NASA Science Explorer (SciX) Accelerates Open Science Discovery

The launch of the NASA Science Explorer (SciX) at the upcoming American Geophysical Union conference marks a significant leap in open science discovery. This new literature portal, an expansion of the NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS), is set to revolutionize how science is found, accessed, and utilized. The beta release, accessible at starting December 11, is a testament to NASA’s commitment to open science.

The Origin of SciX

Back in 2019, NASA’s Science Mission Directorate envisioned an interdisciplinary literature portal that would span across its divisions (Earth Science, Planetary Science, Astrophysics, Heliophysics, and Biological and Physical Sciences), bolstering open science. The ADS, with its decades long support for open science goals facilitating discovery and dissemination of open access publications, data, and software by aggregating and linking them, was the natural choice for this expansion. This initiative was more than just creating a repository; it was about weaving a digital tapestry that connects publications, data, and software in a meaningful and accessible way.

What Does SciX Offer?

SciX stands out as more than just a digital library; it’s a purposefully designed portal tailored for the NASA community’s diverse requirements.What sets SciX apart is its ability to aggregate research content relevant to all SMD divisions, creating a unified platform for exploring scientific literature. SciX provides authoritative coverage of the research literature in Earth Science, Planetary Science and Heliophysics in addition to its core collection of astrophysics material inherited from ADS. It goes beyond mere aggregation by capturing the unique nuances and semantics of various scientific disciplines through intelligent use of relevant taxonomies. This approach significantly enriches the user search experience, allowing for more precise and relevant results.

Moreover, SciX excels in creating meaningful connections. It links research papers to an extensive array of related resources, such as datasets, software, and notebooks. This integration provides a comprehensive view of research work, offering users a more holistic understanding of scientific studies. Tailoring its capabilities and analytic services, SciX caters to the specific needs of different research communities within NASA, demonstrating its flexibility and user-centric approach.

The real power of SciX lies in how these features empower its users. With diverse search options that include topics, people, organizations, or objects, SciX offers versatile and comprehensive search pathways. Users can gain rich insights into each paper, exploring metrics, collaborations, and topics to get a thorough understanding of the research landscape. Additionally, SciX champions the principles of open science. It facilitates access to open-access versions of papers and enriches the research experience by providing citations, co-readership, similar papers, and metrics. The platform goes a step further by linking to related software and datasets, seamlessly connecting all aspects of NASA Science. This holistic approach makes SciX an invaluable tool for researchers, enhancing accessibility, and fostering a deeper engagement with scientific content.

The Future of SciX

SciX is set to become more than a portal; it’s evolving into a community cornerstone for NASA scientists and the broader research community. Its open, trustworthy, complete, innovative, and interdisciplinary nature sets it apart, making it not just a tool but a partner in scientific discovery. Developed by scientists for scientists, SciX exemplifies what it means to be a part of the NASA community: it’s about exploring the unknown, connecting dots across disciplines, and sharing knowledge openly and freely.

As SciX continues to develop, its impact on the scientific community will only grow. It’s not just about accessing information; it’s about engaging with it in ways that propel research forward. SciX is a gift to open science, a resource that underscores NASA’s dedication to fostering an environment where knowledge is accessible, connections are intuitive, and discoveries are shared for the greater good.

SciX is more than just a digital library; it’s a dynamic, evolving platform that reflects NASA’s ongoing commitment to open science. By bridging gaps, connecting diverse resources, and offering tailored tools, SciX is poised to become an indispensable asset for researchers, echoing the spirit of exploration and discovery that defines NASA.