U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Accelerating the Diffusion of Knowledge to Advance Science and Technology


Accelerating the Diffusion of Knowledge to Advance Science and Technology

United States Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information
Karen J. Spence
May 2007

27 Research Facilities and Laboratories across the U.S., plus
5,000+ grantees

Samuel W. Bodman, Secretary of Energy


Since 1947, OSTI has been ensuring that researchers
and citizens have appropriate access to the nation's R&D results

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI), 1 Science.gov
Way, Oak Ridge, Tennessee


OSTI's Mission is critical to DOE's Science Mission

To advance
science and sustain technological creativity by making R&D findings
available and useful to DOE researchers and the American people.

OSTI's Creed: Knowledge is contagious – it's our job to make
sure everyone "catches" it!


Fulfilling the Mission

1. DOE's STI: Collect and preserve
DOE-funded R&D results in a variety of document formats, housed
in a central repository of both physical and electronic publications,
and disseminate as broadly as possible

2. INNOVATION: Provide access to expanded sources of R&D information to the DOE research
community and science-attentive public, using innovative tools
such as federated deep Web searching of multiple databases and
relevancy ranking to advance awareness of a broad array of scientific
information related to DOE missions


Getting the R&D Message Out

OSTI's deployment of groundbreaking
information access technology has been developed only through
the most judicious use of very limited funding. OSTI's budget
of approximately $9 million represents 0.1 percent of DOE's $9
billion R&D budget


Google Founder Delivers Message to Scientists

Larry Page, speaking to
scientists at AAAS, February, 2007

He called on scientists to make more
of their research available. "We have to unlock the wealth of scientific
knowledge and get it to everyone."


Science Progresses as Knowledge is Shared

OSTI Corollary:
If the sharing of knowledge is accelerated, scientific progress is accelerated

Compressing decades to years, years to months, and months to days


Key DOE/OSTI Information Services and Partnerships

• DOE/OSTI Database Products

• Interagency Partnerships
    - Science.gov

• International Partnerships
    - ETDE
    - Global Science Gateway


DOE/OSTI Database Products

• DOE Information Bridge


147,000+ full text documents of research report literature

• Energy
Citations Database

2.3 million citations
to report literature, conference papers, journal articles, books, dissertations, and patents of interest to DOE and its predecessor


DOE/OSTI Database Products (Cont.)

• DOE R&D Accomplishments

A central forum for information
about the outcomes of past DOE R&D that have had significant
economic impact, have improved people's lives, or have been widely
recognized as remarkable advances in science


EPrint Network

• Started in January 2000, EPN has now become
one of OSTI's primary products

• Content encompasses 25,000+ web
sites, provides full text searching on ~1 million eprints, accesses
over 3 million additional documents from 52 simultaneously searched
major databases, and links to 2983 professional societies


6 Core Information Practices of Scientists

• Intensive study
and reading

• Directed research for retrieval

• Regular monitor and

• Document original content

• Organize content

• Circulate and
exchange knowledge

Stanford University Libraries e-Journal

User Study by Institute for the Future


Vision for EPN

• OSTI hopes to evolve the EPN from a primarily
information search and retrieval product to one that supports
the researcher more broadly in all of his/her professional information

• Such a product could be used to support parallel information activities such as creating, storing, holding document files;
automatically building search strategies using previously successful
searches; using knowledge management software tools to manage
their professional documents collection; locating experts; finding
jobs, fellowships, grants; and so on.


Interagency Partnerships – Science.gov

• Gateway to 1800
scientific websites

• 50 million pages of science information

• Real
time results

• Relevancy Ranked results

• Voluntary coalition of
12 Federal agencies


International Partnerships – A Global Science Gateway

• Vision:
A world-class, Web-based facility that lets any scientist and citizen in
the world easily discover and use the results from participating nations.

The Global Science Gateway will speed communication and accelerate discovery,
thus expediting scientific and economic progress.


Global Science Gateway – Strategic Vision

The Global
Science Gateway will:

• Search dispersed, electronic collections
in general. subject-specific. and cross-cutting fields of science;

• Provide direct and free searching of open-source collections
and portals and will also allow patrons with proper access credentials
to simultaneously search limited-access systems (e.g. agreements
based on country membership);


Strategic Vision (Cont.)

• Build upon existing and already successful
national models for searching;

• Seek to complement existing information
collections and systems; and

• Maximize the attribution to and
recognition of individual sources of information to the patron
for the purpose of raising the visibility and usage of individual


Global Science Gateway

A Statement of Intent was signed January
21, 2007 by Dr. Raymond Orbach, Under Secretary for Science of
the U.S. Department of Energy, and Lynne Brindley, Chief Executive
of the British Library.


International Partnerships – ETDE

• Mission: "To provide governments,
industry and the research community in the member countries with access
to the widest range of information on energy research, science and technology
and to increase dissemination of this information to developing countries."


Current ETDE Member Countries


ETDE's "Product" – ETDEWEB

• 3.8 million citations – the world's
largest database of energy information

• "ETDEWEB is clearly the information system of reference" (source:
European Commission, May 2005)

• Broad coverage of energy and environmental


ETDE Membership Benefits

• Staying abreast of recent developments in various research areas

• Avoiding duplication of research effort and learning from expected and unexpected results

• Jump-starting research at a point further along than anticipated

• Identifying which countries and people are involved in particular research areas

• Understanding how countries deal with energy-related environmental and climate change issues

• Contracting party determines ETDEWEB access within its national borders


Information Access Impediments/Opportunities–New Paradigms

• Traditional Publishing

• Traditional Publishing versus Open Access

• Traditional Publishing partnered with Open Access


Thinking of Science as a Public Good–an Argument for Open

Acknowledgment to: R. Stephen Berry, The University of

The Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition


Science thrives on two principles!

• Open access to information

- Science builds continually by using the information its community
generates to move on to produce still more information.

• Verifiability

- Scientific knowledge is special because of its reliability and
predictive character, which only can be, because scientific results
must be verifiable.


What is a Public Good?

• A public good is a good that does not
diminish in value with use, and has (almost) no marginal cost
for users after the first use.

• A scientific public good is special
insofar as its value increases with use.

• Consequently, it is
imperative to maximize the use of the information generated by
the research, its public good.


What We Already Know

• The scientific community and the publishing
community had a symbiotic relationship for generations–until
the Internet.

• The new technology provides scientists with more
efficient, sometimes cheaper ways to share, access and archive


• Scientists and publishers suddenly found themselves with different

• Scientists saw electronic publication as an improvement
over old ways of achieving open access to scientific information.

• Publishers saw such open access as a threat to profitable distribution
of information.


The Similarities and Differences

• Publishers are motivated
by the desire for monetary profit.

• Scientists, mostly, are motivated
by the desire to distribute their ideas and findings, and, in
so doing, to influence the thinking of others.

• This makes for
two very different kinds of "currency" and of motivation.


• Inhibiting the dissemination of scientific information necessarily
diminishes its value as a public good, whatever private gains
may ensue from such inhibition.

• Refer back to accelerating the
diffusion of knowledge can lead to acceleration in scientific


But scientists withhold information!

• Yes, and this is accepted
for periods long enough to allow discoverers to explore consequences
of their discoveries. Like protection of small businesses, small
research groups may be slower to pursue immediate consequences
of research, so such protection is quite acceptable.


The Next Steps?

• We are going through a period of adaptation.
The "best" or even the better courses of action are still unclear.

• Acceptable pathways can only be determined by trying and comparing
the options.


U.S. Government Activities

• National Institutes of Health

• Department
of Energy

• Legislation Status


National Institutes of Health (NIH)

• Implemented Public Access
Policy May 2, 2005

• Requests and strongly encourages all investigators
to make their NIH-funded peer-reviewed, author's final manuscript
available to other researchers and the public through the NIH
National Library of Medicine's (NLM) PubMed Central (PMC) immediately
after the final date of journal publication.


NIH Support to Authors

As an example, the kind of language
that an author or institution might add to a copyright agreement
includes the following:

"Journal acknowledges that Author retains the right to provide
a copy of the final manuscript to NIH upon acceptance for Journal
publication or thereafter, for public archiving in PubMed Central
as soon as possible after publication by Journal."


NIH Statistics


Department of Energy

Workshop Panel Report on Accelerating
the Spread of Knowledge About Science and Technology

that "because scientific discovery is a cumulative process, with
new knowledge building upon earlier findings, it is imperative
that unnecessary barriers to sharing the immediate results of
research should be removed." The Panel "supports and encourages
the principle that publicly funded unclassified research should
be deposited in stable, freely accessible public archives and
made freely available as soon as possible after acceptance for


DOE Laboratories and Open Access

Los Alamos National Laboratory
encourages researchers to consider publishing in an open access
publication for these benefits:

• Increased dissemination Articles
can be cited sooner

• Articles potentially cited more frequently

• Institutional costs for scholarly publishing are decreased


What next with Open Access in the Department of Energy?

• Monitor
efforts of NIH

• Anticipate individual researcher actions

• Await
legislative action


Legislation Status

• Federal Research Public Access Act

- Introduced
May 2, 2006

- Would require 11 agencies to make manuscripts of
journal articles publicly and freely available via a digital
archive/repository within 6 months after being published in a
peer-reviewed journal

- Referred to Senate committee


Alliance for Taxpayer Access

May 1, 2007

Resolution in support of the Federal Research
Public Access Act of 2006 from Trinity University Association
of Student Representatives

Resolution in support of taxpayer
access to federally funded research from the Association of Students
of Oberlin College

April 27, 2007

Access For All from Harvard
University's student newspaper

February 21, 2007

Health Groups
Urge Senators to Support On-line Access to Taxpayer Funded Medical

February 6, 2007

Major society publisher announces support
for public access to scientific literature

February 1, 2007

Rally for Access to Publicly Funded Research

Campuses declare "National
Day of Action" in support of federal legislation

January 30,

Soil scientists renew the call for broader access to publicly
funded research


Open Access in the News

Science, March 16, 2007, p. 1479

Minds Closed to Open Access

Although fans of the concept, scientists remain reluctant to
publish in open-access outlets, a new study suggests. The survey,
led by information scientists at Munich University in Germany
and the University of Arkansas, Little Rock, found that although
two-thirds of 688 respondents—mainly information systems, German literature, and medical scientists
from around the world—read open-access literature, only a third
chose to publish their work that way.

Information scientist Ángel
Borrego of Barcelona University in Spain says the survey, published
last week, reiterates what others have called a "Jekyll-and-Hyde
syndrome" in which scientists behave differently as readers than
as authors.–ELISABETH PAIN


Thank you for your time and attention!

Contact Information:

Karen Spence

Assistant Director for Information Systems

of Scientific and Technical Information

U.S. Department of Energy

Telephone: 865-574-0295

Fax: 865-576-9357

Email: spencek@osti.gov

Organization Website: www.osti.gov