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An Interagency Model for Collaboration and Operation. Interagency Portal for Science Education Meeting National Academies of Science March 18, 2009 Sharon Jordan Assistant Director Office of Scientific and Technical Information Office of Science U. S. Department of Energy.

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An interagency model for collaboration and operation

An Interagency Model for Collaboration and Operation

Interagency Portal for Science Education Meeting

National Academies of Science

March 18, 2009

Sharon Jordan

Assistant Director

Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Office of Science

U. S. Department of Energy

Why science gov

  • Information seekers* need to find U.S. government scientific and technical information quickly and easily, but information is dispersed across thousands of websites (“surface web”) and databases (“deep web”) at agencies, departments, and laboratories.

  • The majority (>84%1) of the public uses large search engines rather than seek out individual online databases, thus a “Google-like” easy search with relevant results was desired.

    *Seekers include researchers, entrepreneurs, students, educators, policymakers, program managers, or the science-aware citizen with an interest in science and technology

    1 Perceptions of Library and Information Resources, OCLC survey report, 2005.

What is science gov
What Is

  • A cross-agency search that unifies and simplifies access to selected U.S. government websites and databases that contain scientific and technical information

  • The “” science portal (formerly “FirstGov for Science”)

  • A voluntary large-scale collaboration among U.S. government agencies

A Unique Collaboration with Tangible Results!

Science gov finds content from 200 million pages at 1 950 websites and 38 databases with one query Finds Content from 200 Million Pages at 1,950+ Websites and 38 Databases with One Query

  • Searches selected websites (“surface web”) and databases (“deep web”) from one search point

  • Combines results from all sources searched, ranks and displays them by relevance

  • Sends weekly “alerts” for user-defined topics of interest

  • Displays Wikipedia and EurekAlert items related to search term

  • Provides browsing of selected websites

  • Links to special collections and other information

  • Featured search and sites highlight hot topics

Science gov databases

AGRICOLA  Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN

DefenseLINK Website  DOT National Transportation Library Integrated Search  DTIC S & T Database  National Institute of Standards and Technology Data Gateway  U.S. Patent & Trademark Office Database

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)  SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

NBII National Biological Information Infrastructure

NOAA Photo Library  USGS Publications Warehouse

DOE Information Bridge  Energy Citations Database

EPA Pesticides Factsheets  EPA Science Inventory  HSDB Hazardous Substances Databank NEW  National Service for Environmental Publications (NSCEP)

National Technical Information Service (NTIS) NEW  Centers Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER) 

Center for Drug Evaluation (CDER)   MedlinePLUS PubMed  PubMed Central NEW  TOXLINE Toxicology Bibliographic Information NEW

DOE Information Bridge  DOepatents NEW  DOE R&D Accomplishments Database NEW  Energy Citations Database 

Eprint Network NEW


ERIC Education Resources Information Center  NSDL National Science Digital Library  NSF Publications Database

Agriculture & Food Databases

Applied Science & Technologies

Astronomy & Space

Biology & Nature

Earth & Ocean Sciences

Energy & Energy Conservation

Environment & Environmental Quality

General Science

Health & Medicine

Math, Physics & Chemistry (Physical Sciences)

Natural Resources & Conservation

Science Education

How did it begin
How Did It Begin?

  • Two workshops spawned origin:

    • 2000: Explored concept of a physical

      science information infrastructure.

      This prompted interagency involvement.

    • 2001: “Strengthening the Public Information

      Infrastructure for Science”

  • Participants included federal agencies, academia, information professionals

    and science experts.

  • The interagency Alliance was formed in response to the 2001 workshop.

  • was launched in 2002.

An interagency model for collaboration and operation

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

An interagency model for collaboration and operation

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 through advice and two grants

    • Member agencies - provided ~200 staff members to working teams

    • U.S.Geological Survey - manages website search engine

    • Commerce’s NTIS - created initial catalog of websites

    • Information International Associates, Inc. - secretariat support

    • DOE/OSTI - conceived idea, developed technologies/deep web search

      and hosts website

    • Department of Agriculture and USGS – provided Alliance co-chairs

An interagency model for collaboration and operation


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

  • Support and coordination by CENDI – an interagency forum of senior managers

An interagency model for collaboration and operation Creation 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

An interagency model for collaboration and operation

Collaboration Is Key

  • Alliance enjoys extraordinary voluntary collaboration

  • Vision and strategic direction provided by Alliance principals

  • Administration provided by Chair(s) selected from Alliance

  • Technical team provides 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

The funding approach
The Funding Approach

  • Built and maintained with “in-kind” contributions: each agency’s staff and existing information resources

  • Initial development benefitted from CIO Council e-gov grants totaling over $170,000 for catalog + initial deep web search

  • Alliance annual dues fund routine operations

  • CENDI support leverages resources

  • In-kind contributions for special events

  • “Pass the hat” contributions to take advantage of an opportunity, such as Version 3.0 development

Guiding principles for content
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)

  • Only freely available content that is well maintained

Content management is distributed
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 are indexed nightly by USGS

  • 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 hosts the website and serves as operations manager

An interagency model for collaboration and operation - A Living Website

  • Phase 1

    • Created core policy team, technical design team

    • Agreed on goals, policies, designs

    • Created taxonomy

    • Selected, cataloged and indexed agency resources

  • Version 2.0 launched May 2004

    • Introduced relevancy ranking of metasearch results

    • One-step search across ALL databases

    • Added advanced search

  • Version 3.0

    • Enhanced precision searching, metarank & boolean/fielded searching

    • Other types of science content explored

  • Version 4.0

    • Enhanced relevancy ranking (DeepRank)

    • Full-text relevancy ranking ( 4.0 grid)

  • An interagency model for collaboration and operation - A Living Website

    • Version 5.0

      • Provides the ultimate science search through new and innovative features

      • Accesses 38 databases and almost 2000 websites with 200 million pages of science information via 1 query

      • Clustering of results by subtopics or dates to help target your search

      • Wikipedia results related to your search terms

      • EurekaAlert News results related to your search terms

      • Mark and send option to email results to friends and colleagues

      • More science sources for a more thorough search

      • Enhanced information related to your real-time search

      • New look and feel

      • Updated Alerts Service

    An interagency model for collaboration and operation

    The Alliance Members’ Page

    Provides links to administration information, meeting minutes, usage statistics, content selection and cataloging guidelines, subject category information, and outreach materials such as presentations and flyers.

    Science gov metadata input system collaborative content management Metadata Input System: Collaborative Content Management

    Provides Alliance members and content managers a secure tool to quickly retrieve Agency metadata, add or edit resource records, and expedite the maintenance and quality control of the metadata and URLs.

    An interagency model for collaboration and operation

    Agency Content Managers Identify New Websites To Be Crawled/Indexed

    The Metadata Input System “Add Record” page allows Alliance content managers to add new records using agency, subject category and other fields.

    An interagency model for collaboration and operation

    The Records List Can Be Viewed by Agency Crawled/Indexed

    The Metadata Input System “View All Records” option provides an administrative view of all active records in by agency and how they are categorized.

    An interagency model for collaboration and operation

    Science Education Topics on One Small Step for Access to STEM Resources

    FICE Provided

    Science Education


    Science education topics on science gov now ready for unique access to stem resources
    Science Education Topics on Now Ready for Unique Access to STEM Resources




    An interagency model for collaboration and operation

    Questions? Comments? Unique Access to STEM Resources

    Sharon Jordan

    Assistant Director


    Operating Agent for