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

OSTI History



Accelerating Science Discovery: From the '40s to the Future

 

OSTI has long been committed to ensuring citizens have appropriate access to their government’s research results. OSTI is dedicated to the principle that, to advance science, research must be shared. OSTI works to accelerate the sharing of knowledge to speed discovery.

 

1940s Established to Meet the Needs of the Nation

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1946
Atomic Energy Act of 1946 (P.L. 79-585) created the Atomic Energy Commission to foster the peaceful uses of atomic energy; and set up an Industrial Information Branch to facilitate the transfer of scientific and technical information to the private sector
1947
Technical Information Division, precursor of OSTI, established to manage information pursuant to the Manhattan Project and to maintain the growing collection
1947
Abstracts of Declassified Documents published to meet needs of researchers
1948
World famous Nuclear Science Abstracts periodical introduced

 

1950s Expanded to Meet the Needs of the World

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1950
AEC Publication Exchange Program began, broadening the coverage of NSA
1950
AEC Depository Library system established to make AEC report literature available to the U.S. Public
1951
TID coordinated distribution of technical training films on radioisotopes, the beginning of a large film distribution program
1952
Document miniaturization (microcard/microfiche) began as an approved archive method and an inexpensive way to deliver full-text scientific and technical information
1954
Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (P.L. 83-703) amended the AEC Act of 1946 and directed AEC to disseminate unclassified STI related to atomic energy; to promote progress and encourage public understanding; and empowered AEC to classify, for reasons of national security, restricted data and to control its dissemination
1954
Atoms for Peace program established for sharing of nuclear information for peaceful uses
1954
TID authorized to make shipments to approved international locations, and recipients asked to provide similar technical materials produced in their countries
1956
Creation of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the world’s foremost intergovernmental forum for scientific and technical co-operation in the peaceful use of nuclear technology
1957
Technical Progress Reviews debuted
1957
TID moved to current location from the Oak Ridge Operations Administration Building
1958
AEC highlighted the unique features of its technical information dissemination program at the 2nd United Nations Conference on Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy in Geneva
1959
Photo mechanical method introduced for NSA indexes

 

1960s Supporting the Nation’s Science Education Endeavor

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1960
Domestic and international events resulted in the amount of Scientific and Technical Information announced doubling each five years
1961
Termination of the Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion program resulted in wide-scale declassification and subsequent announcement of reports
1961
Technical Information Division (TID) begins collaboration with the domestic depository library program
1962
TID becomes Division of Technical Information Extension (DTIE)
1962
U.S. and foreign country Atoms-for-Peace libraries maintained by DTIE through shipments of most recently received and announced reports, in hardcopy or microcard
1962
First booklets of the series “Understanding the Atom” published, written to simplify and improve the answering of inquiries of nuclear topics
1962
American Institute of Physics collaborated with DTIE to enhance coverage of physics material in Nuclear Science Abstracts
1962
DTIE supported the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) Domestic Exhibits Program and served as principal service point for supplying information and educational materials on uses of the atom both for its energy potential and its promise in medicine
1963
The AEC’s domestic program expanded to a number of host countries and DTIE supported foreign exhibits program through selection of scientific materials, shipping, and staffing
1963
Production of microfiche commenced, replacing routine production of microcards for distribution
1963
DTIE pioneered development of new techniques to automate mailing of educational literature packets
1963
Weinberg Report issued by the White House, documenting the value of technical information as an integral part of science and finding that the transfer of information is an inseparable part of research and development
1964
DTIE provided support and scientific materials for the Third Geneva Conference and the New York World’s Fair
1967
Computer processing of information began, electronic information stored to enable rapid searching of bibliographic information
1968
DTIE continued to maintain broad acquisitions program for NSA with a total of 316 foreign exchange agreements in 44 countries
1969
International Nuclear Information System created under the International Atomic Energy Agency
1969
Work began on new instructional series for elementary school science, “The World of the Atom”

 

1970s Beyond Nuclear Energy to Support All Forms of Energy

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1970
New educational poster innovation launched, aimed at the elementary and junior high school level
1970
Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) used Scientific and Technical Information databases to demonstrate feasibility of accessing large databases worldwide by means of electronic communication
1970
Electronic access to citations via RECON retrieval system implemented
1972
Division of Technical Information Extension becomes Technical Information Center (TIC)
1973
Technical information program broadened to include not only nuclear energy, but all forms of energy sources such as fossil, geothermal, and renewable
1973
Interagency agreement with the National Technical Information Service signed to cover the sale of AEC reports
1974
President Gerald Ford signed the Energy Reorganization Act, thereby abolishing the AEC and establishing the Energy Research and Development Administration (ERDA)
1974
Energy Reorganization Act of 1974 (P.L. 93-438) provided for developing, collecting, distributing, and making scientific and technical information available for distribution
1974
International Energy Agency (IEA) founded by U.S. and other member countries of the Organization of Economic Co-Operation and Development
1974
TIC became U.S. focal point for fulfilling cooperative information exchange mechanisms made under agreements with the IEA Coal Research Service and the IEA Biomass Information Service
1974
Energy Database initiated
1974
Magnetic tapes became routine medium for the transfer and exchange of technical information
1975
TIC fulfilled official and public requests for materials, and manages broad public education program covering the range of Agency’s energy research responsibilities
1975
TIC managed the ERDA centralized motion picture film library and loan service, serving schools, colleges, universities, industry, professional societies, and the general public
1975
Agency-wide technical information meetings initiated
1976
ERDA Research Abstracts developed to provide an announcement outlet for R&D results from all ERDA projects, non-nuclear as well as nuclear
1976
Nuclear Science Abstracts discontinued and replaced with Atomindex international announcement product, with TIC contributing U.S. input
1977
President Jimmy Carter established the Department of Energy
1977
Department of Energy Organization Act of 1977 (P.L. 95-91) stated that the Energy Secretary shall establish and maintain a central source of information on all energy resources and technology for disseminating information resulting from R&D programs
1977
TIC responded to citizens’ information needs during “energy crisis” to support President Carter’s National Energy Plan
1979
Research in Progress system established on behalf of the Department and becomes contributing source to Federal RIP

 

1980s Forging Partnerships on the Information Front

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1980
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) Databank signed for the exchange of computer codes
1981
Bilateral MOUs began with other countries to exchange non-nuclear information
1981
Department of Energy Panel on International Scientific and Technical Information (STI) concluded that foreign STI should be aggressively acquired and disseminated, and all foreign information should be routed through TIC to ensure maximum availability and usage
1981
Economic analysis issued, known as the King Study, which concluded that centralized DOE information program saved the Department billions of dollars by avoiding duplication and increasing productivity
1983
First DOE directive dedicated exclusively to STI management issued, expanding Technical Information Center's (TIC) responsibilities within the Department
1984
TIC became Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) and assumes programmatic responsibility for Department’s Technical Information Management Program (TIMP)
1985
CENDI chartered via MOU among Departments of Energy, Commerce, and Defense, and NASA, establishing an interagency group focused on federal STI programs
1985
OSTI provided over 150 DOE and contractor libraries and over 260 GPO depository libraries with collections of DOE reports in microfiche form
1985
Bilateral exchange agreements in place with eight industrialized countries: Denmark, France, Federal Republic of Germany, the Netherlands, Finland, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom
1986
Use of RECON ended with OSTI’s implementation of BASIS text information retrieval software
1987
Scientific and Technical Information Coordinating Group chartered to address DOE’s cross-cutting STI issues
1987
Energy Technology Data Exchange created under IEA; program includes 11 participating countries
1987
OSTI named U.S. Delegate and Operating Agent for the International Energy Agency’s Energy Technology Data Exchange agreement

 

1990s An Era of Profound and Rapid Change

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1991
Energy Science and Technology Software Center established at OSTI
1992
OSTI created system to manage Cooperative Research and Development Agreements, a new technology transfer mechanism
1994
OSTI created and unveiled the first Department of Energy Home Page
1995
In response to Secretarial initiative, OSTI hosted OpenNet database to provide references to all documents declassified and made publicly available after 10/1/94
1995
Reports Bibliographic Database developed in partnership with Government Printing Office
1996
OSTI continued to provide the U.S. Liason Officer and the U.S. Nuclear STI input to the International Atomic Energy’s International Nuclear Information System, the world’s leading information system on the peaceful uses of nuclear energy
1997
EnergyFiles unveiled at Inforum ‘97, providing a virtual library of energy science and technology
1997
R&D Project Summaries posted online, providing an important management resource for DOE R&D activities
1997
Microfiche production and operation of on-site printing plant ends
1997
Scientific and Technical Information Program Strategic Plan issued, promoting increase in mutually beneficial collaboration with STIP partners at laboratories and Operations Offices
1997
DOE Information Bridge made available to DOE and DOE contractors, providing electronic full-text access to technical reports
1998
Online report submission capability initiated via E-Link
1998
Information Bridge made available to public, launching a new day in public access to Scientific and Technical Information
1998
OSTI implemented routine author notification process, announcing availability of full-text via Information Bridge
1999
Launch of ETDEWeb provided information from member countries and world-wide information in nuclear, coal, and global climate change areas
1999
R&D Accomplishments launched to provide central forum for information about the outcomes of past R&D and to highlight remarkable advances in science
1999
EnergyFiles EnergyPortal Search available, breaking new ground in distributed deep-web searching
1999
PubSCIENCE launched with assistance of Secretary Richardson, representing a collaborative effort between OSTI and the scientific publishing community

 

2000 and Beyond Meeting the Needs for Scientific and Technical Information

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2000
PrePRINT Network made available; completes the trilogy of the technical information products: technical reports, journal literature and preprints
2000
OSTI convened Physical Sciences Workshop, chaired by Dr. Alvin W. Trivelpiece
2000
GrayLIT Network broke ground as world’s most comprehensive portal to full-text technical reports
2000
PrePRINT Alerts made available to provide users automatic way of receiving the most current preprints
2000
Former current awareness publications transformed into Subject Portals, subject specific web sites pertaining to key areas of R&D
2001
Workshop conducted to explore means for improving public access to science information of Federal Agencies, resulting in formation of science.gov Alliance
2001
Energy Citations Database made available to provide access to Department of Energy (DOE) publicly available citations from 1948 forward
2002
Data harvesting initiated to increase comprehensiveness of Scientific and Technical Information (STI) while reducing the reporting burden for Departmental labs
2002
Science.gov, launched FirstGov’s designated science portal
2003
PrePrint Network, renamed E-Print Network, was expanded and designed to facilitate peer exchange and scientific advancement
2003
DOE co-hosted conference commemorating fiftieth anniversary of President Eisenhower’s "Atoms for Peace" speech, OSTI exhibited a range of information emanating from the Atoms for Peace initiative
2003
To commemorate Science.gov, Science.gov Way became the official name of road adjacent to OSTI, the first known .gov road;
1 Science.gov Way became the official address of OSTI
2004
Reference linking offered to DOE report authors
2004
OSTI partnered with popular search engines to make all DOE-sponsored R&D searchable by title, improving accessibility, use and visibility of DOE’s STI
2007
Launched DOE Science Accelerator, first one-stop search of Key DOE Databases
2007
Launched WorldWideScience.org, first one-stop search of Global Science Gateway

2007
Launched DOePatents, DOE's central collection of patent information
2008
Launched DOE Data Explorer, an information tool to find scientific research data