Web Magazine for Information Professionals


John Harrington, Karyn Meaden and Emma Turner introduce Aerade, an EEVL-related service.

AERADE has been developed by a team of information specialists from the Library at Cranfield and the Library at the Royal Military College of Science (RMCS), Shrivenham. It has grown out of the aerospace section of the CRUISE (Cranfield University Site Explorer) subject gateway at Cranfield, which focuses on the subjects researched and taught at the Cranfield Campus, and DEVISE (Defence Virtual Information Service) at RMCS. This provides users with access to military and defence Internet resources. AERADE exists in two forms – AERADE at EEVL and AERADE at Cranfield.

AERADE at EEVL forms the aerospace and defence engineering section of the main EEVL database and includes engineering sources only. Resource records within EEVL that have been provided by AERADE are stamped with the AERADE logo. The AERADE team has been working closely with EEVL at Heriot Watt University to develop this capability. The service forms part of a national initiative to establish a co-ordinated Resource Discovery Network (RDN) across all disciplines. AERADE at EEVL is part of the Engineering, Mathematics and Computing (EMC) Hub of the RDN and is funded by JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee). This hub will include three gateways – the existing Edinburgh Engineering Virtual Library (EEVL), Aerospace and Defence Engineering (AERADE), MathGate (mathematics) and a computing service.

Its sister site, AERADE at Cranfield is a larger database and has a wider subject scope in recognition of the wider subject requirements of the aerospace and defence sectors. It can be searched as a separate entity from its own website or by following the link from AERADE at EEVL.

Background to AERADE

The need for more effective tools for the identification and location of relevant information sources was highlighted recently in a major DTI-funded study of the UK aerospace industry, which was carried out by a team from the Kings Norton Library at Cranfield. The Aerospace Information Management–UK (AIM-UK) project [1] found compelling evidence of under-utilisation of electronic information resources by aerospace engineers and scientists. This appears to be the result of a widespread lack of awareness of the availability and benefits of electronic resources. The AIM-UK report recommended a number of information initiatives designed to raise awareness and improve access to useful resources, and to reduce the threat of information overload. In particular, there was a call to establish an internet gateway for the aerospace and defence community which would act as a ‘jumping-off point’ for effective exploration and retrieval of information on the World Wide Web. AERADE is specifically designed to meet this need.

AERADE is freely available to anybody who wishes to make use of it, whether they are in industry, commerce or academia. It takes the form of a collection of Internet resources which have been selected and evaluated and are regularly monitored by subject specialists. Each resource is described so its potential value can be assessed before it is visited. It is also fully searchable and browseable with its own classification scheme, although AERADE at EEVL makes use of a slightly abridged version of the full scheme. The scheme is based upon the NASA classification and the Military Science Index and each resource within the AERADE database has been indexed according to this scheme. AERADE contains many different types of resource, including:

Electronic journals, mailing lists and archives, online reports and papers, databases, directories, software, professional societies, research centres, government organisations, companies, recruitment agencies, university departments.

Examples of resources to be found on AERADE: Boeing current market outlook

This site from Boeing provides an excellent introduction to the state of the current world air transport market free of charge. The information available includes forecasts of traffic growth, an analysis of the state of the industry, worldwide aeroplane deliveries and an evolution of the world fleet overview.


This is a database produced by NASA which contains over 1.6 million records. These include bibliographic citations and abstracts for publicly available aerospace documents, journal articles, and conference proceedings. It is part of the NASA Technical Report Server which provides recent full-text reports produced by the NASA centres. The database is a selected portion of publicly available materials from the NASA Scientific and Technical Information (STI) Database.

When will AERADE be available?

AERADE at EEVL was officially launched on the 19th of November this year at the launch of the RDN. The service currently contains records under one of the browse headings – further records from AERADE at Cranfield will be added over the coming months. In the meantime, visit AERADE at Cranfield to view the complete database of resources.

Further developments

The AERADE team is a partner in the successful bid by the Institute for Learning and Research Technology for JISC funding to develop a range of subject-based online tutorials based around the RDN hubs. They will be modelled on the Internet Detective online tutorial which was developed under the European Union’s DESIRE (Development of a European Service for Information on Research and Education) project. The AERADE team will have specific input into this project by creating a tutorial entitled the Internet Aviator. This will be designed to help users find high quality Internet resources, get ideas for how to make effective use of Internet resources and to identify pertinent Internet resources in their subject area.

Addresses of Web sites mentioned in this article
EEVL http://www.eevl.ac.uk
AERADE at Cranfield http://aerade.cranfield.ac.uk
CRUISE www.cranfield.ac.uk/cils/library/subjects/webinfo.htm
DEVISE www.rmcs.cranfield.ac.uk/~devise/devise.html
Boeing current market outlook www.boeing.com/commercial/cmo/index.html
RECON www.sti.nasa.gov/RECONselect.html

For further information contact:

John Harrington
Information Services Manager
Kings Norton Library
Cranfield University
MK43 0AL
Phone 01234 754451
Email j.harrington@cranfield.ac.uk


Karyn Meaden
Network Information Specialist
Kings Norton Library
Cranfield University
MK43 0AL
Phone 01234 750111 ext 3712
Email k.meaden@cranfield.ac.uk


[1] Hanley, K., Harrington, J., and Blagden, J. (1998). Aerospace information management (AIM-UK): final report. Cranfield University Press, Cranfield.