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OSTI Celebrates 60 Years of Knowledge Sharing 1947–2007
Whether by print or by pixel, OSTI has long been committed to ensuring appropriate and ready access to government research.
Born in 1947 of General Leslie R. Grove’s mandate to tell the American people about the formerly secret Manhattan Project and the development of the atomic bomb, the Office of Scientific and Technical Information, or OSTI, rapidly became home to one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of energy-related information.
Long before the Internet came along, OSTI advanced science by making research information widely available. Located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, OSTI operated one of the few Federal printing plants in the United States, and in 1948 began an almost 30-year production of the world-famous Nuclear Science Abstracts which greatly expanded access to nuclear science information. OSTI shouldered a lead role in providing materials to the Atoms for Peace Geneva Conferences, envisioned by President Dwight D. Eisenhower to pool nuclear information for sharing with peaceful nations. OSTI was instrumental in establishing the International Nuclear Information System (INIS), which promotes nuclear information exchange between 110 countries. At times, OSTI annually responded to upwards of 50,000 requests for information, and during the 1977 “energy crisis,” fielded more than 150,000 requests.
Today, OSTI is nationally recognized for contributions to the sharing and exchange of science information, specifically through a suite of Web tools and services designed to deliver science information to desktops everywhere. OSTI is one of the few federal facilities in the United States with a “.gov” street address, 1 Science.gov Way, named for one of its projects of national import – Science.gov. Looking to the future, OSTI is focusing on development of a gateway to science worldwide, descriptively called Science.world.
OSTI is dedicated to the principle that, to advance science, research must be shared. OSTI works to accelerate discovery by speeding access to knowledge.