Access a Million App Notes Through IEEE Xplore

More than a million documents containing practical, applied information on engineering topics are now available

7 February 2008

More than a million documents containing practical, applied information on engineering topics are now available through the IEEE Xplore digital library. Known as application notes, the documents have been published by organizations to explain, illustrate, or promote their technologies and products.

Although the notes are not created or endorsed by the IEEE, the institute has partnered with GlobalSpec, a technology search engine and information resource, to provide access to them. GlobalSpec helps locate technical articles, product specifications, and other types of online technical information. Last year the IEEE allowed GlobalSpec to index the documents in the IEEE Xplore digital library, so engineers searching GlobalSpec’s database would also find links to IEEE articles. They could then access the articles if they are IEEE members.

The IEEE and GlobalSpec expanded their relationship in November, making that engine’s search results available in IEEE Xplore.

It’s a new approach for the institute. “This is the first time we have had non-reviewed, non-IEEE content available through IEEE Xplore,” notes Phyllis Caputo, the IEEE’s senior product development manager in Piscataway, N.J., who oversaw the project. “Now, subscribers to IEEE Xplore can find this information without first having to go to another search engine.”

To find application notes, just search on your topic in the digital library. Links to notes are displayed alongside other search results, under their own heading, to set them apart from the IEEE information. Clicking on a link takes you to the document on the original publisher’s Web site.

Application notes are free to all users, and you do not need to be an IEEE or GlobalSpec subscriber to access them.

HOW USEFUL? The application notes are being provided through IEEE Xplore on an experimental basis. “We’re asking our users to tell us if this is the type of content they need,” Caputo says. To get that answer, users can rate each note to let the IEEE know if it was helpful. They can participate in a survey, available from any application notes search results page, which asks if the notes are useful and if the institute should continue to provide links to such non-IEEE-reviewed content.

The IEEE is analyzing statistics, including how often users read application notes in their search results and which search terms lead to the notes.

The agreement also marks the first time GlobalSpec has provided its search results outside of its own search engine, says Bruce Bergwall, GlobalSpec’s senior director of business development. “We see the IEEE as the premier site for engineers, and as a complement to what we do,” Bergwall says. “Collaborative opportunities like this are becoming more important to the engineering community.”

Look for application notes in your search results in IEEE Xplore.

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