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WorldWideScience is a global science Web gateway designed to accelerate scientific discovery and progress by accelerating the sharing of scientific knowledge. Through a multilateral partnership, WorldWideScience enables anyone with internet access to launch a single-query search of national scientific databases and portals in some 60 countries, covering all of the world’s inhabited continents and over three-quarters of the world’s population. From a user’s perspective, WorldWideScience makes the databases act as if they were a unified whole.

WorldWideScience implements federated searching to provide its coverage of global science and research results. Federated searching technology allows the information patron to search multiple data sources with a single query in real time. It provides simultaneous access to "deep web" scientific databases, which are typically not searchable by commercial search engines.


Features and abilities

WorldWideScience provides science search through a variety of features and abilities, including:

  • Clustering of results by subtopics or dates to help users target their search
  • Wikipedia results related to user search terms
  • Eureka Science News results related to user search terms
  • Mark and send option for emailing results to friends and colleagues
  • Enhanced information related to the user's real-time search
  • Alerts service


The concept of a global gateway to national science information sources was first described by Dr. Walter Warnick at the International Council for Scientific and Technical Information (ICSTI) annual meeting in Washington, DC, in 2006. The concept was formalized in January 2007 when the British Library and the United States Department of Energy signed a Statement of Intent to partner in the development of a global science gateway. Later officially named "WorldWideScience", the gateway was developed by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Scientific and Technical Information. The system was unveiled to ICSTI members and the public at the June 2007 ICSTI meeting in Nancy, France.

Since its release in June 2007, WorldWideScience has increased five-fold in both the number of data sources searched, along with the number of countries participating as information providers. The default search of WorldWideScience includes a search of the US contribution,, which tends to return scholarly information as opposed to lay information. A transition from bilateral management to a multilateral governance structure, called the WorldWideScience Alliance, occurred in 2008. A formal launch of the Alliance took place at the June 2008 ICSTI meeting in Seoul, Korea.


The WorldWideScience Alliance has an international membership, including CISTI (Canada), ISTIC (China), VTT (Finland), INIST (France), INASP, TIB (Germany), JST (Japan), KISTI (Korea), SciELO (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, Portugal, Spain, Venezuela), CSIR (South Africa), British Library, (United States), African Journals OnLine, and ICSTI.


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