Frequently Asked Questions

What does search?
The Basic Search at searches over 60 scientific databases and an index of over 2200 federal agency Web sites. These authoritative, selective sources are chosen by member agencies of the Alliance. The Advanced Search capability at allows the patron to limit their search to specific databases or categories.

What is the Alliance?
The Alliance is a group of science mission departments, agencies and programs that have agreed to work together voluntarily to produce Vision and strategic direction are provided by the Alliance principals. Administration is provided by the chair or co-chairs selected from among the Alliance members. Task groups have been created as needed to handle the development of the taxonomy, to support content development and Web site management and to conduct promotional and outreach activities. Major support is provided by CENDI, a working group of high level scientific and technical information managers in science mission agencies.

What is included in and what is not included? (selection criteria) includes sites that are rich in science content. The content may consist of scientific or technical data, publications, databases, documentation, or other forms of information. The content might also be science resources such as scientific user facilities, experts in scientific disciplines, or contacts to consult for assistance.

It does not include sites that are merely organization home pages. It does not include sites that require a password or other access privilege. Sites must also be well maintained. is hosted by the Department of Energy at the Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI).

What is the difference between and collections/gateways to government science information made available elsewhere?
The major difference is source and authority of the information. Rather than automatically collecting the sites using spiders as private sector gateways might do, the sites are selected by agency information managers and librarians as representing authoritative government science information. The information content results from government-funded research and development or similar activities in which there is a U.S. Government investment. The agencies are responsible for the content of their respective sites that are included in

How often will be updated? will be kept current, with each component having a regular schedule for update. Databases will be added throughout the year on a periodic basis. The deep Web database search updates immediately so that each search is current. The websites index is reindexed each time sources are added.