Developing the World's Digital Collection on Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy

Emil Levine
Head, INIS Clearinghouse
International Atomic Energy Agency
International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

The International Nuclear Information System (INIS) of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is now producing the world's foremost digital collection on the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. During the developmental period, both the Secretariat in Vienna and Member States inputting centers had to revise procedures that had been in place for 25 years. The project must be administered in a manner that is consistent with the capabilities of the decentralized inputting centers in both highly developed and developing countries, a challenge that requires diplomacy as well as an understanding of information technologies, capabilities and requirements in a multicultured, world-wide organization. Because of the decentralized nature of INIS, the Secretariat and Member States can be considered Users, Developers and Maintainers. The development of this digital collection opens new possibilities for world-wide document delivery, including CD-ROM, faxback, linking images to bibliographic databases for viewing over the WWW, linking full text images to the INIS database on CD-ROM, and development of a virtual library. Of particular significance is the fact that the cost of the digital collection is approximately one third the price of the same collection on microfiche. Under future consideration is use of a microfiche to image scanner for backfile conversion of selected portions of the existing database (318,000 reports), repackaging documents by subject (e.g., Nuclear Waste Management) and use of DVD to reduce the number of CD-ROMs required for the database.