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OSTIblog Articles in the science communications Topic

Manipulating Matter on a Molecular Scale

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Manipulating Matter on a Molecular Scale

Nano=one billionth

Nanotechnology=the manipulation of matter on an atomic and molecular scale 

DOE scientists are working to identify immediate and future ways to utilize this precision science.

Check out Nanoscience and Nanotechnology: From Energy Applications to Advanced Medical Therapies, a video discussion of why nanotechnology is important and how it is useful in various fields, from Dr. Tijana Rajh at Fermilab.

Then watch Nanoscience at Work, Creating Energy from Sunlight, from Paul Alivisatos, Berkeley Labscientist and an authority on artificial nanostructure synthesis.

In one way current nanotechnology resembles the laser technology of the mid-20thcentury—few present uses but extreme promise, if the technical obstacles can be overcome.  Recent patents available through the OSTI DOepatents database provide a sample of both the potential and the challenges of making use of nanotechnology. Read more

Related Topics: DOepatents, fermilab, nanoscience

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Fuel Cells to market?

DOE has outlined a Market Transformation strategy for demonstrating the commercial viability of fuel cell power in applications for which there is a business case, and com­municating the potential environmental and economic benefits of the clean energy technologies.  Current results of an ongoing multiyear study of fuel-cell powered vehicles, supported by the DOE EERE [abstract and full text in OSTI’s Information Bridge] were published in February 2012. The report includes recommendations to the Energy Department about needs for investigation during the remaining 3-4 years of the study and about ways to commercialize the technology. 

Read about the many technologies and products supported by DOE’s Fuel Cell Technologies Program in Pathways to Commercial SuccessRead more about fuel cell research found in OSTI Collections.

By Kathy Chambers, OSTI Staff

Related Topics: EERE, fuel cells, Information Bridge (IB)

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A New Way To Find Reviewers

DOE program managers are routinely called upon to identify peer reviewer candidates for grant and field work proposals.  Each proposal requires a minimum of three reviewers and often more to cover separate aspects of the proposal.  To generate reviewer candidates, program managers draw upon their subject matter expertise and manually scour journal literature.  Although this process is facilitated by the availability of electronic journals, it is labor intensive and represents a major cost.

Information experts at OSTI have demonstrated the capability to identify high quality potential reviewers by analyzing the scientific content underlying its R&D information collections and other integrated sources. This analytical procedure combines sophisticated semantic algorithms with informed judgments. Not only is it efficient, it also raises the prospect of broadening the reviewer base by finding new qualified reviewers.

In non-technical language, the OSTI Reviewer Finder works as follows. First a semantic technique is used to find a core set of papers that are directly related to the proposal in question. This can also be done for groups of proposals or other topic specific needs.

Second, a sophisticated semantic algorithm, developed by OSTI, is used to find all those papers that are closely related to the core papers. In fact these papers are ranked according to the degree of closeness. This means the pool of related papers can be made larger or smaller as needed.

This two step process may be repeated when a proposal involves several distinct topics, methods or other aspects, which often happens. For example, in addition to subject matter experts one might want to have reviewers who are experts in the methods used.

All of the authors of the core and closely related papers are potential reviewers, so they are abstracted and listed. However, some authors must be excluded, for various reasons. For example, it is common practice...

Related Topics: authors, r&d, reviewers, semantic

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OSTI and Its Mission Highlighted in Secretary Chu’s Policy Statement on Scientific Integrity

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. 

“Science and technology are the foundation of all Department of Energy activities…,” the Secretarial Policy Statement on Scientific Integrity (https://www.directives.doe.gov/references/secretarial_policy_statement_on_scientific_integrity/view) opens. “The Department’s mission relies on objective, reliable, accurate, and accessible scientific and technical information.”  And OSTI addresses the agency’s responsibilities to collect, preserve and disseminate scientific and technical information emanating from the Department’s research and development activities.

“In December 2010,” Secretary Chu wrote in a May 11 memo to DOE employees, “the Office of Science and Technology Policy 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.”

“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...

Related Topics: r&d, Science Accelerator, scientific integrity, Steven Chu

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Preservation Week 2012, April 22-28

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Preservation Week 2012, April 22-28

Preservation Week was created in 2010 because there are over 630 million items in collecting institutions such as libraries that require immediate attention and care.

Preserving books, articles and other important information is no easy task because as many as 80% of these institutions have no paid staff dedicated to carry out these activities, and 22% operate without any collections care personnel. Complicating matters, it is estimated that 2.6 billion items are not protected by an emergency plan, which means these resources are in jeopardy should a disaster strike.  One way to protect and preserve these resources, as well as make them more readily available to a wider audience, is digital preservation.

Digital preservation is active management of digital content.  Some items are created in a digital format, but many (and all older documents) have to be converted from their original physical format into a digital format. This takes time and can be costly to do, so many collections remain in non-digital formats.

OSTI is the office that develops and maintains efficient, state-of-the-art tools for access and delivery of research results from the entire Department of Energy. OSTI fulfills Department of Energy responsibilities related to the collection, preservation and dissemination of scientific and technical information emanating from the agency’s R&D activities and makes the information globally available in real time, via multiple formats, in ten languages, mobile – at no cost to the user.  OSTI is dedicated to the principle that to advance science, research must be shared.

For more than 60 years, OSTI has been a pioneer and lead in open government,and has a proven track record in the delivery of groundbreaking information, tools and services.  OSTI’s most recent contributions to...

Related Topics: digitization, DOE Green Energy, preservation, Science.gov, ScienceCinema, ScienceEducation.gov

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Join OSTI for Earth Week 2012

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Join OSTI for Earth Week 2012

April 22, 2012 is the 42nd celebration of Earth Day, a day that is intended to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth's natural environment.   The first Earth Day focused on the United States, but it has grown over the years and is now celebrated in more than 175 countries every year.  The U.S. Department of Energy will be celebrating Earth Week April 16-20 in the Forrestal Building and April 23-29 in Germantown. 

Many of the program offices, including the Office of Scientific and Technical Information(OSTI) will have displays, plus there will be activities such as environmental films, green bag lunches, nature walks and talks, children’s activities, free recycling of personal electronics, a farmers marketand community activity days.  The Earth Week activities are sure to be fun, and it is a great opportunity to see how the Department is “Changing Behavior to Reduce DOE’s Carbon Footprint.”

While you are enjoying the Earth Week displays and activities, be sure to stop by and see the OSTI exhibit where we will feature DOE Green Energy, your portal to green energy information from thousands of DOE-sponsored research and development projects.  DOE Green Energy provides free access to over 34,000 full text technical reports and over 1,300 patents.  The DOE Green Energy site organizes this green energy R&D and makes it freely accessible to researchers, scientists, educators, students and the public. DOE Green Energy contains both current research and historical research.

You can read about some of the latest research in solar energy, tidal and wave power, energy storage, direct energy conversion, advanced vehicle technologies, wind, bioenergy, hydroelectric energy,  geothermaland more via an advanced semantic (...

Related Topics: DOE Green Energy, Earth Day, Earth Week

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Happy Mathematics Awareness Month

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Happy Mathematics Awareness Month

“Pure mathematics is, in its way, the poetry of logical ideas.”

  ~Albert Einstein

As you prepare your taxes, keep in mind that April is  Mathematics Awareness Month.  This year’s theme is, “Mathematics, Statistics and the Data Deluge”.

Mathematics is used throughout the world as an essential tool in many fields, including natural science, engineering, medicine and the social sciences. Large amounts of data are collected every day, and scientific data comes in massive amounts from supercomputers, sensor networks, astronomical instruments and other devices.  These data need to be sorted out and understood in order to be useful.

The White House recently released its Big Data Research and Development Initiative, and OSTI, was recognized as playing a "key role " in shaping the policies and technical implementation of the practice of data citation. Data citation enables efficient reuse and verification of data

OSTI not only ensures that DOE research is tracked, but that a scholarly structure is in place to reward data producers.  OSTI recently implemented a Data Identification Service across the DOE complex through which Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) are assigned to research datasets, and then registered with DataCite to establish persistence. This initiative makes DOE datasets findable in commercial search engines (e.g. Google) and through federated search portals for science such as the DOE portal ScienceAccelerator.gov, the U.S....

Related Topics: mathematics, Science Accelerator, Science.gov, WorldWideScience.org (WWS)

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OSTI Salutes Librarians During National Library Week -- April 9-14, 2012

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OSTI Salutes Librarians During National Library Week -- April 9-14, 2012

April 9 - 14 is National Library Week, a time to honor the contributions of libraries, librarians and library workers in schools, campuses and communities nationwide.   First sponsored in 1958, it is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country.  It is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation’s libraries and librarians and to promote library use.

OSTI has a number of Library Tools that are provided as a free service to librarians and the library community to expand access to and use of DOE scientific research results:

OSTI believes that science progresses only if knowledge is shared.  And OSTI makes it possible for the public to find, at no cost to the user, research results and science information from the Manhattan Project to the present, download documents, view energy citations, discover patentsand e-prints, read about ongoing DOE accomplishments, search multimedia...

Related Topics: Information Bridge MARC Records, patents, Science Accelerator, SciTech Connect Full-Text MARC Records

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Celebrate National Engineers’ Week 2012 – February 19-25, 2012

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Celebrate National Engineers’ Week 2012 – February 19-25, 2012

National Engineers’ Week was started in 1951 by the National Society of Professional Engineers.  The celebration is held in conjunction with President George Washington's Birthday; our first President is considered by many engineers to be the nation's first engineer because of his survey work.

Engineers use imagination and analytical skills to invent, design, improve and build things and turn ideas into reality, apply basic research and dream up creative and practical solutions.  Engineering has made numerous contributions to modern life, and has made it more comfortable, safe and prosperous.  Engineers change the world.

The engineering field is as varied as engineers themselves. Engineers design and build superstructures and delicate medical instruments.  They explore for energy and better and more efficient ways to deliver it, they design environmental controls for buildings and drive innovation in various fields of energy such as wind, fuel cell technology, solar energy, geothermal energy, petroleum, gas, nuclear engineering, alternative energy, energy efficiency, fusion, hydrogen and superconductor technologies.

At DOE and its National Laboratories engineers support the discovery and design of new materials with novel structures, design functions and properties that may lead to new materials for the generation, storage and use of energy and address and solve environmental impacts of energy use. Other engineers use modern tools and capabilities in the engineering sciences to ensure the safety, security, reliability and performance of the current and future U.S. nuclear...

Related Topics: National Engineers’ Week, national laboratories, Science Accelerator

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National Nuclear Science Week – January 23-27, 2012

Nuclear science comprises many fields. From astrophysics to radioisotopes, nuclear science starts with the atom. The atom, and its fundamental building blocks of protons and neutrons, is the bundle of radioactive energy that makes so much possible.

National Nuclear Science Week is designed to recognize the contributions of nuclear science and those who work in it every day.   Did you know that nuclear science is used in archeology, food safety and nuclear medicine?  Or to help industry with such things as locating cracks in steel, getting rid of dust from film, or measuring the amount of air whipped into ice cream?  And that nuclear power provides 20% of the electricity in the United States?

The Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy’s mission is to advance nuclear power as a resource capable of meeting the nation's energy, environmental and national security needs by resolving technical, cost, safety, proliferation resistance and security barriers through research, development and demonstration. DOE is also strongly committed to supporting graduate education,competitive research and advanced scientific tools in the areas of nuclear physics, nuclearchemistry and nuclear engineering.

Its Nuclear Energy University Programs (NEUP) fund projects with American universities to facilitate collaborations that lead to breakthroughs in nuclear energy technologies, specifically on breakthroughs that align with the mission of the Office of Nuclear Energy. The broad...

Related Topics: Nuclear Energy University Programs, nuclear science, Science Accelerator

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