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Managing the Department of Energy’s Office of Biological and Environmental Research (BER) Project Information

by Lorrie Johnson on Tue, 2 Aug, 2011

OSTI’s mission is to collect, preserve, and disseminate DOE-sponsored R&D results emanating from research projects at DOE Laboratories and facilities and from grantees at universities and other institutions.  OSTI performs its mission through many avenues, one of which includes supporting its parent organization within DOE, the Office of Science (SC), and the research programs within SC.

Since 1995, OSTI has provided assistance and support to the Office of Biological and Environmental Research (BER) by developing and maintaining a database of BER research project information.  Called the BER Abstracts Database (http://www.osti.gov/oberabstracts/index.jsp), it contains summaries of research projects supported by the program.  Made up of two divisions, Biological Systems Science Division and Climate and Environmental Sciences Division, BER is responsible for world-class biological and environmental research programs and scientific user facilities.  BER’s research program is closely aligned with DOE’s mission goals and focuses on two main areas:  the Nation’s Energy Security (developing cost-effective cellulosic biofuels) and the Nation’s Environmental Future (improving the ability to understand, predict, and mitigate the impacts of energy production and use on climate change).

The BER Abstracts Database is publicly available to scientists, researchers, and interested citizens.  Each BER research project is represented in the database, including both current/active projects and historical projects dating back to 1995.  The information available on each research project includes:  project title, abstract, principal investigator, research institution, research area, project term, and funding.  Users may conduct basic or advanced searches, and various sorting and downloading options are available.  BER provides the basic project information to OSTI for the database.  At the direction of BER, principal investigators are then notified to submit project abstracts through a submission form hosted at OSTI.  Once verified, the abstracts submitted by the principal investigators appear in the database.  Updates to both project information and abstracts can be made at any time.

The BER Abstracts Database serves as a tool for BER program managers and a valuable resource for the public.  The database also meets the Department’s strategic goals to disseminate research information and results.  Over the past 16 years, over 6,000 project records have been created for the database, offering a fascinating look into the BER research program and how it has evolved.  BER played a major role in the development of genomics-based systems biology and in the biotechnology revolution occurring over this period, while also supporting ground-breaking research on the impacts of energy production and use on the environment.   The BER Abstracts Database, made available through the collaborative partnership between BER and OSTI, highlights these scientific advancements and maximizes the public value of BER’s research.

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Lorrie Johnson's picture
Lorrie Johnson
Senior Librarian

OSTI program liaison, Operating Agent representative for WorldWideScience.org