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OSTIblog Articles in the products and content Topic

OSTI’s Amazing Dr. Watson

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OSTI’s Amazing Dr. Watson

During the past year, Dr. William N. Watson, physicist, of DOE/OSTI’s staff has posted quite a few very interesting white papers in OSTI’s monthly Science Showcase on OSTI’s Home Page.  This quiet, unassuming man crafts prolific papers on popular science topics of interest to the Department of Energy (DOE).  He investigates and assimilates this information from OSTI’s extensive R&D Collections and takes us on a layman’s journey through the technical details and scientific research that make it all possible.

William’s papers have helped us to understand key technologies developed at DOE Laboratories for the Mars Science Laboratory’s Curiosity and how chemical analysis of rocks and soil is determined millions of miles away.  We know what is happening with new heat pump technology and how DOE researchers are working to improve designs and efficiency. The coherence of galaxies and dark energy and dark matter has been explained and the exciting research that is changing what we know about the world around us. William has given us an in-depth overview of the unique capabilities of metamaterials and how DOE research is eliminating the technical obstacles to their production and use in new devices.  We have learned about the development of quantum computing and its capability to solve practical problems not possible with present-day computers. We know how...

Related Topics: Curiosity, dark energy, dark matter, DOE Science Showcase, free-electron lasers, heat pump, metamaterials, quantum computing, R&D Collections, William Watson

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Introducing SciTech Connect

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Introducing SciTech Connect

With the release of SciTech Connect, OSTI is expanding its deployment of semantic search, an innovative technology to improve the quality and relevance of search results across the majority of its DOE content.  Semantic search is a way to enhance search accuracy contextually. Rather than relying on search algorithms that identify a specific query term, semantic search uses more complex contextual relationships among people, places and things. It is an especially effective search approach when a person truly is researching a topic (rather than trying to navigate to a particular destination).

OSTI Director Walt Warnick has said this about SciTech Connect:  “Now, with SciTech Connect, we are expanding deployment of innovative semantic search technology to make DOE R&D results easier to retrieve and thereby better serve our dual core mission – getting DOE results out to the scientific community and beyond, and getting the community’s results into DOE.”

SciTech Connect contains all the full-text documents and citations previously found in Information Bridge and Energy Citations Database. Thus, SciTech Connect contains over sixty-five years of energy-related citations created and/or collected by OSTI. There are over 2.5 million citations, including citations to 1.4 million journal articles, 364,000 of which have digital object identifiers (DOIs) linking to full-text articles on publishers’ websites.  SciTech Connect also has over 313,000 full-text DOE sponsored STI reports; most of these are post-1991, but close to 85,000 of the reports were published prior to 1990. 

We are gradually phasing out Information Bridge and Energy Citations Database (more information). These products  accounted for approximately half of the 298 million transactions OSTI handled in 2012. OSTI will work to ensure a smooth transition for patrons as it consolidates these...

Related Topics: Energy Citations Database (ECD), Information Bridge (IB), SciTech Connect, STI reports

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And the winner is . . . . you!

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And the winner is . . . . you!

Did you ever stop to think what makes it possible for you to have immediate, free access to Department of Energy (DOE) scientific findings from billions of dollars of annual research?  A lot of behind-the-scenes work and dedication of an entire community make it all possible.

The heart and soul of this endeavor is the DOE Scientific and Technical Information Program (STIP), a collaboration to ensure your access to DOE research and development results. The DOE Office of Science provides overall leadership and policy direction of the STIP program consistent with the DOE mission and legal requirements.  The Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) coordinates the Department-wide STI program across DOE programs, field offices, national laboratories, and contractors to disseminate and preserve the Department’s scientific and technical information (STI) for your use. And, OSTI maintains state-of-the-art information management systems, databases, national and international web portals to provide you immediate, easy access to publicly available information.  

In total, about 50 designated representatives from the DOE Headquarters Program Offices, National Laboratories and Technology Centers, and Field Offices work together with OSTI’s staff to collect, review, release and provide you access to the outcomes of DOE-sponsored research.  Through STIP, you are made aware of emerging technologies and amazing research made possible through DOE’s preeminent user facilities.  You always have access to this information in OSTI’s new...

Related Topics: Department of Energy, doe, labs, osti, Scientific and Technical Information Program Website, stip

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Department of Energy’s SunShot Projects

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Department of Energy’s SunShot Projects

The SunShot Initiative is a collaborative national effort to make solar energy cost competitive with other forms of energy by the end of the decade.  As part of the initiative, the Department announced seven data-driven projects that will bring to light new opportunities to lower costs and advance solar energy deployment in the U.S.A.  Former Energy Secretary Steven Chu said, “Through powerful analytical tools developed by our nation’s top universities and national labs, we can gain unparalleled insight into solar deployment that will help lower the cost of solar power and create new businesses and jobs.”

The Energy Department is investing funds in these projects to assist with these new discoveries to improve solar cell efficiency and reduce costs.

DOE Green Energy site, offers more information on the SunShot Initiative

Additional Resources:

Related Topics: Chu, diffusion, DOE Green Energy, energy, green energy, power, solar, SunShot

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WorldWideScience – Easy Access to Text, Multimedia, and Data!

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WorldWideScience – Easy Access to Text, Multimedia, and Data!

For many years, scientific information was provided primarily in text-based formats, such as journal articles, conference proceedings, and technical reports.  Increasingly, however, scientists are communicating through multimedia formats (images, videos), and via direct access to their scientific data sets.  Information users face some unique challenges in finding scientific information, particularly when it can take several forms.  Imagine that a climatologist has created data sets detailing precipitation measurements for the North Slope of Alaska.  The climatologist might present these findings first at a meteorological conference, and the presentation might be taped and made available as a video of the conference.  Later, the climatologist publishes one or more technical reports, referring to the original data sets.  How does a user find all this relevant information?

WorldWideScience offers a solution to finding scientific information, regardless of format.  Simply by entering the search terms in a single search box, users can search over 90 databases from around the world.  Furthermore, the search results are segmented into text-based information (the “Papers” tab), images and videos (“Multimedia” tab), and data sets (“Data” tab).  It’s easy to view results in each tab, and users can quickly access relevant text, videos, and data sets.  A variety of English and non-English databases are searched, and WorldWideScience even provides multilingual translations capabilities for 10 languages.  As scientific communication becomes progressively more diverse and global in nature, WorldWideScience enables users to identify and locate scientific and technical information in many formats, all with one straightforward search.

Related Topics: climatologist, databases, foreign, multilingual, multimedia, scientific, WorldWideScience.org (WWS)

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Free-Electron Lasers move discovery into warp speed

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Free-Electron Lasers move discovery into warp speed

Scientific research being performed today using free-electron lasers could be fodder for the next James Bond or Star Wars movie but it is way better than science fiction and it is real. 

Almost everything we know about the laws of nature and how and why we react to the world around us took many centuries to develop. However, recent free-electron laser research breakthroughs are shedding light on these fundamental processes of life and moving scientific discovery into warp speed.

The revolutionary Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) at the SLAC National Acceleratory Laboratory is the world’s most powerful x-ray free-electron laser and represents a new kind of laboratory for doing many types of physics. Using SLAC's linear accelerator to create the powerful X-rays, LCLS pushes science to new extremes with ultrabright, ultrashort pulses that capture atomic-scale snapshots in quadrillionths of a second.  

Researchers have used the LCLS to measure, in atomic detail, a key process at work in extreme plasmas like those found in stars, the rims of black holes and other massive cosmic phenomena. This important x-ray laser research is changing our understanding of the larger physical processes taking place in celestial sources and may pave the way for increased astrophysics research.   

The first new biological structure has been solved by a group of international scientists using the LCLS.  The study mapped a weak spot in the parasite that causes African sleeping sickness, pinpointing a promising new target for treating a disease that annually kills about 30,000 people in sub-Saharan Africa. ...

Related Topics: atomic-scale, free-electron lasers, Linac Coherent Light Source, plasma, scientists, ultrabright, x-rays

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@OSTIgov Twitter is Trending!

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@OSTIgov Twitter is Trending!

Social media has changed the way we look at everything. Just in the past few years, society has moved from a limited amount of news sources to an infinite network of information. And we don’t necessarily have to go looking for data because links, advertisements and news stories seem to be popping up on every screen, message or page. That’s why it’s more important than ever to know where valuable scientific and technical information can be accessed. One way the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is reaching out  to folks interested in high quality federally-funded scientific and technical information is through their Twitter account @OSTIgov.

@OSTIgov frequently posts information about current topics of interest such as STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) resources; search queries for weatherization; or laboratory highlights just to mention a few. Our team identifies timely subjects and cross references links to complete search results and datasets within OSTI websites. The goal is to attract science-attentive twitter users who will appreciate the post and continue using OSTI’s helpful resources. @OSTIgov also promotes DOE or @Energy tweets and other agencies or national labs that present science-related information.

The Twitter followers for @OSTIgov continue to steadily increase and we encourage you to join the information team! In addition to @OSTIgov we support two other helpful accounts: @sciencegov and @worldwidescienc. @sciencegov provides information from 13 Science.gov agencies and includes "Science in the News" headlines. @worldwidescienc covers data from over 80 national and international scientific databases and portals.

Join the @OSTIgov team and see what’s trending each day! Your next discovery could be one click away!

Related Topics: @ostigov, osti, science, social media, twitter

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ScienceCinema – See Science in ACTION!

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ScienceCinema – See Science in ACTION!

More than 2,600 videos showcasing DOE’s most exciting research are available on ScienceCinema.  Grab the popcorn and see science in “ACTION!”

Curious about DOE’s work in robotics, antimatter, or outer space?  How about microbes, bugs, or mutants?  Simply enter a search, and ScienceCinema’s innovative audio indexing and speech recognition technology will identify videos containing the words, plus pointers to the exact spots in the videos where the words are spoken.  ScienceCinema adds new videos as they are produced and submitted by DOE Laboratories, programs, and other facilities, and it was named one of six new initiatives in DOE’s Open Government Plan 2.0.

No need for science “fiction” with “real” science this exciting!  Catch the action on ScienceCinema today.

Related Topics: audio indexing, DOE laboratories, open government plan, research, ScienceCinema

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The Significance of Science.gov

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The Significance of Science.gov

When I became Director of the DOE’s Office of Scientific and Technical Information in 1997, we had a grand vision for a new era of global discovery. The way we provided access to scientific and technical information could be revolutionized. The internet showed promise, unbelievable promise. How exciting it was to become OSTI’s leader at that point in time.  

Although the development of the Department of Energy’s web-searchable databases greatly enabled our scientific community to access R&D collections, the search technology was inefficient. How could we make the information more easily accessible to the public? Somehow we had to wrap our arms around and embrace new technologies. We had the talent, we had the motivation, and we definitely had the energy. We knew there was a better way to improve the Government’s service to its people.

Other U.S. agencies were struggling with the same challenges. Each agency had amazing scientific collections and databases, but there was no tool for the public to locate and navigate through this disconnected information. The first parallel searching of government databases and websites was developed by OSTI to solve this dilemma. More work had to be done. Somehow, we had to merge scientific disciplines across agency organizational boundaries to provide a useful science resource for America.

During the May 2000 Workshop on a Future Information Infrastructure for the Physical Sciences and the April 2001 Workshop on Strengthening the Public Information Infrastructure for Science, both led by DOE OSTI, an alliance was formed. Participants forged a consensus on how the public infrastructure for science information could be improved and how public access to scientific information of the federal science agencies could be enhanced. It was believed that a comprehensive, well-organized gateway to science information would provide a coherent government R&D presence on the web....

Related Topics: CENDI, ciencia.science.gov, Data.Gov, FEMA, Science.gov

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A big anniversary for an even bigger collaboration!

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A big anniversary for an even bigger collaboration!

Ten years ago this month Science.gov was launched!  The cross-agency portal was created to break down the stovepipes of science information, knowing that it is difficult to know which federal agency holds what information.  Thanks to longtime relationships between the agency senior information managers of CENDI as well as a partnership with USA.gov, and with the efforts of many, many supporters, a unique and grassroots project was undertaken and still provides an important service today.  A special thanks to our Science.gov Alliance co-chairs during these years:  Eleanor Frierson, NAL/USDA (retired); Tom Lahr, NBII/USGS (retired); Cindy Etkin, GPO; Tina Gheen, LOC; Annie Simpson, USGS.

Some interesting Science.gov facts:

  • Number of Science.gov Websites, 2002 – 90
  • Number of Science.gov Websites, 2012 – 2100+
  • Number of Large Databases, 2002 – 18
  • Number of Large Databases, 2012 – 59
  • Number of Pages Searched, 2002 – under 45 million
  • Number of Pages Searched, 2012 – 200 million+
  • Number of Participating Agencies, 2002 – 10
  • Number of Participating Agencies, 2012 – 13
  • Number of Page Views, Fiscal Year 2003 – 751,180
  • Number of Page Views, Fiscal Year 2012 – 34 million+

Here is to the next ten years! 

Related Topics: anniversary, CENDI, information, partnership, science, Science.gov, USA.gov

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