When you think of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), what do you think of? The national laboratories? DOE’s leadership role in reliable, clean and affordable energy? Scientific discovery and innovation? Nuclear security? DOE has a role in all of these things, and more. Now, do you think about DOE’s connection with higher education? Probably not, but we want to change that.
EDUconnections is a year old project, and through it we celebrate our university partners, spotlighting a different higher education institution every month.
Ever wonder what innovations OSTI is developing to keep you informed while you are on the go? No need to ever wonder while you wander.
Now you can get DOE R&D full-text reports, OSTI news, videos and more while you’re on the move.
Technical reports and journal articles are both used to report the results of research and development projects. There are differences between the two that are driven by the objectives of each form of reporting.
The primary objective of journal articles is to report results of experimental and/or theoretical scientific investigations to enhance the body of scientific knowledge. This is the primary way that (1) science advances and (2) the scientific community communicates among its members and practitioners. Typically, there are space limitations prescribed by the journal publisher that limit the length of journal articles usually to only a few pages. Journal articles are almost always subjected to a rigorous peer review process before they are accepted for publication.
My mother died in March 2010 after a 15-year battle with Alzheimer’s, so I pay particular attention to news about this dreadful disease. A recent New York Times article caught my eye: “Sharing of Data Leads to Progress on Alzheimer's.”
One of the more fascinating pieces of work at a DOE National Laboratory was the examination of an ancient work by Archimedes on parchment that had been erased, written over, and so, mostly, lost to history. Lost, that is, until the SLAC synchrotron X-ray beam tore into the parchment and was able to let us see and read much of the original Archimedean text. Archimedes would have used a lab notebook, if he had had paper, or a computer and a thumb-drive to record his work if they had been available, but he did not live long enough to invent those things, which he probably could have if given the time. One hopes that before his study was erased, others were able to read it, profit from its insights, and use the knowledge as a springboard to another discovery. That’s one way we make progress.
We often hear that with declining costs in storage, increased bandwidth, and faster processing speeds, the power and potential of the electronic age to spread and communicate science are amazing things to ponder. I guess. But the work can still be lost, no matter how it is recorded. And some material, let’s face it, isn’t worth saving. Between this blog and Archimedes’ method of mechanical theorems, the work that SLAC was looking at, which would you save? What is needed now, as then, is someone to care about preserving the scientific findings that are worth preserving.