vol.010 - Renewal of the Advanced Collaboration/Integrated Search System “nihuINT” 高度連携・統合検索システム「nihuINT」をリニューアル

Renewal of the Advanced Collaboration/Integrated Search System “nihuINT”


■What is nihuINT?

The operation of nihuINT(nihu INTegrated) retrieval system, began in 2008. nihuINT is as an integrated search system that allows easy access to research resources owned by the various bodies of the National Institute of Humanities (Phase I nihuINT). It allows for a one-stop, comprehensive searching of humanities databases with a wide variety of structures and includes a spatio-temporal search function that can return search results for a specific spatio-temporal range on a timeline or a map.

Currently, it offers access to the regional research database nDP(nihu Data Provider)operated by the Institute and the six bodies of the institute; moreover, it has also collaborated with the databases of external bodies such as the National Diet Library Search(NDL Search) and the Center for Integrated Area Studies, Kyoto University(CIAS), thereby expanding the search range to 172 databases (phase II nihuINT).


■ Phase III nihuINT

Phase III nihuINT, which involved major upgrades to provide support for improved search speeds and smart devices, was announced in March 2017. Some of its features are introduced as follows.

(1) Goal-oriented search

A function to filter a target database has been introduced to more accurately provide the data that a user wants from large quantities of diverse data. However, this mechanism contradicts the cross-search feature known as an unpredictable discovery, so this issue will need to be further investigated.

(2) Smart device support

Because it was extremely difficult to view results on the small screen of a mobile terminal and the search results required considerable time to be displayed, access from a PC was envisaged in phase II of nihuINT. The aim in phase III of nihuINT was to provide a “powerful search tool that university undergraduate and graduate students studying humanities can use casually from their smartphones.” Therefore, the size of the displayed text was considered and a search function for mobile terminals that would allow agile and rapid cross-searches, instead of narrowing down functionality, was provided.

Furthermore, in phase III of nihuINT, a function to enable the transmission of search results on social networking sites, such as twitter or Facebook, was stipulated; this being an effort to enhance communication.


■Continually Evolving nihuINT

Furthermore, we shall continue to add convenient features to the current phase III of nihuINT in operation.

(1) Expanded collaboration with the databases of external institutions

Currently, we have achieved a cross-search function linking databases from various institutes, such as the National Diet Library and the CIAS, and shall further expand the collaborative databases to develop an information foundation that encompasses all humanities fields.

(2) Collaboration with repositories

Thus far, the focus of nihuINT has been on improving access to research materials; however, moving forward, we plan to collaborate with institute repositories and provide search services that enable bi-directional access to both research materials and research results.

(3) Improved cross-search functionality

To improve the standard of collaboration and cross-searches between a wide variety of databases, we are developing technology to not only align the format of metadata in advance but also create metadata to read the data contents.

(4) Support for Linked Data

Recently, we have begun database structure research using Linked Data from the perspective of flexible integrated search, as well as simple collaboration with other institutions, and reuse for the purposes of data mining. To date, we have used commonplace methods of searching databases, wherein a word is searched, and the results are selected from a list of results. Furthermore, it is expected that we shall be able to link these search results to various linked data.

(5) Support for multimedia

nihuINT began with support for inventory-type databases and supported map images with positional information in phase II. It is not yet compatible with sound sources or videos, so we shall investigate the use of multimedia in future.


When nihuINT began its service aimed at humanities resource sharing, its attempts at cross searching were not so commonplace. However, recently, information services using cross-search are being used in a wide variety of areas such as hotel reservation systems and electrical appliance price comparisons. In phase III of nihuINT, a goal for the cross-search function, as it enters its practical phase, is to make it faster, more convenient, and more refined in regard to its search services for all people interested in humanities.








nihuINT(nihu INTegrated retrieval system)は、人間文化研究機構の各機関が所有する研究資源へのアクセスを容易にする統合検索システムとして2008年に運用を開始しました(第1期nihuINT)。多様な構造を持つ人文科学のデータベースが一元的かつ網羅的に検索でき、タイムラインや、地図上で時空間範囲指定や検索結果表示が行える時空間検索機能もあります。

現在は、機構の6機関および機構が運用する地域研究拠点のデータベースのみならず、国立国会図書館サーチ(NDL Search)京都大学地域研究統合情報センター(CIAS)などの外部機関のデータベースとの連携も実現し、検索対象は172データベースに拡大しました(第2期nihuINT)。


















(4)Linked Dataへの対応

柔軟な統合検索、他機関との容易な連携、データマイニングのための再利用性の確保という観点から、新たにLinked Dataによるデータベースの構築研究に着手しました。これまでは語句で検索し、その結果を一覧から選択しで詳細を表示するということがごく普通のデータベースの使い方でした。これからは検索結果から次々と関連するデータにつながってゆくことが期待されます。