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Newsletter of the Federal Depository Library Program

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Cumulative Table of Contents Vol. 1 - present [ PDF ] ( includes current issue )

June 15, 2004

GP 3.16/3-2:25/07
(Vol. 25, no. 07)

Science.gov 2.0 Launched

[Text provided by Department of Energy.]

Interagency science portal delivers significant advance in government information retrieval

Science.gov (www.science.gov/), the public’s "go to" Web portal for the vast stores of Federal science information, has made searching for information easier for the user. At a roll-out on May 11, Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham launched the new search version of Science.gov which includes ranking the relevance of results to the users’ question.

While retaining the content and advances originally unveiled in December 2002, Science.gov 2.0 will search its 47 million pages of government R&D results and present the results to patrons in relevancy-ranked order. This new technology sorts through the government’s reservoirs of research and rapidly returns information in an order more likely to meet patrons’ needs.

The Web portal is made possible through a collaboration of 12 major science agencies forming a coalition called the Science.gov Alliance.

The Department of Energy, which hosts the site through its Office of Scientific and Technical Information, funded the R&D of a new relevancy-ranking technology by a company called Deep Web Technologies. The technology was applied to meta-searches in the deep Web where traditional search engines cannot go.

Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham on May 11 launched Science.gov 2.0, considered the next major step in government science information retrieval. Secretary Abraham had strong praise for the Alliance members.

"These agencies together have combined innovative technology, forward thinking and hard work to build an invaluable science resource," Secretary Abraham said. "From the most current information on new technologies, to historical research results, to the most promising medical advancements, Science.gov connects citizens to the world of science."

According to Eleanor Frierson, co-chair of the Science.gov Alliance and Deputy Director of the National Agricultural Library, the Version 2.0 advance is one of many yet to come for the government’s FirstGov for science.

"The Science.gov team is already working on Science.gov 3.0, expected in 2005," said Frierson. "We plan to continue collaborating across agencies to further ease public access to science and technology information."

The Science.gov Web portal – considered the one-stop gateway to reliable Federal science and technology information – has grown to provide its unique search capability to 30 databases and 1,700 Web sites. The information at Science.gov is free. No registration is required.

Science.gov allows users to search for information based on subject, rather than by the agency sponsoring it. Visitors to the Web site can access information on an array of science disciplines.

Science.gov is made possible through the collaboration of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services and Interior, as well as the Environmental Protection Agency, the Government Printing Office, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the National Science Foundation, with support from the National Archives and Records Administration.

Secretary Abraham, Dr. Raymond L. Orbach, Director of DOE’s Office of Science, and Dr. Walter Warnick, Director of OSTI, spoke at the ceremonial event. On hand were Science.gov Alliance co-chairs Frierson and Tom Lahr, Deputy Chief, Biologic Informatics Program, US Geological Survey.

Also in attendance were Bruce James, Public Printer of the United States, Government Printing Office and Dr. Rodney Brown, Deputy Under Secretary of Research, Education and Economics at the United States Department of Agriculture.

About 100 people attended the ceremony held at the Forrestal Building in Washington, DC.