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Nations agree on governance of global science gateway


Ottawa, ON – The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) has joined a multilateral alliance to govern a quickly growing online access point to the world’s research information, called WorldWideScience.org.

Officials representing 38 countries, including Canada, met on June 12 in Seoul, Korea, to move WorldWideScience.org from a partnership-based organization to an organization governed by a multinational alliance. The NRC Canada Insitute for Scientific and Technical Information (NRC-CISTI) was part of the delegation that signed the founding and purpose document for WorldWideScience Alliance restating the alliance’s goal to provide a single, sophisticated point of access to diverse scientific resources and knowledge from nations around the world.

“Canada is a proud founding member of WorldWideScience,” said Dr Pierre Coulombe, NRC president. “We believe that WorldWideScience will help us carry out our strategy of putting science to work for Canada by offering Canadians increased access to global scientific knowledge.”

The WorldWideScience Alliance website will provide anyone who has Internet access with free real-time search of national scientific databases, such as NRC-CISTI’s collection, the collection of the Canadian Agriculture Library (CAL), as well as the NRC-CISTI-Myilibrary eBook Loans collection, from around the globe. WorldWideScience will allow users to query from over 200 million pages of science and technology information that would not be available through popular search engines.

This alliance began as a bilateral intent-to-partner agreement, signed in January 2007 by under secretary for science of the US department of energy, Dr Raymond Orbach, and Dame Lynne Brindley, chief executive of the British Library. Other nations were then invited to join the collaboration and the transition to multilateral governance began in June 2007 at the International Council for Scientific and Technical Information (ICSTI) General Assembly in Nancy, France. It was then formally established to serve as the permanent governance structure for WorldWideScience with eleven founding member organizations representing 38 countries. In addition to the member countries, ICSTI will serve as a member and primary sponsor for WorldWideScience.