The free, federated search portal created by a group of sci-tech scholarly publishers made its official launch on Monday. Scitopia.org was announced in April (see the NewsBreak by Barbara Quint: http://newsbreaks.infotoday.com/nbReader.asp?ArticleId=35885) with 13 founding society partners. It has now added two more: AVS and the Acoustical Society of America. Visit the site to see the full list of publishers.
The beta site offers federated search of the content available from the partners—users can search all or just the ones they wish. Results include authors, titles, and sources. Users can click to connect to the full text at the publishers’ sites. Researchers at institutions with subscriptions to the content are authenticated and can click through. Other sites may offer pay-per-view options for individual article purchase. Scitopia.org also provides real-time updating—as soon as an article is loaded by a publisher it is searchable via Scitopia.org, unlike waiting for a search engine to spider it. Scitopia.org includes more than 3 million peer-reviewed articles and conference proceedings, 50 million patents from the world’s major patent offices, and full-test documents form the U.S. Department of Energy Information Bridge site.
At a luncheon hosted by the publishers in honor of the launch, many corporate and academic librarians—and some journalists—were given a look and demo. Though many applauded the project and thanked the publishing partners for their efforts, they had many questions and a lot of comments to offer. A mini-focus group session ensued. And, librarians aren’t shy about providing their opinions! Some of their suggested improvements are already on the to-do list, such as clustering, an aggregated RSS capability, and downloading to a bibliographic citations file. The publishers say that the tools and functions will continue to evolve and they intend to add more publishing partners. They are very anxious to hear feedback, so don’t be shy—tell them what you’d like to see.
Paula J. Hane
News Bureau Chief, ITI