Scitopia.org, a search engine that scours the digital libraries of the IEEE and other leading science and technology societies, has grown by four more scholarly societies. The engine has added the Royal Society, the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Audio Engineering Society, and the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, bringing the number of participating groups to 19. The Web site launched in October with 15 member societies, after running as a test site since June.
Using the search engine, researchers can locate the newest technical papers more easily than they could using more general engines like Google or Yahoo.com. This is possible because Scitopia.org relies on what’s called a federated search—it only scans Web sites associated with its members. These organizations’ works are usually also among the most cited in other publications, a measure of their importance to researchers. A search engine like Google must “crawl” over a whole host of databases. But scitopia.org’s federated search goes only to its member Web sites, so the usual search clutter containing sources of little relevance is eliminated.
MILLIONS AND MILLIONS Scitopia has at its disposal some 3.5 million documents as well as more than 50 million patents from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the Japan Patent Office, and the European Patent Office.
Scitopia searches journals and conference proceedings and compiles a list of documents based on the search criteria. Users can find articles by title or author name, or by key words.
Once an interesting article abstract is found in the source list returned by the engine, users are directed to the publisher’s digital library. They can access the article by purchasing it, or they can download it if they already subscribe to the publication in which the article appears.
In addition to the IEEE and the four new societies, users are able to scan the entire electronic libraries of the Acoustical Society of America, American Geophysical Union, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, American Institute of Physics, American Physical Society, American Society of Civil Engineers , American Society of Mechanical Engineers, American Vacuum Society, Electrochemical Society, Institute of Physics Publishing, Optical Society of America, Society of Automotive Engineers, Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, and SPIE, as well as the libraries of the patent organizations. More societies are expected to be added soon