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 joined DataCite to facilitate finding, accessing, citation of, and reusing publicly available scientific research datasets produced by U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) – funded researchers. Through the OSTI Data ID Service, Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) are assigned to research datasets, then registered with DataCite. When registered, these datasets are announced with other forms of STI made available by OSTI as part of its mission to advance science.
I have to admit that I am truly a science fiction and fantasy geek. Blame it on growing up on a steady diet of Star Wars and Transformers. This bit of background information helps explain why I smile internally whenever I get the chance to talk about dark archives. Those words call to mind a picture of some mysterious, powerful object at the center of an epic story, like The Lord of the Rings. Great words.
Recently, I had the opportunity to explore OSTI's web traffic statistics with Walt Warnick and Karen Spence. I am quite happy with what was revealed about our traffic growth and the value of our various collaborations in making scientific and technical information more accessible. So I wanted to share it with you here at the OSTI Blog.
Last year I introduced OSTI’s Web Metrics and how they help our organization measure how successful we are in disseminating the research information we curate for the Department of Energy.
Recently we have had the opportunity to enrich the functionality provided by our web metrics. On June 25th, 2010, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released guidance that enabled the use of persistent cookies for web measurement on Government websites.
What is a persistent cookie? Why are they important? Both are great questions.
As with most things, all federated search products are not created equally. Recently, I ran across a situation where federated search was derided for lack of capability related to precision search and relevancy ranking. As is often the case, this derision is founded in a narrow view of federated search. The view that federated search is only capable of generically searching data stores or not providing relevance across the resources being searched is this narrow view of what the technology can achieve.
OSTI creates and deploys web-based information products to accomplish its mission. One way to measure the success of this approach is to use web metrics to gauge and analyze the usage of the information we disseminate via our web- based products.
A typical misconception I face when I tell people that I work within the government is that they think my job, even though it is in the technology arena, must move at a snail's pace relative to the commercial sector. This preconceived notion that our government crawls along relative to technology adoption and innovation - at least in my experience - is way off the mark.