting, Nov. 4, 2010

    Notable Achievements

    • Large voluntary collaboration between agencies is often cited as a model
    • Collaboration AND infrastructure served as model for; then became U.S.'s contributed content
    • Also a model for
    • A top 10 Google result for "science" with other major science outlets
    • Provides core project for spin-offs such as Science Internships, Aggregated Science News, Science Image Search – and more!
  • CENDI Meeting, Nov. 4, 2010 In the News is among 10 government websites "meeting and exceeding" the Obama Administration's transparency goals, according to a special report by Government Computer News, released July 27, 2009.
  • CENDI Meeting, Nov. 4, 2010
    Real Time Search?
    Relevancy Ranked?
    All Govt. Science?
    Known Sources?
    Scholarly Info?
    Ads? 5.0 X X X X X X X X X X  
    Google Scholar BETA   X     X X
    Google   X       X
  • CENDI Meeting, Nov. 4, 2010

    Content and Purpose: vs

    • Searches for science topics at the full record level
    • Ease of searching, with immediate, useful results
    • For the science-attentive citizen including researchers, teachers, students, business people, and the general public
    • A Google-like interface with an advanced option for power users
    • Drills down into the "deep web"
    • 2668 results for diabetes from 35 sources;
    • 2772 results for climate change from 38 sources
    • Searches at the source level only, not at the record level
    • Interface with search results pointing only to sources or databases
    • Emphasizes machine-readable datasets, available in raw formats; some files are quite large, ranging up to hundreds of megabytes
    • Data generally requires additional manipulation; of limited use to general public. Expect public interest groups, reporters, academics, and others to review information, build interfaces, and report on findings
    • Zero results for specific terms such as diabetes
    • One result (database pointer) for climate change
  • CENDI Meeting, Nov. 4, 2010

    Ready to use info. with user friendly interface?
    Record level information?
    Science research and results only?
    Information from multiple agencies?
    X X
    Repository of datasets and tools?
    Provides pointer to database/source?
    X X
  • CENDI Meeting, Nov. 4, 2010
    √ A perfect platform on which to launch new technologies
    • Access to new forms of STI
    • Translation
    • Precision searches
    • Image searching

  • CENDI Meeting, Nov. 4, 2010

    Future Opportunities

    What will 10.0 look like?
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