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SPIE joins with sci-tech societies to create super research site

Scitopia.org searches 3 million articles, spanning 150 years of scholarship

By Stacey Crockett

April 16, 2007 (Bellingham, WA) - SPIE has joined with 14 of the world's leading science and technology societies to create more direct access to their collective content. In June, the group will launch scitopia.org, a free federated vertical search portal that will enable users to explore the research most cited in scholarly work and patents in a single click.


Scitopia.org will aggregate the entire electronic libraries of the leading voices in major science and technology disciplines. More than three million documents, including peer-reviewed journal content and conference proceedings, spanning 150 years of science and technology will be searched through this dedicated gateway. Founding partners include:

Acoustical Society of America (ASA)
American Geophysical Union (AGU)
American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
American Physical Society (APS)
American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
American Vacuum Society (AVS)
The Electrochemical Society (ECS)
IEEE
Institute of Physics Publishing (IOP)
Optical Society of America (OSA)
SPIE
Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE)
Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM)


Other organizations will be invited to join as the project progresses.


"The scitopia.org search will be focused on the best in sci-tech research with vetted, authoritative content," said Barbara Lange, Director of Product Line Management and Publishing Business Development for IEEE. "Our goal in developing scitopia.org is not to provide yet another search portal, but rather to provide a platform where this highly cited content can be found with greater ease, unencumbered by the noise of the Internet."


"Because of the breadth of the partnership behind it, researchers will be able to explore multiple disciplines at once," said Tim Ingoldsby, AIP's Director of Strategic Initiatives and Business Development. "We feel scitopia.org will provide new insights, opening the door to resources that researchers might not have considered."


Visitors to scitopia.org will be presented with a simple, but function-rich interface. They will be able to search for full text articles using a fielded approach, for example, by article title or author name. Searches will be narrowed to gather very specific publisher content or broadened to scan the complete databases of all the partners. Search results will include the article's title, authors and citation. Once a piece of content is selected, the user will be directed to the publisher's digital library site to access the full text. Researchers at institutions with subscriptions to the content will be automatically authenticated and will be able to click through to it. Members of partner societies may also be able to access full text, depending upon the association's membership policies. Pay-per-view options will allow others to purchase as many articles as they choose.


As a federated search, no new subscriptions are needed to use scitopia.org. For example, a subscriber to a single journal published by SPIE could access the content via scitopia.org or through the SPIEDigitalLibrary.org. Additionally, because scitopia.org links directly to each society's digital library, searching will access real-time information, providing the most current research.


"Scitopia.org's aim is to provide powerful, focused aggregation and an additional access point to the highest quality scientific research available on the web today. It's an exciting collaboration and we're exhilarated by the plans we already have in place for ongoing and continuous development," said Terry Hulbert, Head of Electronic Development & Strategy at IOP. "Scitopia.org will offer the most direct route to the very latest research, within hours of it appearing on the web."


About scitopia.org
The federated vertical search portal scitopia.org was created through the imagination and collaboration of 13 leading science and technology societies: Acoustical Society of America (asa.aip.org); American Geophysical Union (www.agu.org); American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics (www.aiaa.org); American Institute of Physics (www.aip.org); American Physical Society (www.aps.org); American Society of Civil Engineers (www.asce.org); American Society of Mechanical Engineers (www.asme.org); American Vacuum Society (www.avs.org); The Electrochemical Society (www.electrochem.org); IEEE (www.ieee.org); Institute of Physics Publishing (www.iop.org); Optical Society of America (www.osa.org); SPIE (spie.org); Society of Automotive Engineers (www.sae.org); and, Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (www.siam.org). Scitopia.org will go live June 2007.