OSTIblog Posts by Dr. Walt Warnick

Dr. Walt Warnick's picture
Former Director, U.S. DOE Office of Scientific and Technical Information

No Alternative to Federated Search

Published on May 10, 2010

Discovery services have begun to appear in the search landscape.  Discovery services provide access to documents from publishers with which they have relationships by indexing the publishers’ metadata and/or full text. Discovery services are marketed to libraries where patrons appreciate near-instantaneous search results and where library staff is willing to restrict access to sources available from the service (and optionally the library's own holdings.)  While these services tout themselves as improvements to federated search, the reality is that there is no alternative to federated search for a number of important applications.



Federated Search: Closing in on the Speed Gap

Published on Apr 02, 2010

Many casual users of federated search criticize the technology for being slow to retrieve results. Serious researchers recognize the unique ability of federated search engines to mine the deep Web for quality science information that Google cannot find. These users recognize that there is no practical alternative to federated search for the best information.


Federated Search: An Often Overlooked Example of e-Science

Published on Feb 12, 2010

A term of art now catching on is “e-Science.”  According to Wikipedia, “The term e-Science (or eScience) is used to describe computationally intensive science that is carried out in highly distributed network environments, or science that uses immense data sets that require grid computing; the term sometimes includes technologies that enable distributed collaboration, such as the Access Grid. The term was created by John Taylor, the Director General of the United Kingdom's Office of Science and Technology in 1999 and was used to describe a large funding initiative starting in November 2000. Examples of the kind of science include social simulations, particle physics, earth sciences and bio-informatics.”


For Spreading Knowledge, the Optimum Investment Is Not the Minimum

Published on Oct 27, 2009

An earlier article derived the Knowledge Investment Curve.

Information sharing is an integral part of the R&D process. Thus, decision makers affect the pace of scientific progress when they determine the fraction of R&D dollars dedicated to sharing knowledge. Think of it this way: A program for sharing knowledge derived from scientific research has much in common with a scientific research program itself in that they share the common goal of advancing science.  When decision makers of R&D programs discuss optimum funding for research, their decisions are driven by affordability. Similarly, there is an optimum investment in sharing research results as conceptually suggested by the Knowledge Investment Curve. And just as for research itself, the optimum investment is not the minimum.


OSTI Lights Candles

Published on Sep 25, 2009

Despite DOE's frequent leadership in science and technology (think "human genome" or winning 46 of the "R&D 100" awards in 2009), it's widely acknowledged within DOE that the public isn't particularly aware of DOE's role.  Not that we in DOE are shamelessly craving a little credit, but in a representative government, an inf


The Knowledge Investment Curve

Published on Aug 19, 2009

Every scientist knows that science advances only if knowledge is shared. Mathematically, this statement implies that the advance of science is a function of both the sharing of research results, as well as doing the original research.


Growing Up With Federated Search

Published on Mar 17, 2009

[Note: This article first appeared in the Federated Search Blog. ]


Science Depends on the Diffusion of Knowledge

Published on Mar 05, 2009

As Isaac Newton said, "If I have seen further than others, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." Newton was not alone on


OSTI Functions in Brief

Published on Feb 09, 2009

OSTI is dedicated to the principle that to advance science, research must be shared.


Beyond Collecting: Connecting

Published on Nov 19, 2008

by Walt Warnick and Sol Lederman