Energy Citations Database
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ECD Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What does the Energy Citations Database (ECD) contain? and what is the date range of the content?
The ECD contains:
– publicly available citations from the Department of Energy (DOE) and its predecessor agencies
electronic searchable and downloadable documents
– a fielded search that offers multiple field searching, 'Sort by' capabilities, relevancy ranking, and choices to limit by publication date, system entry date, type of document, and/or matches with electronic documents
– a Subject Select feature that assists in identifying terms for subject searches
– an Author Select feature that assists in identifying variation(s) of an author name or identification of multiple author names
– The capability to create, revise, and cancel weekly Alerts in subject areas of interest
navigation options that include the links at the top of each page and the Site Map.
The dates of the content of the database span many years —
– with historical content from the Manhattan Project era (citations beginning in the 1940's)
– and more recent documents, primarily from 1943 forward, that are available electronically.
When was ECD created and why?
ECD was created in 2001 in order to make DOE and predecessor agency report literature citations and electronic documents (when available) publicly accessible via the web at no cost to the user.
What are the topics in ECD?
Topics in ECD are wide-ranging and include subjects such as chemistry, physics, materials, environmental science, geology, engineering, mathematics, climatology, oceanography, computer science and related disciplines.
How often are documents added to the database?
The database is typically updated twice a week on Mondays and Thursdays. If the week contains a federal holiday, then the database is updated once during the week.
Is Energy Citations Database (ECD) the electronic equivalent of Energy Research Abstracts (ERA)?

Is Energy Citations Database (ECD) the electronic equivalent of Energy Research Abstracts (ERA). The short answer is no, Energy Citations Database does not contain everything in Energy Research Abstracts. ECD does include the unclassified, unlimited distribution scientific and technical reports from the Department of Energy and its predecessor agencies, the Atomic Energy Commission and the Energy Research and Development Administration, but some of the other energy related citations in ERA were excluded from ECD. The following was excluded.

  • Foreign and international energy related publications. These publications were obtained through international agreements that limited their distribution to within the U.S. only. Placing ECD on the web opened it up to worldwide distribution. As a result, those publications with distribution limitations were not included in ECD.
  • Translations. Citations to translations of foreign energy related publications were included in ERA prior to the United States' agreement in 1989 to the Berne Convention directives. U.S. acceptance of these directives required that translations NOT be further disseminated without specific permission from the original author. Obtaining these permissions was not within OSTI's resources and thus most translations were excluded from ECD.
  • Analytics. Citations that were coded as analytics posed technical problems that were beyond OSTI's capabilities when ECD was created. Analytics were used in describing something both at the comprehensive level and in terms of its component parts. This could be a book, a report or an issue of a journal. In ERA, the most common analytics were for conference proceedings, with an analytic citation created for the individual papers. However, it should also be noted that conference papers were also frequently processed individually, were not treated as analytics and were included in ECD. For this reason, while you will find conference papers in ECD, the majority of the conference papers in ERA will not be found.
  • Power Reactor Docket Information. This included dockets of safety analysis reports, license applications for nuclear power plants, and related information. Responsibility for access to this type of information had been transferred to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in the 1970s and thus the early nuclear reactor docket reports that had been included in Nuclear Science Abstracts and Energy Research Abstracts were not included in ECD.
  • GAP publications. GAP stands for "general and practical" and consisted of non-technical publications submitted to OSTI by DOE offices and labs. This material was considered to be out-of-scope and was not included in Energy Citations Database.

So if you are wondering whether you can get rid of the paper copies of Energy Research Abstract, it depends on whether you need access to any of the above categories. If you do, you probably want to hang on to the paper. However, if all you really want is access to the scientific and technical reports from DOE, ERDA and AEC, then Energy Citations Database should do the trick.

How do I find a document in ECD?
To find a document in ECD, you may use either the Basic Search or the Fielded Search. Enter the search term(s) of your choice, make other selections as appropriate, and either hit the Enter key on your keyboard or select the Search button.
How do I know if a document is available electronically? Of what value is a citation without an electronic document?
If a document is available electronically, then a document icon can be found in the 'Document' field on the Search Results page and on the Bibliographic Citation page. If a document is not available electronically, the content of the citation provides information about the document and can assist you in locating a copy of the document.
How do I download a document? and how long will it take? and how much will it cost?
If the document is available electronically, to download right-click on the icon and choose "Save Link As" or "Save Target As". The length of time it will take depends upon the size of the document and the technical capabilities of your equipment. For instance, a large document downloaded using a modem would take a long time while downloading the same document using a T-1 line would be much quicker. Downloading a document is free of charge.
If I am interested in just a few pages, can I download only those pages of interest?
To download a specific page, use the "Access Individual Page" feature that is on the bibliographic citation page to identify the page(s) of interest. After you open an individual page in Adobe, you can download it using the "File --> Save Page As" option. Downloading an individual page is free of charge.
Can I capture citations using Zotero?
In order to utilize the Information Bridge 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.
How do I get a copy of a journal article?
For a copy of a journal article, you may contact the Publisher or your local public or university library and refer to the information found in the Resource Relation field to identify the specifics for the journal article.
What other types of documents/citations can be found on ECD?
In addition to journal article information, ECD contains documents/citations to DOE report literature, conference papers, books, dissertations, and patents.
How do I get a copy of these other types of documents when they are not available electronically on ECD?
For information about acquiring documents not available electronically, please see the content of the citation for the document and the Document Availability page.
How do I get help with ECD?
In addition to this FAQ page, there is a Help page containing additional information. Please feel free to notify us if you have questions about the website or wish to submit a comment.
How do I get help with ECD Alerts?
To get help with ECD Alerts, please see the ECD Alerts Help page and/or the ECD Alerts FAQ page.
What are the predecessor agencies of DOE?
The predecessor agencies of DOE are the Energy Research & Development Administration (ERDA) and the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC).
How widespread is DOE's research efforts?
DOE is responsible for the management of an extensive National Laboratory System, which represents one of the most comprehensive research enterprises in the world. These laboratories perform research and development that is multidisciplinary in nature and for which there is a strong public and national purpose. DOE sponsors research at universities located in 49 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. These efforts support tens of thousands of principal investigators, post-doctoral students, and graduate students who are tackling some of the most challenging scientific questions of our era.
What other databases/products are available from DOE's Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI)?
OSTI's DOE Science Accelerator searches multiple science resources, including Energy Citations Database. These resources, developed by OSTI, reside in the deep web where popular search engines cannot go. The DOE Science Accelerator provides a "deeper" search that yields results ranked by relevancy. This search may take a little longer, but returns more comprehensive, higher quality science information.

Additional databases/products can be found in the left column on the OSTI Home Page.