International Nuclear Information System Essay, Research Paper
The origins of the International Nuclear Information System (INIS) date to 1966 when consultants from the former USSR and USA outlined a scheme for an international information system. The birth of such a globally oriented nuclear information system, however, was some years in the making.
Between the late 1940’s and into the middle of the 1960’s, a number of countries established national information activities in the nuclear area. Duplication of efforts and incomplete coverage of all the nuclear literature accompanied these activities. The International Atomic Energy Agency was founded in 1957 and offered a framework within a United Nations Organization for cooperation in a wide range of nuclear related activities, among them information exchange. In 1965, the Director General of the IAEA invited two consultants, one from the USA and the other from the former USSR, to formulate a proposal for an international system to provide nuclear information services to users in all IAEA Member States (countries) and led in 1966 to a first documented proposal for an international system.
This proposal needed a detailed system design in order to enable Member States to evaluate the feasibility of establishing such a system. The detailed design was carried out by a group of experts during 1968. They produced the “INIS Study Team Report” which formed the basis of the INIS system. INIS was approved as a part of the IAEA programme by the Board of Governors of the IAEA in February 1969. Participating Member States began reporting records of their national nuclear literature to the System in early 1970 and the first INIS output product Atomindex both in printed form and on magnetic tape appeared in 1970.
Since that time a number of major milestones have punctuated the INIS road; availability of the Database online from a number of commercial hosts in the late 1970’s; adoption of controlled terminology for identifying subject scope of documents in 1971; introduction of abstracts in machine-readable form in 1975; availability of the INIS Database online from the Agency’s computer on an experimental basis in 1977 and on a regular basis in 1985 and on the Internet using a Web-based retrieval software in October 1998; introduction of an expert system for quality control in 1989; availability of the Database on CD-ROM in 1991; expansion of the subject scope to include the environmental and economic aspects of non-nuclear energy sources in 1992; and routine receipt of input to the system by electronic mail in 1993; availability of full text non-conventional literature on CD-ROM in 1997.