Division of Information Systems

Ronit Segal
Head of Division of Information Systems

The Division of Information Systems, located in the Dr. Karl and Leila Ribstein Center for Information Technology, provides networking, communications, computer system services and support, applications developing and implementation, and internet and library services to Institute scientists, students and administrators. It oversees the smooth implementation of an integrated computing environment, as well as maintaining the infrastructure upon which these information technology services are delivered. The role of fast communication (data, voice and picture) facilities is constantly expanding, with ever-increasing demand for easy multi-platform access, to facilitate the retrieval and free flow of continually updated information.

The Division consists of three Branches:

The homepage of the Division of Information Systems is: http://www.weizmann.ac.il/DIS/

Gershom Martin (until June 2010)
Senior Academic Advisor to the Head of Information Systems Division

Prof. Martin acts as the academic advisor to the head of the Division, and also as advisor for IT affairs to the WIS President. The main focus of his activities is to articulate the special requirements of the academic sector to the division and to improve the quality of service for IT services that are essential to the scientists (email, internet access, end-user support, etc.).

Another focus is investigating future-proof next-generation technologies for the division in general, and the Computing Center in particular.

A third area of attention is nurturing practical expertise in research computing (particularly HPC).

Fourth, he acts as an integrator for problems where the solution requires bringing together expertise from different subspecialties of IT, and bridging the gaps between them.

In addition, Prof. Martin serves as the academic overseer of the WIS Library System.

IT Infrastructure Branch
Ofer Aaronson, Head

The IT Infrastructure (ITI) Branch (previously known as the Computing Center) strives to provide an advanced and efficient communications and computing environment for the Institute's faculty, students and staff. ITI is a member of the Inter University Computing Center (IUCC), popularly known by its Hebrew Acronym MACHBA http://www.iucc.ac.il. The eight member universities share technology and services, to the benefit of all. From the smallest personal computer to powerful multi-processor servers, ITI supports and facilitates the campus computing and communications infrastructure, together with providing the network-intensive applications necessary for the pursuit and advancement of science at the Weizmann Institute.

The home page of the IT Infrastructure Branch is: http://www.weizmann.ac.il/CC/

Research Staff

Senior Staff Scientist

Morton F. Taragin, Ph.D., George Washington University, Washington, United States


Shlomit Afgin, M.Sc., Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Camille Botaz, M.Sc., University of Bucharest, Romania
Yehezkel Bialik, B.Sc., Yeshiva University
Issak Kopp, M.Sc., Novocherkassk Polytechnic Institute
Boris Lourie, Ph.D., The Weizmann Institute of Science
Iris Mersel, M.Sc., Tomsk University, Tomsk, and M.Sc., Moscow University, Moscow
Jerry Mersel, B.Sc., Hunter College, NY

Applications Branch
Mirit Katz-Shilo, Head

The Applications Branch is responsible for the activities previously carried out by the Data Processing Department and the Internet Services Unit. It is responsible for the development and maintenance of data systems used by Institute scientists and administrators. An additional focus is the creation of departmental web sites, as well as individually customized applications. All systems have been, and are currently being, developed in accordance with Internet/Intranet technology, in which a client-user is connected to an Internet web server via multi-platform-compatible web browser software. In such an environment, the client is not bound by any specific desktop platform, and can communicate freely with any international Internet or local Intranet site.

The Internet Services Section:

Since its inception in 1999, the Internet Services Section has played an integral role in the Division’s principal goal of improved communications and the dissemination of information. While the Internet Services Section maintains the Institute’s central web servers, its primary function is the creation of departmental web sites, as well as a wide variety of individually customized applications.

As the focus of web sites has shifted from static web pages to dynamic interactive ones, the unit has made great progress in this area. Internet Services is concentrating on integrating the Human Resources database with the dynamic resources of the web, making even the smallest change in the data immediately visible and retrievable via the Internet.

In the past year the section has been engaged in the following projects:

The ERP Section:

The extremely successful ERP system, based on Tafnit software, has been functioning smoothly since 2007, and is constantly being upgraded and expanded.

The system includes the following main modules: Finance, Budgets, Travel, Research Grants, Purchasing & Logistics, Construction and Salary Accounting, as well as an interface with the existing HR Oracle Applications module. The reporting and management of Grants and Financing has been upgraded to one integrated system, providing information transparency and automatic data control, according to accepted procedures and financial protocols. Data regarding where, when and by whom different operations were performed is stored and readily accessible. The whole process of a transaction, beginning with the request from the scientist and ending with the payment process and its connection to the research, is accomplished within one system.

The ERP enables data retrieval and integration of data and processes from all information systems in the Institute, thus providing the complete and transparent information necessary for informed managerial decisions. This web-enabled system has had a campus-wide impact on documents workflow, control and reminders, where needed.

Further improvements that have been completed during 2010 include:

The Human Resources System, based on the Oracle Applications Human Resources software package, has been in production for nine years. This system has been instrumental in centralizing all the human resources information and activities of the Institute, as well as providing, at long last, a single updated source of tabular information to be accessed by the entire campus. The Oracle Human Resources module serves as the single source of information for most of the Institute's online services, including LDAP, Internal Services, Feinberg Graduate School, and future portal-designed web sites.

The integration of the Academic Affairs Office into the larger Oracle data base has been completed. This new, comprehensive system monitors all administrative aspects of the scientific community, including sabbaticals, appointments, and organizational structure. Department administrators are now able to access the application to produce reports on their own, which include all relevant information about their department members. In addition, the Safety & Environmental Compliance Unit can also access relevant information in order to maintain the highest standards of safety on campus.

Additional modules and reports, which help systematize the Institute's organizational structure, are added regularly according to requests by the Division of Human Resources. The HR data base serves as a basis for campus-wide salary computations, the creation of individual employee information files, individually authorized entrance to campus buildings, and many other procedures. The system also enables total internet web-based interfacing with MS Office, Adobe Acrobat and other widely-used applications.

During the last year the following modules were implemented:

The Applications Developing Section:

During the past year we have initiated the following projects:

The BI Section (Business Information and reports): BI is a methodology that creates a better view of the data in an organization. The platform usually includes tools that enable easy access to many sources of information, from several databases and formats, in different operational systems. BI also has the ability to display the combined data from different systems in a clear, graphical view, and to analyze the data by various categories and parameters. Due to BI’s manifold abilities, issuing reports or presenting important data in a clear and precise way has become easier for any type of user, with any type of data.

The process of mapping the systems and data that exist in our organization, and of potential users and their needs has been completed. A BI technology (ClikView) was selected and the implementation of 2 screens, displaying a variety of information, graphs and reports regarding budgets and donor contribution has also been was completed. Other screens regarding different issues are in progress are.

Electronic billboards: 30 billboards were installed around the campus in 2009. The electronic billboards display events from the Institute calendar, in order to enhance awareness and multi-disciplinary cooperation between the scientists. A new feature of automatic loading of a lecture poster' to be presented on the billboard screen, was implemented.

The Applications Branch is moving steadily toward its goal of a completely web-enabled environment, using a variety of cutting-edge tools to build the most integrated applications possible.

The website of the Applications Branch still includes two websites (of Data Processing and the Internet Services unit), which we plan to merge into one combined website: http://www.weizmann.ac.il/DP/ and http://www.weizmann.ac.il/IU/

Libraries Branch
Hedva Milo, Chief Librarian

The Libraries are responsible for acquiring, collecting, processing, distributing, and storing all printed material (books, journals, patents, articles, etc.) needed by the Institute faculty and staff, as well as for purchasing, licensing, implementing, maintaining, managing and ensuring online access to digital resources such as e-journals/series, e-books, databases, etc. The Library staff provides users with up-to-date techniques for locating and using library material and for searching the Library's online catalog, supports the Institute's personnel with sophisticated use of online resources, and performs intermediated scientific literature searches upon request.

The Libraries are comprised of books and bound volumes of periodicals, of current periodical and book series subscriptions in hardcopy or in combined printed and electronic form, many electronic databases, and access to aggregated electronic collections. We maintain a constantly growing collection of thousands of electronic journals/series and e-books. A considerable portion of the electronic resources collection is a result of MALMAD consortium agreements.

The Institute's Archives document the history of the Weizmann Institute and its scientific, educational, and cultural contributions to the world of scientific endeavor, from its beginning to the present day.

The Libraries' home page is: http://www.weizmann.ac.il/library

Innovations during the past year include:

Library's New e-Resources

Following a trial period, the Library has subscribed to the following e-resources:

The Library has enabled access to the following Open Access resources:
PE'ER - Open Access to Hebrew Textbooks and Study Material

PubGet - A New Life Sciences Search Engine

Additions & Updates to e-Resources:
JoVE: Additional sections have been acquired to be included in the Institutional subscription.

Henry Stewart Talks: New presentations are constantly becoming available.

Reaxys: Features updates, new software, and techniques for drawing structures and more.

SciVerse: Elsevier has introduced its new platform for ScienceDirect Journals, Scopus, and new Science Applications.

Library Services' brochure
The Library has published a Library Services' Brochure. The brochure is available in English and Hebrew.

WISPUB – Weizmann Publications Database
The Library has broadened WISPUB by adding earlier published items. The database now covers publications from 1973 onwards.

Automatic Creation of a Publications' List at the Scientist's Site
Weizmann scientists can now create an automatic list of their publications, the fruits of their research at the Institute. The list is derived from the Weizmann publications database, where all the material is stored. It is updated automatically, in correspondence with monthly updates of the database. The Central Library is responsible for updating this database and maintaining its accuracy.

The list can be displayed on any site with the typical template of all other pages of that site. The automatic creation and updating of the list is overseen by the Internet Services' Unit.

WIS Library Cited for High-Standard International Cataloging
A Weizmann Institute Library sample file of 7,538 catalog records was transferred to OCLC's (Online Computer Library Center) World Catalog. All records were accepted without any rejections.

1,266 Weizmann records were unique for OCLC. The remainder consisted of holdings that were added to already existing records.

This places the Weizmann Institute Library as the only academic library in Israel with no rejections, and with the highest cataloging accuracy.

A New Q&A Service
We have added a trial Q&A service, which allows the user to search for answers to questions regarding Library resources and services by using the floating bubble on each of our web pages. If no information is found, a question can be forwarded to the Library staff with the "Ask a Representative" option.

eBooks' purchase
The Library has signed agreements for acquiring single eBooks. The purchase can be for a single license or a multi-user license, depending on the aggregator's agreement conditions. Full text of those eBooks can be accessed by all WIS staff from the Library Catalog or the eBook Manager.

Special Collections in the Central Library
The Weizmann Institute's Central Library collections have been reopened to the WIS public, after being restored and then reorganized on the shelves in the Fromer Building.

Dissertation Project
During 2010 we scanned about 500 old dissertations and their PDFs were added to the catalog. We have sent the hard copies to ITTI and they have provided us with a DVD which contained all PDFs. These PDFs were mounted to the ALEPH server and linked to the catalog.

Computerized self-lending – in all Faculty Libraries Self-lending of books is now available in all Faculty libraries by a card reader and a barcode reader. We have placed dedicated computers in all libraries to enable patrons to check out books independently 24/7.

Weizmann Institute Archives The WIS Archives is continuing the scanning process of historical material into a digital format for the purpose of preservation and backup of essential material.