U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Federated Search

Blueprint for Finding R&D Results

OSTI ensures global access to DOE research results and brings the world's research to DOE.

To find government research results, first you need to find the right discovery tools.


Blueprint for Finding R&D Results ScienceAccelerator.gov science.gov WorldWideScience.org


If you’ve been searching for science information using popular search engines such as Google, Yahoo! and MSN, you may be missing out on the research you need.


That’s because popular search engines generally cannot search in the deep web where most scientific research results are found.

Discovery Tools

The Deep Web is Huge
The deep web is huge - by some estimates, the deep web is more than 500 times the size of the surface web where popular search engines "crawl"  .

To get to the deep web, you need discovery tools, such as Science Accelerator, (DOE science information) Science.gov, (U.S. science information), and WorldWideScience.org. (global science information). With these tools you can find the richest scientific content – the results of billions of dollars worth of government-sponsored scientific research results. In one query, you can search multiple databases at one time, sort through the information in ways that are useful to you, and rapidly return relevant results to your desktop.


When you enter a query in basic search, the query is sent to every individual data resource (database, collection, and portal) searched by the discovery tool. The individual data resources send back a list of results from the search query. Results are then ranked in relevance order. You can review the results and navigate to the host site of a particular result for more detailed information.


This process allows some key advantages when compared with existing crawler-based search engines. No requirements or burdens are placed on owners of the individual data sources, other than handling increased traffic. Federated searches are inherently as current as the individual data sources, as they are searched in real time.



Science Accelerator implements a federated search to provide coverage of important databases and collections of U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) scientific and technical information. The federated search feature of Science Accelerator allows you to search multiple networked data resources with a single query. Science Accelerator is the DOE contribution to Science.gov.



Science.gov implements a federated search which allows users to search a term or phrase with one query sent to over 55 authoritative databases  hosted by 15 federal agencies.  Because the results are accessible via Science.gov, users do not need to know which agency holds the information in order to find it.

Unlike other federated searches, Science.gov automatically includes an additional source. Science.gov websites is an index of over 2100 websites selected and submitted by the federal agencies.  Science.gov websites enhance the deep web content by providing significant breadth and currency as an “interagency database” included in the federated search. Science.gov is the U.S. contribution to WorldWideScience.org.



WorldWideScience implements a federated search to provide coverage of national and international scientific databases and portals from every inhabited continent, including over 70 countries.



Last updated on Thursday 24 July 2014