The issues of information support in science and higher school are of prime importance. The technical basis, including the local and global computer networks connecting chief scientific and educational centres, basic facilities for information exchange and information systems, will play a key role for their successful resolving. National computer networks, joining scientific institutions and higher educational institutions and providing connection to INTERNET, have long been designed.
In the middle of October 1995, an interdepartmental program was approved for realization of a national network, joining scientific and higher school computer communications in Russia; it was prepared on the base of the corresponding conception, on the initiative of the Ministry of Science, the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Russian Foundation for Fundamental Research.
The purpose of the program is to join chaotic growing networks into a unified national system of the INTERNET type.
The national network must provide free or as cheap as possible access of the involved institutions to data banks. As the worldwide information environment does not exist "from one side" only, the powerful information centres and data banks should be developed in Russia in addition to the available ones.
In view of the great experience LCTA has accumulated in information support, information networks application and computer use in scientific research, LCTA is chosen as a works leader in the project "Design of a distributed network of knowledge bases in the field of fundamental matter properties and applied nuclear physics" (BAFIS-96).
The purpose of the project is to create a unified scientific and information environment, based on a distributed network of knowledge bases in the area of fundamental properties of matter and applied nuclear physics, providing uniform and unified access and data representation on the basis of the WWW-servers network and relational database systems, in English and Russian.
To realize the project, in addition to JINR, six physics institutes of Russia combined their efforts:
- Research Institute of Nuclear Physics MSU (Moscow);
- Institute for High Energy Physics (Protvino);
- Institute for Theoretical and Experimental Physics (Moscow);
- Institute for Nuclear Research (Troitsk);
- Institute for Nuclear Physics (St.Petersburg);
- Institute for Nuclear Physics, Siberian Division of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Novosibirsk).
The project has undergone experts' appraisal, it was approved, and its financing started in late 1995.
JINR participates in this program with its projects of developing network communications.