In celebration of its silver anniversary, the Department of Science and Technology’s Science and Technology Information Institute will launch the first Philippine science and technology search engine. Dubbed science.ph, the STII-developed search engine will formally go live on February 24, 2012 at the Arts in the City located at Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City, Metro Manila.
science.ph is both a search engine and a comprehensive website that contains Philippine S&T information and databases. The site is geared to provide access to a great variety of science-related news, articles, blogs, photos, and videos, as well as to deliver accurate S&T information for Filipinos. This explains its tagline “Science for every Juan.”
“The science.ph project is a testament to DOST’s commitment in promoting science and technology awareness in the Philippines,” DOST-STII Director Raymund Liboro said. “It is the product of STII’s hard work for many years of compiling specialized information and developing systems to store and update these data, and making them accessible to users.”
“science.ph was developed for the use of researchers, teachers, students, communicators, or any individual who wants to know more about the latest breakthroughs and developments in the Philippine science scene,” added Aristotle Carandang, leader of the Changing the Mindset program that includes the development of science.ph.
According to Alfon Narquita, science.ph assistant project leader and head of STII’s IT unit that developed the site, science.ph works by collecting information from different sources like government institutions, academe, NGOs, and private sectors. When it comes to news content, science.ph uses RSS, short for Really Simple Syndication, to automatically feed content from DOST websites to science.ph. News from other sites are obtained through crawling or automatic gathering of information from the Web.
Narquita also emphasized that what makes science.ph distinct from popular search engines today is that it sources information through “hidden web.“ Unlike other search engines that skim through the Web, science.ph uses a deep search system that looks into databases. The “hidden web” contains databases not normally indexed by search engines, unless they have partnership with the content provider.
STII has indexed a number of Philippine S&T databases over the years and all of these can be accessed through science.ph. Partnership with various institutions also gave access to science.ph to search through their databases.
The search engine has indexed almost 300,000 records from 56 institutions -- academe, government, NGOs, private consortia, and others. “We have collected over 2,000 news articles from government institutes and online sources,” Narquita said.
Aside from news and other articles, science.ph also features photos and videos, press conferences via online streaming, promotional and instructional materials, including technology videos for livelihood.
science.ph is a one-stop shop for science information in the Philippines. Syndication has created a new pipe for disseminating information, thus the science.ph content is expected to expand more as other institutions will be invited to share their S&T information and materials to the site.
“Advertisements or information on science related activities, events, promotions, and programs will also be accommodated in science.ph,” according to Narquita.
The science.ph logo consists of blue and red semi-circles connected to each other, representing a continuing search for knowledge through strong partnership.
The middle eight-ringed yellow atom with a solid nucleus symbolizes the firm core of the Philippine science community; with three electrons moving about symbolizing the action, freedom and dynamism of Filipinos.
“It is also an artistic take on the Philippine flag but does not, in any way, dishonor it as it is one true national symbol of the Filipino pride,” Carandang said.(By Allan Ace MArfal)