The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has long had a productive relationship with CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research. Today, that partnership reached a new level of scientific collaboration, thanks to CERN's opening of its scientific multimedia collections to searches by ScienceCinema.
ScienceCinema was developed by the DOE Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) to allow the spoken words of video recordings to be searched in precise and time-saving fashion. It uses the Microsoft Research Audio Video Indexing System (MAVIS), a speech recognition technology developed by partner Microsoft Research. And it makes some of the DOE's – and now CERN's – most exciting research more visible to researchers and the public.
"As more and more DOE and CERN research results are recorded in multimedia formats, searching these files becomes increasingly important," said OSTI Director, Dr. Walter Warnick. "ScienceCinema can play a significant role in delivering the precision searching already common in our text-based databases."
CERN IT Department Head Frédéric Hemmer said, "It is very exciting to see increased visibility for the results of basic science, especially in the multimedia formats. We expect this collaboration to yield even more access in the near future as to how we probe some of the Universe's secrets."
Microsoft Senior Vice President Rick Rashid noted that the partnership is clearing a path forward for increased access to important reservoirs of research information. "The DOE and CERN are on the cutting edge of adopting technologies that go beyond text and allow people to search for spoken words," said Rashid. "This is the way forward to give the scientific and research communities and the public access to vast amounts of important multimedia content."
OSTI, within the Office of Science, launched ScienceCinema in February 2011 with approximately 1,000 hours of scientific videos produced by DOE national laboratories and research facilities. CERN then volunteered its multimedia material, and a partnership was formed with OSTI to apply the speech indexing technology to CERN files and to make them searchable through ScienceCinema. The first installment of CERN multimedia content has now been added to ScienceCinema, and additional content will be added on an ongoing basis. CERN's growing collection of scientific multimedia includes over 5,000 video and audio files.
DOE's Office of Science is the single largest Federal government supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, providing more than 40 percent of total Federal funding for this vital area of national importance. CERN is one of the world's leading particle physics laboratories and has its headquarters in Geneva. OSTI works to ensure that researchers and the public have quick access to the results of these important research investments.