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

Open Government and Implications for DOE


Open Government and Implications for DOE
Karen Spence
Assistant Director
U.S. DOE Office of Scientific & Technical Information
March 2, 2010


DOE’s STI Program

• OSTI coordinates with POCs across the complex

• DOE R&D results are:
• Collected from DOE offices, labs, and facilities, as well as university grantees;
• Preserved for re-use; and
• Made accessible via multiple web outlets.

• Interagency and international exchanges/partnerships leverage access and use of DOE R&D results

OSTI works to ensure that:

• DOE-supported research results are shared globally plus
• DOE-supported researchers have access to scientific discoveries from around the world


“My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in government. We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in government.”

-President Barack Obama, January 21, 2009


Principles of Transparency and Open Government

• Transparency

• Participation

• Collaboration



• Transparency promotes accountability and provides information for citizens about what their Government is doing.

• Executive departments and agencies should harness new technologies to put information about their operations and decisions online and readily available to the public.

• Executive departments and agencies should also solicit public feedback to identify information of greatest use to the public.



• Public engagement enhances the Government's effectiveness and improves the quality of its decisions.

• Executive departments and agencies should offer Americans increased opportunities to participate in policymaking.

• Also solicit public input on how we can increase and improve opportunities for public participation in Government.



• Collaboration actively engages Americans in the work of their Government.

• Executive departments and agencies should use innovative tools, methods, and systems to cooperate among themselves, across all levels of Government, and with nonprofit organizations, businesses, and individuals in the private sector.


Open Government Initiative

• Open Government Directive issued in December 2009.

• Designed to hardwire accountability and accessibility into government institutions.

The Open Government Initiative includes

– Datasets

– Open Government Webpage

– Citizen Engagement Comment Period

– Open Gov Citizen Engagement Tool Powered by IdeaScale

– Open Government Plan


DOE Steps Up

How is DOE Meeting these Challenges?

• DOE Commitment to Transparency

• DOE Support to DATA.gov

• DOE Support to Open Government Directive


DOE Support to Data.gov

• The purpose of Data.gov is to increase public access to high value, machine readable datasets generated by the Executive Branch of the Federal Government.

• Data.gov, launched May 2009 includes searchable data catalogs providing access to data in three ways: through the “raw” data catalog, the tool catalog, and the geodata catalog.


DOE Support to Data.gov (continued)

As of the end of February, DOE has submitted:

• 19 raw data files to the Data.gov catalog

• 10 widgets, 4 RSS feeds, and 2 data extraction tools to the Tools catalog


DOE High Value Datasets

• DOE’s 3 high value datasets are found at http://energy.gov/about-us/open-government

• These datasets are XML data services from Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI):
– Information Bridge XML Data Service
– Energy Citations Database XML Data Service
– DOE R&D Project Summaries XML Data Service


Information Bridge XML Data Service

• The Information Bridge contains citations and full-text links for DOE research reports.

• The XML Data Service allows the downloading of the bibliographic citations in XML format that can be loaded into new or existing databases, providing increased access to DOE research.


Energy Citations Database XML Data Service

• The Energy Citations Database contains citations to DOE research and other energy-related research of interest to DOE.

• The XML Data Service allows the downloading of the bibliographic citations in XML format that can be loaded into other databases, providing increased access to energy-related research.


DOE R&D Project Summaries XML Data Service

• The DOE R&D Project Summaries is a database containing records describing ongoing or recently completed projects performed by the DOE laboratories and research facilities.

• The XML Data Summaries allows the downloading of these records in XML format which can be used to create databases that will educate and inform the general public of the Department of Energy’s Research & Development activities.


Open Government Directive Datasets

• Agencies must publish three new high–value datasets on Data.gov.

• Agencies must coordinate with their Data.gov Point of Contact (POC) to showcase agency datasets on agency’s /open webpage


New Data Services

Upcoming XML Data Services

• DOE Patents

• Geothermal Legacy


Open Government Cabinet Commitments

• Brand new open government initiatives launched by each of the Cabinet Departments. http://www.whitehouse.gov/open/commitments

• Department of Energy’s contribution: OpenEnergyInfo www.openEI.org



• Bringing Energy Technology Information to the Public

• Launched December 9, 2009.

• Open-source web platform that will make DOE resources and open energy data widely available to the public.

• The data and tools housed on the free, editable and evolving wiki-platform.

• To be used by government officials, the private sector, project developers, the international community, and others.



Agencies must post an Open government webpage

Open Government

Access Information from the Department of Energy and make your voice heard.


Open webpages

OpenGov Web Page

Agency Activities



– Updates on ongoing activities.
– Links to high-value data sets published via Data.gov.
– Public engagement mechanism or links to online forum.
– Links to existing social media sites.
– Links back to federal sources of information related to the Directive.
– Contact information for relevant agency decision makers.
– Open Gov image that links to whitehouse.gov/open.
– Required documents and reports, including FOIA.
– Open Gov Plan (when available).



– Whenever possible: use plain language, provide contextual information for data, and demonstrate how content is relevant for American citizens.

– Structure engagement opportunities so that requests for public input are clearly defined and presented with contextual information.

– Make information available through easily discoverable feeds, such as RSS, so the public can readily access the data as it is updated.



– Provide regular opportunities for the public to contribute ideas and expertise that will inform government policy; describe how input will be incorporated into agency processes.

– Engage the public on: Open Government Plan, the Flagship Initiative(s), data–sets that can be made publically available, and processes for increasing agency transparency and accountability.

– When appropriate, include technologies for receiving alerts to recent webpage updates or new engagement opportunities (email updates, RSS, etc.).


Agency activities

– Disseminate useful information.
– Solicit, review and respond to feedback.
– Encourage partnerships and cooperation.
– Encourage participation.
– Coordinate with OMB guidance.
– Review and revise agency policies.
– Incorporate Open Government Directive values.


DOE Open Government Webpage

Open Government Initiative
• Transparency
• Participation
• Collaboration


Citizen Engagement Comment Period

Open February 6–March 19, 2010 Each /open webpage should include a mechanism for the public to:

• Give feedback on the quality of information published by the agency;
• Give feedback about the kinds of information the agency should prioritize for publication;
• Provide input into the creation of the agency's Open Government Plan.

All agencies have been granted an emergency waiver under the Paperwork Reduction Act to collect this information.


Open Government Plan – Due April 7, 2010

Agencies must publish their Open Government Plan on their /open webpage. Agencies should strive to use consistent language and placement when linking to their plans.

Directory of Agency Plans – to be published on whitehouse.gov after April 7, 2010


Open Government Dashboard

• As part of the Directive, a dashboard will be created that will include information on agency progress and visualizations of the state of the open government in the Executive Branch.

• The Whitehouse.gov/open page will also be enhanced to aggregate and highlight agency Open Government Directive activities.


Open Government Initiative

Around the Government
Department of Energy


Related openness activities

Implications for DOE still to be determined

– Federally Sponsored Research

– Classification Reform


Federally Sponsored Research

• December 2009: White House began seeking comments on improving public access to federally sponsored research.

• Three-stage request for information closed at the end of January.

• NIH model requires submission of electronic version of final peer-reviewed manuscript no later than 12 months after official date of publication.

• While there has not yet been action from the White House, all indications are that the Administration will support free access to federally sponsored research.


Classification Reform

• Executive Order 13526 Classified National Security Information issued in December 2009.

• Addresses issues of over-classification, declassification and sharing of classified information among appropriate parties.

• Prohibits the reclassification of previously declassified material.

• Calls for enhanced security procedures for classification and declassification of electronic information.


Leadership in DOE

• DOE Open Government Representative:
Laurie Morman
Chief of Staff, Office of Management

• Coordinating with DOE/CIO:
TheAnne Gordon, Associate CIO for Information
Technology Planning, Architecture, & E-Government
Janice Ausby, IT Capital Planning and Architecture Division

• Coordinating with DOE/OSTI


Open Government Dialogue.
We're Still Working Out the Kinks.


Contact Information:

Karen Spence
Assistant Director for Information Systems
U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information
1 Science.gov Way
P.O. Box 62
Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831
(865) 574-0295