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

Accelerating the Spread of Knowledge About Science and Technology


the Spread of Knowledge
About Science and Technology

Walt Warnick, Ph.D.

Director, Office of Scientific and Technical Information

U.S. Department of Energy


OSTI Mission

To advance science and sustain technological creativity by making R&D findings available and useful
 to Department of Energy (DOE) researchers and the American people


Advancing Sciencefor 60 Years

From 1947 to 2007 – from Nuclear Science Abstracts to the Science Accelerator – mission accomplished!

60-year anniversary this year!

Whether by print or by pixel, OSTI has long been committed to ensuring appropriate access to research results


OSTI Corollary

Sharing knowledge (our R&D findings)advances science

Accelerating the sharing of knowledge
speeds the advancement of science (discovery)


Two Major Advances BeyondSearching Within Databases

Federated Search

Transforming a query and broadcasting it to a group of disparate databases
Merging the results collected from the databases
Presenting results in a succinct and unified format with minimal duplication,
Providing a means, performed either automatically or by the portal user, to sort the merged result set.

In traditional search engines, such as Google, only sources that have been indexed by the search engine’s crawler technology can be searched, retrieved and accessed. The large volume of documents housed in databases is not open to traditional Internet search engines because of limitations in crawler technology. Federated searching resolves this issue by the technique described above and makes these Deep Web documents searchable without having to visit each database individually.


Two Major Advances BeyondSearching Within Databases


Analogous to Google – crawls and mines data that does not reside in databases

but …

Different from Google – directed, selective crawling

Different than “harvesting” STI via E-link


Two Major Advances BeyondSearching Within Databases


Federated Search

OSTI is on the cutting edge of both

Harvesting and federated search are useful when full bibliographical control is not feasible


DOE’s STI Offerings

Information Bridge - Reports of DOE-funded R&D Results

E-Print Network - A gateway to over 24,600 Web sites and databases worldwide, containing e-prints in basic and applied sciences

Science Conference Proceedings - Science and technology conference proceedings and conference papers from a number of authoritative sites

R&D Project Summaries - Project summaries of ongoing or recently completed DOE research projects

R&D Accomplishments - Information about the outcomes of past DOE R&D that have had significant impact


Progression Highlights

Information Bridge - 1997: OSTI introduced first system searchable using software within the database – while not a federated search, having IB searchable online set stage for next step

EnergyFiles - 1999: OSTI introduced federated search to the public on behalf of the government

Science.gov - 2002—2007: Now in its fourth version, OSTI introduced federated search across government agencies, and introduced relevancy ranking in 2004

Science.World - 2007: Taking it international, a handshake in London dedicated to searching science worldwide


OSTI Resources

E-Print Network

Federated Search
E-Print Network
Federal R&D Project Summaries
Science Conference Proceedings


We’ve come a long way in the past decade –
From Information Bridge to the Science Accelerator
And we have much ahead!


Science Accelerator

DOE/OSTI STI products now searchable via a single query



DOE-generated resources
Information Bridge
R&D Project Summaries
R&D Accomplishments
Soon to be added:
Patents Database

DOE-related resources
Energy Citations Database
E-Print Network
Federal R&D Project Summaries
Science Conference Proceedings


Web Traffic


The Web’s Impact on Accessing Technical Documents



National Science and Technology Council
Committee on Science
Interagency Working Group on Digital Data

Purpose: to develop and promote the implementation of a strategic plan for the federal government to cultivate an open interoperable framework to ensure reliable preservation and effective access to digital data for research, development, and education in science, technology, and engineering


Washington Perspective

American Competitiveness Initiative
Uses Laboratory and university infrastructure as foundation for
advancing science and U.S. competitiveness
DOE has opportunity to double Science budget by 2016

Education as a Cornerstone to Maintain U.S. Pre-Eminence in Science
Academic Competitiveness Council
National Commission on the Future of Higher Education
National Academies’ “Rising Above the Gathering Storm” report
OSTI working with SC workforce development program to federate searching across DOE's multiple science education sources and databases

Re-birth of Nuclear Energy Technology:  Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP)


Things Legislative

Elevation of Science in DOE – Established Under Secretary for Science(part of Energy Policy Act of 2005) – Raymond Orbach in position for 1 year
Energy Policy Act of 2005 reiterated earlier enabling legislation requirements
The Secretary, through OSTI, shall maintain within the Department publicly available collections of scientific and technical information resulting from research, development, demonstration, and commercial applications activities supported by DOE
DOE O 241.1A requires that DOE-funded STI (reports, conference papers, software, and journal articles) be provided to OSTI.
Federal Research Public Access Act (Cornyn-Lieberman)
Would make mandatory the free electronic availability of published journal articles on work sponsored by DOE and all science agencies
Introduced in 2006; session ended before passage
Prospects for re-introduction in 2007 uncertain
Open access is gaining momentum worldwide, particularly in the European Union – bodes well for U.S. researcher access to foreign R&D results.


We’re Accelerating

OSTI is committed to accelerating the sharing of knowledge to accelerate discovery.
New initiatives are already under way to provide …
Superior Access to Quality Content!


IWGDD Policies Under Consideration

Metadata – numeric data, unlike textual data, requires metadata to ensure access

Not all data is worth preserving.

Numeric databases need a curator

Agencies should seek to harmonize practices regarding access, preservation and interoperability

Numeric data are likely to be most effective when presented in the context of, or with links to, accompanying data (e.g., technical reports with which they are associated, publications, contracts under which the data were generated, etc.)


A Strong Start in 2007

January 2007
statement of

February 2007
Workshop on
AcceleratingScience at

Google collaborationon IB reports

April 2007

Internet Archive

May 2007

On IB reference linking

June 2007
Science.worldproof of


OSTI & Google

April 4, 2007
Google moves ahead with plan to open up federal Web sites

Google is making strides on an initiative to make information stored on public government Web sites more accessible to people looking for it, but challenges remain, officials with the search engine company said Wednesday.
Three federal organizations recently agreed to structure their sites to make them accessible for nearly all Internet searches, the officials said.
Information on the Plain Language Web site aimed at eliminating jargon in government communications, and on sites by the Energy Department's Office of Scientific and Technical Information and the Education Department's National Center for Education Statistics, has been opened up to the three most popular search engines: Google, Yahoo and MSN.



  January 22, 2007 LONDON, ENGLAND
Global Science Gateway Agreement Signed in London DOE Partners With British Library on “Science.world” Initiative
"It is timely to make the science offerings of all nations searchable through one global gateway,” Dr. Orbach said.  “Science is international, and centralizing access will enhance the rate of scientific discovery.  It is a privilege to be associated with such a venture.”  The agreement notes that international collaboration is essential to revolutionary advances in science. 


Workshop: Accelerating Science
February 27, 2007

Convened a panel of experts at the National Academy of Sciences

Conclusion: Superior Access to Quality Content is key to accelerating science and technology


On Horizon

Federated Search of DOE Education Resources

SBIR Research Phase I