GSSD offers a platform in which the knowledge-holdings in any supported language can be cross-indexed and then made available to users without a heavy translation cost. GSSD functionality includes a multiple language interface and workflow, which currently includes Arabic and Chinese.
Such functionality enables:
- Improved access to information, reducing difficulties facing non-English speakers by allowing them to locate materials by searching the database (each abstract contains a URL of the original source). Each site included in the GSSD knowledge base is abstracted, and that abstract is, in turn, translated into each of GSSD’s supported languages. These are then available for e-searches through the system’s five search modes.
- Strategic use of resources, given that GSSD’s abstracts allows the user to know in advance of translation where the most fruitful information is housed thus improving access significantly.
- Expansion of knowledge base, since the absence of a platform for non-English content has limited the ability of many groups to make their own data available widely and reduced the amount of local knowledge found on the Internet.
The following examples show a GSSD page for Arabic and for Chinese. In principle, all languages (including French and others shortly on line) appear on all sites, and the knowledge base would also appear on all sites. In practice, there are some time lags in the synchronization process.