OSTI Mission: Advancing science and sustaining technological creativity by making R&D findings available
and useful to Department of Energy (DOE) researchers and the public
The Department of Energy (DOE) Technology Transfer website has a new search tool. For the first time users can search tech transfer information across the DOE national laboratories with a single search box.
This new tool enables users to search all DOE technology transfer information, including inventions, patents and other applied research, available from DOE national laboratories in real time. Using web-crawling technology, the search capability allows users to enter a single query for a technology transfer term, and the search feature returns a consolidated, relevance-ranked list of information from across the DOE complex. Users do not need to know the national laboratory or researcher associated with a search term to find the information they need.
DOE is responsible for between a third and half of all new inventions, patents and other technology-transfer related activity across the federal government each year. “By ensuring the fullest use of the fruits of federal investment in research and development,” in the words of the Secretarial Policy Statement on Technology Transfer at DOE Facilities, “technology transfer supports DOE’s mission of ensuring America’s security and prosperity by addressing its energy, environmental and nuclear challenges through transformative science and technology solutions.”
The DOE Technology Transfer search capability is the first of its kind in the federal government and was developed by the DOE Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) for the Office of the DOE Technology Transfer Coordinator. OSTI also hosts the Tech Transfer website. The DOE Technology Transfer search function has been added to the Science Accelerator, OSTI’s gateway to DOE research and development (R&D) information.
Science.gov, the groundbreaking search and retrieval gateway to U.S. government science information, is celebrating its 10th anniversary. Through a one-stop search, this portal offers free access to R&D results from 17 organizations within 13 federal science agencies. Science.gov is hosted by OSTI and supported by CENDI, an interagency working group of senior scientific and technical information managers.
Science.gov was the first government science search engine to rank results for relevancy in real time and was a pioneer in precision searching across full-text documents. Over the past 10 years the number of pages available at Science.gov has grown from 47 million to over 200 million; the number of scientific databases made accessible has increased by 30 percent; and the annual page views now top 34 million, a 45-fold increase from the earliest days.
"From its earliest days, Science.gov has broken new ground in voluntary interagency collaboration to advance transparency and open government," said Dr. Bill Brinkman, Director of the DOE Office of Science. "Through Science.gov, OSTI is working to get DOE science results out to the scientific community and beyond and ensure other federal agencies' R&D gets into the hands of DOE researchers."
Science.gov includes key DOE R&D databases of full-text documents, citations, patents, e-prints, accomplishments, multimedia, data, software and more, all covered in the DOE Science Accelerator. It also searches information offered by other R&D agencies. Users need not know ahead of time which agency has produced what information to find what they are looking for (read more).
The interagency Science.gov Alliance – which governs Science.gov – includes the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, the Interior, and Transportation; the Environmental Protection Agency, the Library of Congress, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Archives and Records Administration, and the National Science Foundation. These agencies represent 97 percent of the federal R&D budget.
It is probably no surprise that university libraries refer a great deal of traffic to OSTI. While many academic researchers are familiar with OSTI resources, countless others are either directed to an OSTI search tool by librarians or find an OSTI product on a library’s online database finder or subject guide.
One of OSTI’s outreach goals is to help more librarians to understand the wide breadth of scientific and technical resources available through OSTI.
DOE-sponsored research falls within every scientific discipline. A library that lists research databases by subject area should have the Information Bridge or Energy Citations Database under physics, chemistry, materials, biology, environmental sciences, engineering, geology, computer and information science, and medicine. Libraries that list OSTI products under multiple subject areas experience heavier use.
In the last few years, a number of academic research libraries have taken an additional route to make DOE R&D results more readily available to library users. These libraries have loaded records into their online catalogs for the full-text research reports available through the DOE Information Bridge. The records are in the MARC format used by libraries and are available at no cost. Usage statistics at OSTI show a tremendous increase in page retrievals from libraries that have loaded the Information Bridge MARC records. In fact, researchers at universities that have loaded the OSTI records are using DOE research reports at a rate higher than most other universities in the country (see Statistically Speaking). Even libraries that had not previously shown high usage of the Information Bridge, Energy Citations Database or other OSTI products experienced significant increases in the usage of DOE reports after loading the records. These huge increases in retrievals of DOE research show that there was demand for this type of information that was not being met previously.
A MARC record is a MAchine-Readable Cataloging record that contains bibliographic information in a format that libraries can load in their online catalogs. Library online catalogs need a means of interpreting the information found in a cataloging record. The MARC record contains a guide to its data, or little "signposts," before each piece of bibliographic information. These “signposts” or tags allow the computer to identify such parts of a record as author, title, subject, publisher, place of publication, or publication date. MARC records also facilitate the sharing of bibliographic records among libraries.
Results of DOE-supported green energy technology R&D can be easily accessed via the DOE Green Energy portal. A search of DOE Green Energy retrieves technical reports and patent information on energy conservation and a variety of renewable energy resources. The citations searched by DOE Green Energy are extracted from the DOE Information Bridge and DOepatents using the following subject categories: "hydrogen", "biomass fuels", "synthetic fuels", "hydro energy", "solar energy", "geothermal energy", "tidal and wave power", "wind energy", "energy storage", "direct energy conversion", "energy conservation, consumption and utilization", and "advanced propulsion systems". DOE Green Energy contains both current and historical research.
What is unique to this search tool? DOE Green Energy runs a behind-the-scenes “keyword to concept” mapping technology, a “semantic search” technique that produces search results that explore more narrow concepts and related concepts. Thus, the DOE Green Energy search will return a greater number of results that are more likely to be relevant. A bonus, the auto-complete feature allows you to immediately see a list of associated concepts as you type your query.
Searching by report number is one of the easiest ways to find a known item using the DOE Information Bridge or Energy Citations Database. Whether searching in the Basic Search box or the Fielded Search Identifier Numbers field, you will get best results by omitting all punctuation and spaces from the report number. This is due to the variations that have occurred in the format of the report number series over the course of time.
"Our success should be measured not when a project is completed or an experiment concluded, but when scientific and technical information is disseminated."
How can DOE labs and facilities make their researchers’ R&D more visible in the large commercial search engine landscape? The staff at OSTI thought that DOE programs shouldn’t have to wait for the big search engines to find the R&D or the researchers. So, back in the early 2000s, OSTI began working with Google and Yahoo! to make the DOE R&D results submitted by the DOE complex-wide STIP community available through the commercial search engines. The effort culminated with the implementation of the Site Map Protocol, and the testimony of Google's J.L. Needham to the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee on December 11, 2007, detailed that work. He noted that OSTI “operates a large database that makes research and development findings available to the public. OSTI developed a Sitemap for its Energy Citations and Information Bridge services in just 12 hours, opening up 2.3 million bibliographic records and full-text documents to crawling by search engines. After its implementation of Sitemaps, OSTI saw a dramatic increase in traffic to its services... ." Of course, none of this would be possible without a strong DOE Scientific and Technical Information Program (STIP) community working to ensure their R&D results are submitted to OSTI so they can be broadly disseminated to advance science.
Mark Martin brings extensive experience in information program management, information security, enterprise web service development, and project management to DOE OSTI in his new role as Assistant Director, Office of Program Integration. He is responsible for the DOE Scientific and Technical Information Program, product development and management, interagency information collaborations, and cyber certification and accreditation. He has 15 years of experience managing successful software development and information management projects and teams.
Martin’s background includes information management expertise in leading high-profile program initiatives with federal, academic, and commercial entities; leadership in cyber security with responsibility for the accreditation and certification of large scale systems; and software architecture experience related to the design of numerous large scale software projects and system development methodologies.
Monte Carlo calculation methods are algorithms for solving various kinds of computational problems by using (pseudo) random numbers. Developed in the 1940s during the Manhattan Project, the Monte Carlo method signified a radical change in how scientists solved problems. Learn about the ways these methods are used in DOE’s research endeavors today in “Monte Carlo Methods” by Dr. William Watson, Physicist, OSTI staff. The Science Showcase is now featured on the OSTI Homepage monthly slideshow! Read and explore past Science Showcases.
Referred Page Retrievals from OSTI.gov by U.S. Universities, January 2011 – May 2012
|School||Library Catalog Page Retrievals||Non-Catalog Page Retrievals||Total Number of Page Retrievals||DOE Office of Science Funding
|University of Florida*||13396||399||13795||5,623,000|
|University of Wisconsin||8||10516||10524||51,165,000|
|University of Missouri*||9147||937||10084||2,755,000|
|University of Colorado*||6008||1634||7642||9,417,000|
|Penn State University||7||3690||3697||6,296,000|
|University of South Florida*||5573||30||5603||625,000|
|Florida International University*||4666||285||4951||1,118,000|
|University of Texas||4530||4530||13,987,000|
|University of Iowa*||3736||173||3909||10,142,000|
|Oklahoma State University*||1557||299||1856||962,000|
|George Mason University||2853||2853||475,000|
|University of California Berkeley||80||2796||2876||7,620,000|
|University of Pennsylvania||2977||2977||7,330,000|
|Colorado School of Mines||2790||2790||1,254,000|
|University of Buffalo||1365||1365||857,000|
|Michigan State University*||2124||357||2481||20,329,000|