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

OSTI—Advancing Science Accelerating Discovery


OSTI—Advancing Science
Accelerating Discovery
ETEC Meeting
December 7, 2007


ETEC–United by geography

United by a vision to "grow science and technology".


OSTI manages a program within the Department of Energy Office of Science.

Oak Ridge SC Offices




OSTI–Born as the DOE Central Files

The scientific and technical legacy of the Department of Energy and its predecessor agencies is captured within the OSTI building – whether in paper, microfiche, or bits. ... And the overwhelming majority of it is entirely open.

—Dr. Jeffrey Salmon, Associate Under Secretary of Science


1 Science.gov Way

Stewardship of:

• 1 million + hard-copy documents representing DOE’s 60-year legacy

• 4 million + electronic DOE-produced R&D records dating to 1940s
• 100s of millions of pages of electronic, global science information access


OSTI's Mission 1947–2007

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


R&D flows through OSTI to public

• Technical reports (~150,000 full text)
• E-prints (~1.1 million and growing!)
• Science conference proceedings
• Project summaries (DOE and Federal)
• Citations to journal literature
• Patent records (~20,000 from 1940s to current)
• Accomplishments


OSTI's Mission: Who Benefits?

The results of hundreds of billions of dollars worth of United States’ research and development activities flow through OSTI to the public for reuse and further discovery.


Science Progresses as Knowledge is Shared

OSTI Corollary:

If the sharing of knowledge is accelerated, then discovery is accelerated.


We can accelerate the sharing of knowledge ...

But first we must dispel the misperception that popular search engines are already doing the job.

• Google

• Yahoo!



Much of Science is Non-Googleable

In fact, the vast majority of science information is in databases within the deep Web – or the non-Googleable Web – where popular search engines cannot go.

We in the information business need to recognize this gap between availability and need, and seize the opportunity to ...

Provide science information consumers with better tools.


Federated Search

Innovation in science demands innovation in sharing science knowledge.

OSTI has recognized this need; our emerging solution is “federated” search.


Federated Search: Emerging Technology Pioneered by OSTI

• Surface Web

• Deep Web databases

Federated search drills down to the deep Web where scientific databases reside.

Federated Search places no burden on database owners.

We need systems, such as federated search, that probe the deep Web.



Interface similar to Google

Under the hood, NOT like Google

• USA.gov’s portal for science

• Resources represent 97 percent of the federal R&D budget!

Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, the Interior, Environmental Protection Agency, Library of Congress, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Science Foundation, United States Government Printing Office, and the National Archives and Records Administration.


WorldWideScience.org makes the best science information from 17 countries act as if they were an integrated tool, all searchable via a single query.

Enables access to prominent as well as smaller, less well-known
sources of highly valuable science.

The U.S. contribution to WorldWideScience.org is Science.gov.


International partnership kicks off global science gateway allowing users to search multiple sources via a single query.

In January 2007, Dr. Raymond Orbach, Under Secretary for Science, and Lynne Brindley, Chief Executive of the British Library signed a Statement of Intent to partner in the development of a searchable global science gateway.

The gateway to “hidden” science resources from every inhabited continent!


Google Founder Delivered Message to Scientists

"Virtually all economic growth (in the world) was due to technological progress. I think as a society we're not really paying attention to that."

Larry Page, to scientists at AAAS, February 2007

OSTI has been unlocking this wealth for 60 years

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


OSTI's Mission: Who Benefits?

Who has benefited? The DOE community, the interagency community, the international community, the education and business communities, researchers everywhere – and the science-attentive public at large.


A Key Piece of Science Discovery

Information feeds discovery.


What if the "information connection" between scientists and discovery were mission?

OSTI disseminates DOE’s R&D information at the lowest cost of all federal science agencies – making it a “best buy.”

The NIH, a benchmark agency in research and the production of scientific literature, spends roughly 30 times more than DOE on getting its R&D message out.


2007 Milestones

• Sept. - DOepatents

• April - DOE Science Accelerator

• WorldWideScience.org

• Science.gov 4.0

We’ve made non-Googleable information from every inhabited continent searchable, a feat Dr. Raymond Orbach called "magic".


These Gateways Search Non-Googleable Science

Agency level

• Search key DOE databases.

Interagency level

• Search 50 million pages of science from 13 federal science agencies.

International level

• Search 200 million pages of science from databases of every inhabited continent.

Federated Search Gateways


In short: OSTI Empowers Cyber-enabled Discovery & Innovation

We accelerate retrieval of deep Web science info.

Which accelerates the advancement of discovery.

Advancing discovery touches every life on earth, and has produced improvement in the human condition, heretofore unimaginable.

Each of our organizations plays our own roles in the mission to advance science and technology. 


But there is more to be done: Web is only a teenager

To draw an analogy, let’s look at another transformational technology ...

Ford's beginnings Model A - 1903.

13 years later - 1916.

This was amazing progress for Henry Ford, but from our perspective ...


There were still decades upon decades of progress to come

1928 Model A

1937 Coupe

1950 convertible

1960 Sun Star

1975 Luxury T-Bird

1994 New "global family mid-size"


Today's Ford Taurus

Innovation must continue.


It is up to us here

However we may seek advantage for our own individual organizations, we must work together for progress and the benefits to humanity. One day, our grandchildren, when they look back on us, should truly say that we not only continued the pace of progress, but we accelerated it and cast its benefits further than those who came before us.