Frequently Asked Questions

Why was the DOE Data Explorer developed? How has its original "vision" changed over the years?

The DOE Data Explorer (DDE) launched in 2008 as a way to guide users to collections of publicly available, DOE-sponsored data and other non-text information. The collections may reside at data centers, user facilities, on pages maintained by groups within laboratories, on university websites, and on commercial sites such as YouTube, Vimeo, and SciVee. They contain many forms and formats and reach across all of DOE's science disciplines. DOE Data Explorer was, and still is, intended to be particularly useful to students, the public, and to researchers who are new to a field or looking for data outside of their normal field of expertise.

In 2011, OSTI began to announce individual datasets and register them for Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) through its partnership with DataCite. Soon DDE users were able to view both collection citations and citations identifying individual datasets with one search. The original database design, however, meant that the two types of results could not be merged and manipulated inside the DDE product. But in spring of 2013, DDE was completely redesigned. The website took on a new look, and the database was rewritten with different software, new functionalities, and a true merger of its two types of records - those guiding users to collections and those guiding users to individual datasets with persistent identifiers (DOIs). In early 2014 the "look and feel" was modified again to more closely resemble the look and feel of other products in OSTI's "family."

What is DOE Data Explorer?

How was DDE developed and by whom?

What are the criteria that determine which data collections are referenced? What about individual datasets?

Where do the individual datasets come from? How do they get into DDE?

How can a user tell the difference between a collection and an individual dataset? Isn't it true that both may have multiple items in their content?

What's the difference between a dataset and a datastream?

Tell me about the Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) on these individual datasets or datastreams.

How is DOE financial support determined?

Why do many of the collection citations not have a Creator/Author listed?

How many data collections are described in the database? Won't the individual datasets outnumber the collections?

Do the collections have to be active or can archival collections be included?

How often is the DDE database updated?

DDE has data collection citations and individual dataset citations listed as resource types. But what are the various data types that can be searched?

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