Science.gov signed on to membership in the WorldWideScience Alliance, as government officials gathered on June 12 in Seoul, Korea, to establish multilateral governance of the rapidly growing online gateway to the world’s research information.
“Not only does WorldWideScience.org deliver global information easily, it provides vastly increased exposure of data and information at a very low cost to the sponsoring organizations – the economies of scale are breathtaking,” said Eleanor Frierson, Deputy Director, National Agricultural Library and co-chair of the Science.gov Alliance. Science.gov, the online gateway to 50 million pages of information from 13 U.S. government science agencies, is the U.S. contribution to WorldWideScience.org and a founding member of the newly established WorldWideScience Alliance. Frierson serves as Science.gov’s representative to the WorldWideScience Alliance, and Tom Lahr, Deputy Associate Chief Biologist for Information, U.S. Geological Survey and co-chair of the Science.gov Alliance, serves as alternate.
WorldWideScience.org provides anyone with Internet access free real-time search of 32 national scientific databases and portals in 44 countries, covering six continents and nearly half of the world’s population. The typical user query searches 200 million pages of science and technology information not generally accessible through popular search engine technology. Results are returned rapidly in relevance ranked order. The global science gateway was designed to put more science in the hands of more people faster and more conveniently than ever before so that discovery is accelerated.
The governance document laying out the structure for the WorldWideScience Alliance was ratified in February at the International Council for Scientific and Technical Information (ICSTI) 2008 Winter Meeting in Paris, France. The Alliance was established to serve as the permanent governance structure of WorldWideScience.org and consists of 11 founding member organizations representing 38 countries. In addition to member countries, ICSTI will serve as a member and primary sponsor.
An election of officers for the Alliance’s executive board was held in early April. Richard Boulderstone, director for British Library-Strategy and Information Systems, was elected chair; Pam Bjornson, director general, Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information, was elected deputy chair; and Tae-Sul Seo, senior researcher, Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information, was elected treasurer. The executive board will also include two ex-officio members: WorldWideScience.org Operating Agent, Walter Warnick, U.S. Department of Energy Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI); and ICSTI President, Herbert Gruttemeier, French Institut de l’Information Scientifique et Technique. Yvonne Halland, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, South Africa, will serve as an at-large member.
Other founding members include African Journals OnLine (AJOL); German National Library of Science and Technology; Institut de l’Information Scientifique et Technique (France); Japan Science and Technology Agency; Scientific Electronic Library Online (SciELO); and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.
The DOE Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) serves as the WorldWideScience.org Operating Agent and hosts both WorldWideScience.org and Science.gov.