Frequently Asked Questions
What is Adopt-A-Doc?
Adopt-A-Doc? is an on-demand service that provides individuals the option to sponsor the digitization of full-text DOE technical reports for a nominal fee, thus making important research broadly available via the World Wide Web.
How do I request this service?
Request to adopt a document via phone at (865) 576-5699; email at email@example.com;
or comment form on the Adopt-A-Doc Database Contact Us page;
or the Adopt-A-Doc online ordering application.
When utilizing the online ordering application, you may key in the requested bibliographic information or you may select a report(s) and add it to your order by
clicking on the box on left side of the bibliographic information on the initial search screen.
You can view your order and submit the order electronically. You do not need to pay for your order when you submit it. You will be notified via email or telephone
and asked to provide payment information when the document(s) you have requested has completed OSTI's review and release process.
How much does it cost to sponsor digitization and broad availability of a technical report?
$85.00 each - approximately the same cost as ordering a hard copy. Payment is payable by check, money order, MasterCard, Discover, Bravo or Private Issue credit cards. Checks and money orders should be made payable to the Department of Energy. The mailing address for checks and money orders is: U.S. Department of Energy/OSTI, 1 Science.gov Way, Oak Ridge, TN 37830
If you are interested in a large scale project, please contact 865-576-5699.
Why would I want to Adopt-A-Doc?
You may find a technical report that you want to share with others or you think worthy of making broadly available on
the Web to support the advancement of science. When you search for
important science information in your area of interest, you can choose to sponsor the digitization of any adoptable
technical report. The cost is $85 (approximately the same cost as ordering a hard copy). Discounts for larger scale projects may be available.
For additional information contact Debbie Nuchols at 865-576-5699 or
Will I receive recognition for sponsoring reports for digitization?
You can request recognition via a sponsor "certificate" indicating that the electronic technical report was made possible by your contribution. The certificate will appear as the first page of the document (see an
example of a sponsor certificate). Or, you may request an acknowledgement to recognize a person, i.e., in honor of. . . or in memory of. . ., etc., to appear as the first page of the document.
(see an example of an acknowledgement).
Additionally, you may request a printed certificate of appreciation for sponsoring the digitization of a DOE technical report. If requested, the certificate will be provided to the sponsor via U.S. Postal Service.
Can I request anonymity when adopting a report?
Yes. In that case, no recognition will be placed in the report.
What is the scope of the information available to digitize?
There are more than 200,000 DOE technical reports with full text that have not already been digitized and are available on OSTI's Adopt-A-Doc Database.
How do I locate a technical report to "adopt" for digitization?
To locate a technical report to adopt, enter a search term in the Adopt-A-Doc search field. Your search is limited to documents available for digitization.
If you need assistance in selecting a report to adopt, we will choose a document for you. For help in selecting a report call 865-576-5699 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
How long will the process take to adopt a report and have the report available on the World Wide Web?
The process will average 3 to 4 weeks from report adoption to electronic availability. In some instances we may not be able to fulfill requests.
How do I get help with the Adopt-A-Doc Database?
If you have questions about the website or wish to make a comment, you can do so through the Contact Us form.
Enter your search term (s) in the search box and your search will be conducted
on all available indexed fields, including full text.
Your search results will be sorted in ascending or descending order based on
your 'Sort By' selection. The default is Relevance descending.
Enter your search criteria into as few or as many fields as desired. Field
- All Fields, which searches all the fields in the bibliographic citation
plus full-text pages
- Bibliographic Data, which searches all the fields in the bibliographic
- Full Text, which searches full-text pages
- Identifier numbers, which searches all the number fields, including the
identifier, the report number(s), the DOE contract number, and other numbers.
- Conference information
- Patent information
- Research Organization
- Sponsoring Organization
- Assists in identifying variation(s) of an author's name
- Can be used to identify multiple authors
- Selected author(s) are 'submitted' to Fielded Search
- Assists in identifying terms for subject searches
- Controlled vocabulary is in a hierarchical structure
- Selected term(s) are 'submitted' to Fielded Search
- You may limit your search results by selecting 'Matches with electronic
documents', entering Publication and/or System Entry Dates, selecting a
pre-defined Type from the Drop-down menu, entering a Type, and/or selecting
'Return exact count of matches with link to bibliographic citations'.
- More than one Type may be selected and/or entered using Boolean
- Pre-defined types are: Book, Conference, Miscellaneous,
Patent, Patent Application, Software Manual, Technical Report, and Thesis/Dissertation.
- Enter the beginning date (From) and ending date (To) of your selected
date range in the spaces provided.
- Enter a 4 digit year (YYYY), a 2 digit month(MM), and a 2 digit day (DD).
- You may enter a year only or a year and month only.
- Searching for individual terms does not require a special syntax. For
example, a search for DOG will return all results that
contain the term DOG.
- Multiple words entered as search terms must all be contained in the field(s)
searched in order to be returned in the search results. For example, a
search on DOG CAT will find results that contain both DOG and CAT.
- Special term prefix syntax, used by some search engines such as Alta
Vista, is not supported. For example, searching on +DOG -CAT will
only return results that contain both +DOG and -CAT.
Neither of these terms is likely to occur.
- Example: quark
- Search terms in the Adopt-A-Doc Database are case insensitive.
A term entered in either upper case, lower case, or mixed case will find/match
terms that are in the bibliographic citation and/or the full text in upper
case, lower case, and/or mixed case.
- Example: Searching for Quark, quark, QUARK, or quARK will
return the same results.
- To assist you in formulating search strategies, Drop-down Menus have
been created for Sort By, Relevancy, Type, and other items with pre-defined
- Drop-down menus list standardized values that are valid choices. You
can select one or more value from the Drop-Down Menu.
- To select a standardized value, click on the value(s) you want to include
in your strategy.
- To select multiple values, click again on the same drop-down arrow and
make an additional selection. Repeat until all desired values are selected.
- For bibliographic citation fields, the best search results can be obtained
by entering numbers without any punctuation or spaces. Enter only alpha-numeric
- Example: Searching for doeeh0601 will return
- Numbers are not specifically indexed/available for searches in the full
text. Although some numbers may be searchable if they are surrounded by
delimiters such as parenthesis, full text searching for numbers is not
- The asterisk (*) is used as a multi-character wildcard
for term expansion.
- A search for NUCLE* will return results that contain
terms such as NUCLEAR, NUCLEUS, NUCLEOPROTEIN. Term
expansion using the multi-character wildcard is limited, and will
result in a search error if the term is too vague (an expansion error).
Vagueness depends on the density of the known portion of the word
(NUCLE in this example). If a search results in
an expansion error, more characters will be required in order to
more uniquely identify the desired terms. For example, a search on N* will
likely result in a term expansion error.
- An asterisk may be used inside a string of characters. For example,
a search for H*GENOUS will return results that contain
terms such as HOMOGENOUS and HETEROGENEOUS.
- Asterisks may not be used as the beginning of a term. For example,
a search for *ETERGENOUS will result in an error.
- Example: Searching for batter* will return
matches with the term batter and/or with the term battery and/or
with the term batteries.
- The question mark (?) is used as a single-character wildcard for term
- A search for DO? will return results that contain
terms such as DO, DOG, DOT, DOE, DOI.
- If a search results in an expansion error, more characters will be
required in order to more uniquely identify the desired terms. For
example, a search for T? will likely result in a term
expansion error because a large number of terms or words start with
the letter T.
- A question mark may be used inside a string of characters. For example,
a search for C?T will return results that contain
terms such as CAT, COT, CPT.
- More than one single-character wildcard may be used in the same search.
However, this may cause a slower return of the results than searching
with only one single-character wildcard.
- Question marks may not be used as the beginning of a term. For example,
a search for ?ETERGENOUS will result in an error.
- Phrases (adjacent terms) can be searched for by using double quotes.
For example, a search for "BIG EXPLOSION" will
return results that contain the term BIG immediately followed
by the term EXPLOSION.
- When the Boolean operator NEAR is within a phrase search
(using double quotes), it will be treated as a search for the term NEAR and
will not act as a Boolean
operator. For example, a search for "DOG NEAR CAT" will
find results that contain the phrase "DOG NEAR CAT".
- Wildcard operators inside a phrase will operate as wildcards. For example,
a search on "CIRCUS TRAIN*" will return results
that contain phrases such as "circus train", "circus
training", "circus trainers".
- Phrases can be joined together using Boolean
Operators. For example, a search for "DOG HOUSE" OR "DOG
RESIDENCE" will return results that contain either the
phrase "DOG HOUSE" or the phrase "DOG
- Example: Searching for "solar energy" will
return matches that contain the term solar immediately
followed by the term energy.
- If you receive an error message related to Boolean searching, please
check your use of operators, parenthesis and/or quotation marks.
- Operators (AND, OR, NOT, NEAR)
- Searches for DOG AND CAT will return results that
contain both DOG and CAT. Searches
using the Boolean operator AND must have two conditions
on which to operate. Therefore a search for AND CAT will
return results that contain only CAT (the word AND is
- Multiple words entered as search terms without a Boolean Operator
must all be contained in the field(s) searched in order to be returned
in the search results. In other words, an implicit AND is
added between each term. For example, a search on the 'Title' for DOG
CAT will return results that contain both DOG and CAT in
the title. It is not necessary for the terms to be adjacent.
- Searches for DOG OR CAT will return results containing
either DOG or CAT. Searches using
the Boolean operator OR must have two conditions on
which to operate. Therefore a search for OR CAT will
return results that contain only CAT (the word OR is
- Searches for DOG NOT CAT will return results that
contain DOG and do not contain CAT.
Searches using the Boolean operator NOT must have
two conditions on which to operate. Therefore a search for NOT
CAT will return results that contain only CAT (the
word NOT is not indexed).
- Searches for DOG NEAR CAT will return results that
contain both DOG and CAT. However,
the relevance is increased for results where the two terms are closer
together. Searches using the Boolean operator NEAR must
have two conditions on which to operate. A search for NEAR
CAT will return results that contain only CAT because
the word NEAR is a Boolean
- Order of Operation
- The default order of operations (precedence) for all supported
Boolean Operators is NEAR, NOT, AND, OR.
- Unless overridden by use of parenthesis, the default order of operations
will be used. Expressions are evaluated in order from left to right
according to the precedence of their operators (or order of operation).
Operators with higher precedence are applied first. Operators of equal
precedence, i.e. the same operator used more than once, are applied
in order of their appearance in the expression from left to right.
- A search for DOG NOT CAT OR MOUSE will return results
This can be demonstrated by adding parentheses in the example (DOG
NOT CAT) OR MOUSE to show the order of precedence. Since NOT has
a higher order (precedence), its expression is evaluated first.
- contain the term DOG and do not contain
the term CAT or
- that contain the term MOUSE.
- A search for DOG NOT (CAT OR MOUSE) will return
results that contain DOG and do not contain either CAT nor MOUSE.
This is an example of overriding the default order of operations by
- Searching for actinide or actinides returns matches
containing either the term actinide or the term actinides.
- Searching for actinide and actinides returns matches
that MUST contain both actinide and actinides.
- Searching for actinide not actinides returns matches
– DO contain actinide and
– DO NOT contain actinides.
- The Search Results page provides you with information about your search,
including your search strategy, your sort choice, an approximate number
of results, and the number of results pages.
- From your Search Results page you can:
- Re-sort the search results
- Refine your search
- Select a Printer Friendly version of the Search Results page
- Navigate from your current Search Results page to other Search Results
- Select results of interest by checking the box in front of each result
and clicking on 'Show only (√) Items' (see Using
the Check Box).
- The default number of results per page is 25.
- Each title displayed is hyperlinked to the full Bibliographic Citation.
- Each author is hyperlinked so that, when selected, a search is conducted
for the selected author. The author search is the same as if you had conducted
search on Creator/Author from Fielded Search. For example, if you select
the 'Smith, John' hyperlink, it will provide you with the same search results
as when you conduct a Fielded Search on Creator/Author for
Using the Check Box
- Items selected via the selectable check box will be retained during your
browser session. These checked items will persist until you choose to clear
all previously selected items. This will allow you to perform multiple
searches using different criteria and have all selected items retained
in a single list.
- You may choose to clear all previously selected items.
- You may choose to remove single items from your list by deselecting the
- You may choose to view your list of selected results on the Search Results
by clicking on 'Show only (√) Items'.
- Bibliographic Citations are available via the 'Title' hyperlink on the
- Accessing individual pages of the full text is available via the Bibliographic
- You may search for full text authored by a specific individual by selecting
the appropriate Creator/Author hyperlink.
Capture Citations Using Zotero
- In order to utilize the Adopt-A-Doc Zotero capability, you will need to have already downloaded and installed the Zotero browser plugin (FireFox only).
- To capture citations using Zotero, click the folder icon in your browsers address bar on the Search Results or Bibliographic Citation page for the item(s) of interest. Selecting this folder icon from the Search Results screen will provide you with the option to capture one or more of the results on the page. Simply select the checkbox beside the citations you wish to capture then click “OK”.
- To view your captured citations simply click the “Zotero” icon towards the bottom right hand side of your browser window.
Download Citations Using EndNote
- In order to utilize the Adopt-A-Doc Database EndNote
capability, you will need to have already downloaded and installed the
EndNote software and have already created a Library. (In EndNote, access
the File Menu, select New).
- To download using EndNote, select the hyperlink 'Download as EndNote'
on the Bibliographic Citation page for the item(s) of interest. Selecting
this hyperlink will provide you with the option to save as an EndNote file
(.enl extension) directly to your own storage space.
- You may choose to have the EndNote Import File access your EndNote software
directly, in which case EndNote will prompt you for your Library file,
then a dialog box to select an import format will appear. Select "EndNote
Import Format" and select OK. Your selected citation will be previewed
and added into your EndNote library.
- If you choose to save the downloaded citations file (default file name
is "citations.enw"), you may open the EndNote software, open
your Library, then select the "Import" icon to add the selected
citations to your Library.
- For complete functionality, you must have a recent version of a major
Web browser (e.g. FireFox, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Netscape) and related
- In order to function correctly on your computer, required browser configurations
- Style sheets must be supported. The application is optimized for
W3C's CSS Level 2.
- Cookies must be accepted (uses session cookies).
- To display a document, a PDF
Viewer [exit federal site] and
unzip utility (such as WinZip for windows) are suggested. The PDF
viewer should be loaded as a plug-in to view individual pages in