Search Engines, etc. for finding Free Online STEM Resources

“Search Engines and Beyond: A Toolkit for Find­ing Free Online Resources for Sci­ence, Tech­nol­ogy and Engi­neer­ing“
By Nedelina Tchangalova and Francy Stil­well, Uni­ver­sity of Maryland

in the Spring, 2012 issue of Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy Librar­i­an­ship  [ ]

NTIS launches National Technical Reports Library Version 3.0 – 16 May 2012


“The National Technical Information Service (NTIS) of the U.S. Department of Commerce has announced the launch of the next generation National Technical Reports Library Version 3.0, also known as NTRL V3.0.

The NTRL V3.0 is now publicly available after two years of research and development. Through the utilisation of the open-source platform Fedora/SOLR, the NTRL V3.0 builds upon the successes of previous iterations by offering the public online access to the large NTIS repository of scientific and technical information through the use of enhanced functionalities, features and improved display.

The NTIS repository consists of over 2 million bibliographic records representing billions of dollars in federally-funded research performed over the past 70 years with a broad scope of Scientific, Technical & Engineering Information (STEI) subject coverage. NTIS sought to improve dissemination of STEI, and economic, social and environmental information by permanently enlarging, preserving and providing ready access to its repository.

The NTIS seeks to actively collect, preserve and disseminate STEI and other information thereby supporting the Department of Commerce mission to promote U.S. economic growth by providing access to information that stimulates innovation and discovery. The NTRL V3.0 represents the NTIS commitment to ensuring access to this invaluable repository is affordable, convenient, and widely available to the academic, corporate, library and government communities, and to the public-at-large.

The NTRL V3.0 was developed by the Federal Science Repository Service (FSRS) a public-private partnership between NTIS and Information International Associates, Inc. (IIa) of Oak Ridge, TN. The intent of the public-private partnership was to create an Institutional Repository (IR) Service for federal agencies.”

Source: Knowledgespeak Newsletter, May 16, 2012

TRY, Initiative on Plant Traits — database

Welcome to the TRY Initiative on Plant Traits

Quantifying and scaling global plant trait diversity

A network of vegetation scientists jointly headed by
DIVERSITAS, IGBP and the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry

Main objectives:

  • Construction of a global database of plant functional traits
  • Make the data available for the ecological community
  • Support the design of a new generation of global vegetation models

There is a link to a detailed article which has just been published in Global Change Biology.

Database of Genomic Structural Variation (dbVar)


From NIH News: “The National Institutes of Health today announces the launch of a new resource, called the Database of Genomic Structural Variation, or dbVar, to help scientists understand how differences in DNA contribute to human health and disease.”.

Thanks to Tara Calishain and her newsletter, ResearchBuzz, October 4, 2010

OSTI, the science & technology portal of the U.S. Government

OSTI, the Office of Science and Technology Information is worth bookmarking.  It serves as a portal for most of the federal goverment’s information, reports and data for 18 agencies:

Agriculture,Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health & Human Services, Interior, Transportation, Environmental Protection Agency, Library of Congress, National Aeronautics & Space Administration, National Archives & Records Adminstration, National Science Foundation, and the US Government Publications Office.

Terminology and thesauri might help in your information searches.

This site is a gateway to DOE collections at, global science via, scientific research data as an open government initiative, and the OSTIblog.

Much of this, they declare, is outside Google’s purview — in the “deep web.”

Free alerting service now available via “DOE Science Accelerator”

"Deep Web Technologies powers alert service in DOE Science Accelerator – 31 Mar 2010

Federated search services provider Deep Web Technologies, US, has announced that its Explorit Research Accelerator technology is powering a new alerts service for science researchers via the DOE Science Accelerator. With the new service, researchers can expect to receive information about new DOE resources relevant to them.

Users of the free service create a personalised profile of searches related to their areas of interest. The service performs these searches on users’ behalf every week and e-mails the users notifications of newly published results.

Science Accelerator is projected as a gateway to DOE-related science information, including R&D results, project descriptions, accomplishments and other authoritative information, via resources made available by the US Department of Energy’s Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI). The service searches 10 major DOE databases and portals, including hundreds of thousands of full-text documents going back to 1991 and many more citations going back to the Manhattan Project era. Science Accelerator resources are incorporated into, also hosted by OSTI. is incorporated into another product maintained by OSTI, This is expected to expose Science Accelerator resources to a global audience.

OSTI created Science Accelerator and introduced it to the public in April 2007. Explorit, Deep Web Technologies’ federated search system, allows Science Accelerator users to search the 10 databases simultaneously in real-time and from a single search box. Relevant results from all sources are compared against one another, ranked for relevance, and displayed in a single search results page."

Source:  Knowledgespeak Newsletter

Scitopia now with streamlined links to RefWorks

"Federated search services provider Deep Web Technologies, US, has announced that its federated search product, Explorit Research Accelerator, now includes seamless integration with RefWorks, a web-based solution for citations management."

source: Knowledgespeak Newsletter, July 30, 2009

Scitopia was developed by 21 top technological and scientific societies.  It is a freely available database mainly in physics and engineering.  Component societies are listed on a webpage off  It lists papers going back as early as 1665, some of which are digitized.

Full text is offered on a pay-per-view basis, so currently it is better to search Princeton’s subscription databases which have links to our full-text subscription resources.  INSPEC  and Compendex  cover even more resources than Scitopia.  IEEE  — Xplore & IEL — are other overlapping subscription databases we have, and they are completely full-text.

DOE’s Office of Scientific &Technical Information has new look and improved navigation

"The website for the Department of Energy Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is sporting a fresh look with improved navigation pathways to our products and services.  Direct links to,, and are featured, as well as a listing of DOE databases by content type. Our new features, Science Showcase and From the Director, highlight exciting ideas, science information, tools and services. Our Suggested Tags cloud provides ideas on how to tag our website information and offers an easy path to users’ favorite pages. Our interactive features can be found in the Read, Listen and Share box. While we know there will be a learning curve, we hope you find the OSTI website more in tune with the needs of today’s web users."

Let us know what you think.

From Tim Byrne at OSTI, to the Science & Technology Division of SLA, via direct email.

VADLO — a search engine for the Life Sciences

VADLO search engine, developed by 2 biologists, caters to all branches of biomedicine and life sciences. Searchers may delve within five categories: Protocols, Online Tools, Seminars, Databases and Software.

"Protocols category will let you search for methods, techniques, assays, procedures, reagent recipes, plasmid maps, etc. Online Tools will cater calculators, servers, prediction tools, sequence alignment and manipulation tools, primer design etc. Seminars are essentially powerpoint files for presentations, lectures and talks. Databases will take you to, well, databases, resources, compilations, lists etc. It is here that you can also search for your favorite genes and proteins. Software category is for bioinformatics experts who are looking for codes, scripts, algorithms, executables, downloadable programs and collaborations"

Direct to VADLO

Taken from the VADLO site, and reproduced in the latest ResourceShelf Newsletter, No. 397.

Technical Report & Image Library – TRAIL

I just learned of this database of technical reports housed at Manoa, Univ. of Hawaii, via the Chemical Information Listserv — from the Univ. of Arkansas’ Engineering and Math Librarian.

"TRAIL-Technical Report Archive and Image Library: a collaborative project to digitize, archive, and provide persistent and unrestricted access to federal technical reports issued prior to 1975."

Actually, they have reports from much later than 1975.  Browsing is available, as well as detailed search functionality.


  • Total reports in database: 1052
  • Total fulltexts in database: 330
  • Total images in database: 946

Organizations Involved:
The Greater Western Library Alliance (GWLA – and the Center for Research Libraries (CRL – are collaborating on a pilot project.

These are picked up by Google, not (necessarily?)  Google Scholar, and not by Scirus. Scopus and  U.S. Government databases will pick up (index) the reports, but probably won’t link to the full texts.