Global science portal goes multilingual

Energy teams up with international science groups to launch portal that offers search in 9 languages

WorldWideScience.org today launched a multilingual site that lets users search databases in China, Russia, France and several Latin American countries and receive search results in one of nine languages.

The site was first launched three years ago by the Energy Department and the British Library, along with science and technology organizations in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Japan and the Netherlands.

Much scientific literature is published in English, but a lot is not, Energy officials said. And the pace of non-English scientific publishing is increasing.

“In an increasingly interconnected world, resolving the global challenges of science requires rapid communication of scientific knowledge,” said William Brinkman, director of the Energy Department’s Office of Science. “Breaking the language barrier through WorldWideScience.org will help erode borders and build research networks across DOE, the nation and around the globe.”

Multilingual WorldWideScience.org will benefit the English-speaking science community as well as speakers of other major languages — Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Russian — by translating search results. The program will add more languages in the months ahead.

WorldWideScience.org employs federated search technology, a search method that simultaneously executes a query against an array of databases, then aggregates and ranks the results. It gives users a single entry point for searching far-flung science portals in parallel with only one query. WorldWideScience.org searches national scientific databases in 65 countries, which contain 400 million pages.

About the Author

Trudy Walsh is a senior writer for GCN.

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