The Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) plays an integral role in ensuring transparency and access to the results of the Department of Energy’s scientific efforts – and such transparency and access help assure DOE’s scientific integrity, according to a policy statement recently issued by Secretary of Energy Steven Chu.
“In December 2010,” Secretary Chu wrote in a May 11, 2012, memo to DOE employees, “the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) at the White House issued a memorandum asking all agencies to establish a scientific integrity policy. In response to this call, I recently signed the Secretarial Policy Statement on Scientific Integrity for the Department of Energy applicable to all DOE Federal employees. This policy builds on the Department’s existing policies and best practices to support a culture of scientific integrity.”
“Science and technology are the foundation of all Department of Energy activities…,” the Secretarial Policy Statement on Scientific Integrity opens. “The Department’s mission relies on objective, reliable, accurate, and accessible scientific and technical information.” And OSTI, which fulfills the agency's responsibilities to collect, preserve and disseminate scientific and technical information emanating from the Department’s research and development activities, contributes to scientific integrity in vital ways.
“DOE will facilitate the free flow of scientific and technological information,” the policy statement provides, “consistent with standards for treatment of classified, sensitive, private, and proprietary information. Transparency and accessibility of scientific and technological information support the continued advancement of a sound science and technology base to help guide and inform the nation’s critical public policy decisions; advance the national, economic and energy security of the U.S.; facilitate the accomplishment of DOE mission objectives; and maximize the public value of such efforts.”
The Secretarial Policy Statement on Scientific Integrity also indicates that, “[c]onsistent with the Administration’s Open Government Initiative, the Department will use its website and the resources of its Office of Scientific and Technical Information to help make its research findings more widely available to the public.”
OSTI provides access to scientific and technical information using web-based searchable databases, offering ever-expanding sources of R&D information to DOE, the research community and the science-attentive public. The databases offer search simplicity as well as advanced capabilities, such as customized alerts, results displayed in relevance ranked order and downloadable search results for a broad array of scientific information related to DOE missions.
OSTI’s DOE collection, Science Accelerator, searches 11 key DOE resources, including the results of DOE’s R&D projects and programs, major R&D accomplishments, DOE patents, and recent research and scientific videos of interest to DOE.
OSTI works with DOE program offices, field offices, national labs, and grantees to acquire the scientific and technical information from departmental R&D. Through OSTI web products, these R&D results are accessed nearly 300 million times annually.
Secretary Chu’s policy statement is posted on the “Scientific Integrity” page of the White House OSTP website.