By Walt Warnick and Peter Lincoln
The Department of Energy Open Government Plan (http://energy.gov/open/documents/DOE_OGI_Plan_07Apr2010.pdf) published in April 2010 prominently featured the DOE Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) and several of its initiatives, products and services.
On January 21, 2009, his first full day in office, President Barack Obama signed the Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government. The memo was addressed to the heads of all Cabinet departments and agencies, and in it, the President called for “an unprecedented level of openness in Government” and instructed the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to prepare a directive that would serve “to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation and collaboration” throughout the Federal Government.
On December 8, 2009, OMB Director Peter Orszag issued the Administration’s Open Government Directive, which required agencies to take a number of steps to advance the principles of transparency, participation and collaboration, including preparation and publication of an Open Government Plan by April 7, 2010.
The Department of Energy was one of 29 agencies that has posted its Open Government Plan online, and OSTI’s contributions appeared throughout the 30-page DOE document.
The DOE plan included a brief profile of OSTI (http://www.osti.gov/) and its Science Accelerator (http://www.scienceaccelerator.gov/) resource (on page 16), and the plan listed OSTI’s newest product, the DOE Green Energy portal (http://www.osti.gov/greenenergy/) (page 17).
The DOE plan also accounted for the many high-value datasets that OSTI has posted to Data.gov (http://www.osti.gov/open.html), as called for in the Open Government Directive (pages 6-7, 16 and 18).
As examples of DOE collaboration, the Department’s Open Government Plan included Science.gov (http://www.science.gov/) and WorldWideScience.org (http://worldwidescience.org/) (page 26), and it listed Multilingual WorldWideScience.org , due to be launched this June (page 23), and the prospective National Library of Energy (page 22) as new DOE transparency programs.
And perhaps most significantly, the DOE plan listed ScienceEducation.gov (http://www.scienceeducation.gov/widget) as one of the Department three open government “flagship initiatives” (page 13).
OSTI’s mission is to advance science and sustain creativity by making R&D findings available to the Department of Energy and other researchers and the public. OSTI is founded on the principle that science progresses only if knowledge is shared, and the OSTI Corollary – accelerating the sharing of knowledge accelerates the advancement of science – takes OSTI’s founding principle to the next level.
OSTI is proud that the DOE Open Government Plan recognized several of its ongoing and planned products and services as fulfilling the vision of the Open Government Directive. OSTI aspires to continue advancing the principles of transparency, participation and collaboration in years to come.
Warnick is Director of OSTI. Lincoln is a Senior Advisor in OSTI and was a co-author of the DOE Open Government Plan.