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DOE Partners With British Library on "" Initiative

LONDON, ENGLAND -- Dr. Raymond L. Orbach, Under Secretary for Science of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), yesterday signed an agreement with Lynne Brindley, Chief Executive, the British Library, to partner on the development of a global science gateway.  The gateway would eventually make science information resources of many nations accessible via a single Internet portal.

"It is timely to make the science offerings of all nations searchable through one global gateway," Dr. Orbach said.  "Science is international, and centralizing access will enhance the rate of scientific discovery.  It is a privilege to be associated with such a venture."  The agreement notes that international collaboration is essential to revolutionary advances in science. 

Science projects are becoming increasingly international in scope, with researchers across the globe collaborating on projects as diverse as energy, linear colliders, genomes and the environment.  Projects such as ITER, the large-scale international fusion energy research effort, and the particle accelerator known as the Large Hadron Collider are being conducted as major international collaborations.

Dubbed "," the planned resource would be available to scientists in all nations and to anyone interested in science.  The approach will capitalize on existing technology to search vast collections of science information distributed around the globe, enabling much-needed access to smaller, less well-known sources of highly valuable science.  Following the model of, the U.S. interagency science portal that relies on content published by each participating agency, "" will rely on scientific resources published by each participating nation.  Other countries have been invited to participate in this international effort.

The U.S. and Great Britain have recognized the importance of providing their citizens with one-stop electronic access to increasing volumes of science information, with a growing sense of the need for reciprocity and sharing of science knowledge across national boundaries.

Objectives of the "" initiative are to:

  • Search dispersed, electronic collections in various science disciplines;
  • Provide direct, seamless and free searching of open-source collections and portals;
  • Build upon existing and already successful national models for searching;
  • Complement existing information collections and systems; and
  • Raise the visibility and usage of individual sources of quality science information.

DOE's Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) ( will work with the British Library ( and international counterparts to develop a prototype of "" in 2007.

OSTI has extensive experience in offering searching of distributed, deep web databases, having played a central role in the development of (, the U.S. government's one-stop searchable portal to major science databases of federal science agencies.  Through and other OSTI web products, scientists and citizens access U.S. R&D results over 50 million times per year.

DOE's Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the nation and helps ensure U.S. world leadership across a broad range of scientific disciplines. For more information about the Office of Science, go to

Media contact(s):

Jeff Sherwood, (202) 586-5806