Improved User Interface for the Science Discovery Engine

The updated user interface provides greater efficiency for discovering data, documentation, and code across NASA's Science Mission Directorate.

The Science Discovery Engine (SDE) facilitates search and discovery for NASA science data, documentation, and code through all five divisions of the agency's Science Mission Directorate. Following the Beta launch of the SDE in December 2022, the SDE team has been hard at work on system improvements. An updated, streamlined user interface makes it even easier for SDE users to find the data they need.

"Scientists and researchers spend a large amount of time searching for and wrangling scientific data and information," observes Kaylin Bugbee, SDE project lead. "The new updates to the SDE user interface save researchers time by helping them quickly search for data and documentation by scientific topic or across the entire collection of information. This improved research efficiency moves scientists more rapidly to actionable and open science."

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SDE screenshot showing a results page in the new user interface; Dark bar at top with text below
The updated SDE user interface provides more options for filtering searches and improved search results.

Benefits of the new interface include:

  • Users can more easily filter by science topic from both the home page and the search results page; having the ability to search through all the documentation relevant to a single topic area, such as Earth science or heliophysics, is beneficial to domain scientists aiming to streamline their research workflows
  • The new acronym finder enables users to not only search by acronyms, but also better understand the context of search results and text within documents
  • Hover help guidance allows users to discover the capabilities of the SDE and how to optimize their search results
  • Relevant NASA data repositories, such as Distributed Active Archive Centers (DAACs), are now featured in banners at the top of search results

Additional SDE updates are on the way. More open science metadata and documentation will be added to help scientists efficiently find data and information, and the SDE team plans to release API documentation and create tutorials to allow users to take a deeper dive into how the system works. The SDE team also is addressing needs of the scientific community by building tailored search applications for specialized search requirements such as environmental justice.

Check out the new and improved SDE and see what you can discover.