February 2006
International Cyberinfrastructure: Activities Around the Globe
Masao Sakauchi, Shigeki Yamada, Noboru Sonehara, Shigeo Urushidani, Jun Adachi, Kazunobu Konishi, National Institute of Informatics (NII), Tokyo, Japan
Satoshi Matuoka, Tokyo Institute of Technology / NII

5. Provision of Academic Digital Contents in CSI
5.1 NII's Scholarly Information Services

NII provides a wide range of academic digital contents services that contribute to the research activities of CSI. In April 2005, NII launched GeNii4 as a unified portal of databases on various academic subjects. GeNii currently offers four services: CiNii, Webcat Plus, KAKEN, and NII-DBR. GeNii provides a meta-search interface that allows simultaneous searches across the four databases as well as individual search interfaces that fully utilize the features of each database. CiNii offers comprehensive information on research articles written in Japanese. NII provides nearly 2.4 million full-text articles from Japanese academic journals and research bulletins published by universities. Webcat Plus provides bibliographic information on books and serials by means of the Union Catalog Database of NACSIS-CAT, which was established by NII and Japanese university libraries in 1985. NII has added many bibliographic records to Webcat Plus, which now includes nearly 12 million records. One of Webcat Plus's features is its "associative search" function. This function makes it possible to conduct intuitive searches in a way that is similar to human thinking processes. The KAKEN database offers information on the research activities supported by Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research from MEXT, and NII-DBR is a collection of multi-disciplinary databases on Japanese academic societies and researchers.

5.2 Joint Repository of Electronic Journals

The university libraries' consortia and NII jointly operate an electronic journal repository, called NII-REO. The repository provides long-term access to electronic journals that are indispensable for academic research. About 60,000 articles from several scholarly publishers are currently stored on the REO server. Furthermore, the large-scale archival digital contents of Springer-Verlag and Oxford University Press journals, which go back to the 19th century, will be added to this collection in 2006. These materials are being utilized by the participating universities. NII and the university libraries are planning to add more titles to this digital archive upon the completion of negotiations with other publishers.

5.3 Institutional Repositories Initiative

Institutional repositories are digital collections that manage and disseminate scholarly materials created by an institution and its members. They address two strategic issues facing academic institutions: they provide a central component for reforming scholarly communications and they serve as tangible indicators of an institution's quality and activities, thus increasing its visibility, prestige, and public value.

In recent years, more and more academic libraries have started to construct institutional repositories. In 2005, NII started a collaborative project with 19 university libraries aiming at deployment and coordination of institutional repositories in Japan. By using the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH), NII will harvest metadata from institutional repositories and develop a centralized metadata repository, for which it intends to offer various value-added services to the scholarly community. Other roles that NII will assume in this initiative include conducting activities to aid the formation of an institutional repository community and providing technical support and advocacy services.

6. Concluding Remarks

The Cyber Science Infrastructure (CSI) is the new initiative for evolving Japan's academic information infrastructure. It was launched in 2005 by NII and is supported by Japanese universities and research institutions. Its executive organization is working to elaborate the comprehensive concept behind CSI; some issues have already been addressed. For example, the detailed specification of the next-generation network will soon be settled on and will reflect the technical advice of many researchers. Procurements will begin in April 2006 and deployment will start in April 2007. Furthermore, the budget for developing the UPKI software has been partially appropriated for the fiscal year 2006. The progress of the CSI initiative will be reported in various research papers as well as on our web site.

Acknowledgements: Many people have contributed to the development of the core concept of CSI. In particular, the authors would like to express their sincere appreciation to Ken'ichi Miura and Shinji Shimojo, who are eagerly working for CSI and NAREGI, and our colleagues who contribute to various CSI projects at supercomputer centers of major universities.

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Reference this article
Sakauchi, M., Yamada, S., Soneharu, N., Urushidani, S., Adachi, J., Konishi, K., Matuoka, S. "Cyber Science Infrastructure Initiative for Boosting Japan's Scientific Research," CTWatch Quarterly, Volume 2, Number 1, February 2006. http://www.ctwatch.org/quarterly/articles/2006/02/cyber-science-infrastructure-initiative-for-boosting-japans-scientific-research/

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