Jun 052007

Scitopia.org, a search engine for scientific articles published by a coalition of scientific societies, was officially launched on 4 June. The service had been previously announced and commented on earlier (e.g. see Barbara Quint’s excellent piece in Information Today from April).

Scitopia is a federated search portal – that is, the search terms are sent simultaneously to the publications websites of the member societies, and the returned results ranked and presented on a single page. At present soem 3 million articles are covered.

The full list of societies is given on the Scitopia website, and includes a number of American Institute of Physics member societies, plus ASME, SIAM, IEEE, Institute of Physics, etc. Some patents and (US?) government data are also covered

It’s not clear to me why a scientist would prefer to use Scitopia rather than say Google Scholar or Scirus. Sciptopia say that one potential advantage is the Scitopia results will be more up-to-date, as there can be a several week delay between Google Scholar’s spider visits. But against that, searches will be run against a much-reduced universe, excluding for instance all the commercial publishers such as Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Springer, Taylor & Francis, etc.

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