Recommended Characteristics of STI Technical Reports

Attribute Typical Placement on STI Product Explanatory Comment
Front Matter
Abstract Title Page Briefly informs of purpose, scope, and findings
Acknowledgements Follows Title Page Credits substantial contributors to the work who are not authors
Author Cover and Title Page Includes primary author and all contributing authors
Availability Statement    
Award/Contract/Financial Assistance Number Cover, inside front cover, and title page DOE funding agreement
Classification Level/ Category Refer to DOE M 471.2-1C, Classified Matter Protection and Control Manual Classification level and category of information
Control Markings/Caveats Refer to DOE M 471.1-1, Identification and Protection of Unclassified Controlled Nuclear Information Manual; DOE M 471.2-1C, Classified Matter Protection and Control Manual; DOE M 471.3-1, Manual for Identifying and Protecting Official Use Only Information; DOE O 5610.2, Control of Weapon Data; and DOE M 452.1-1A, Protection of User Control Vulnerabilities and Design Markings that identify special handling or dissemination requirements
Date Cover or title page Month and Year of release
Disclaimer Inside front or back cover  
Distribution Statement Cover or title page Outlines restrictions or limitations on distribution
Funding Office Cover, inside front cover, title page Specifies the DOE office funding work product
List(s) of Figures and Tables  Follows Table of Contents Lists 5 or more figures or tables or any combination thereof
Performing Organization Cover, title page, outside back cover Name and address of the performing or research organization and/or site of origin
Report/Product number Cover, title page or outside back cover Report number unique to releasing company/laboratory/agency
Report Documentation Page Before title page Used by federal agencies for database building
Reporting Period Included in title on cover or title page and first page of text Month/year of reporting period
Table of Contents Follows Title Page Outlines organization and scope of a report
Title Cover and Title Page A brief title and if necessary, subtitle
Title Page First page of product Provides information for description and bibliographic information
Text (Body)
Conclusions Final paragraph of text (prior to Summary) Presents substantiated findings, discusses their implications and presents author’s option
Introduction 1st page of text States subject, purpose, scope and plan for developing report
References Citations within the text or footnotes Cites sources of information used by author(s) of reports
Summary Follows Lists of Figures and Tables and/or Table of Contents Summarizes problem, results, conclusions, recommendations
Back Matter
Appendixes Follows Bibliography Contains supplemental information not essential to the text
Bibliography Follows Acknowledgements Lists additional sources of information not cited in the text of a report
Distribution List Last page of product Gives permanent record of initial distribution of report


An abstract is a concise statement of the purpose, scope, and major findings of the information product. The abstract is intended to be stand alone text, independent of the full product, and is written appropriately for wide dissemination. The abstract is especially important in nonprint information products. For more information, see Guidelines for Abstracts (ANSI/NISO Z39.14?1997).
Acknowledgments of technical assistance that contribute to the content are typically incorporated in a preface or in the text of the report. Occasionally, the acknowledgements will be placed at the end of the report, before the Bibliography. However, lengthy acknowledgments will often be included as optional section following the title page, preface, or table of contents. 
Appendixes contain additional information that clarifies or supports the text of the report.
Author(s) and their employers are typically identified on the information product. Editors and compilers also may be identified.
Award/Contract/Financial Assistance Number
Any of the following numbers that apply are usually included on the cover/title page: DOE award or contract number(s), budget and reporting (B&R) number, unique project identifier, or technical plan number under which the work was funded.
Bibliography lists additional sources not referenced in the text.
Classification Level/Category
Classification level must be included on the document per DOE M 471.1-1 and DOE M 471.3-1. For Classified Information, the Category (if Restricted Data or Formerly Restricted Data) must be included per instructions contained in DOE M 471.2-1C.
Conclusions interpret the findings and discusses their implications. No new material is introduced in the conclusion and it may include the author’s opinions.
Control Markings and Caveats
Control markings are identified in DOE M 471.1-1 , DOE M 471.3-1, DOE M 471.2-1C, DOE O 5610.2, ad DOE M 452.1-1A, as well as the distribution caveats. Caveats are to be used for categories of information requiring additional protection by law. Caveats are used to provide information about distribution limitations and to assist readers in assessing the correct nature of the information’s sensitivity level. These caveats should be placed on the cover of the report.
A publication or issuance date and the basis for it are recommended to be provided on the information product. Examples of dates are shown in Table 3.

Table 3 Publication of Issuance Date
Type of Date Sample Text
Date published/issued August 4, 2005
July 2005
Summer 2005
Manuscript date June 13, 2005
Date compiled January - March 2005
Disclaimer/Legal Disclaimer
In accordance with Federal law and the guidance of appropriate legal counsel, disclaimer(s) are to be included where appropriate. See Attachment 5 for recommended disclaimer statements.
Distribution Statement
A distribution statement may be required on some STI products. Unclassified controlled and classified STI products require special, unique controls in conformance with applicable statutes, laws, regulations, Executive orders, international agreements, directives, and Departmental policy. Such markings are to be consistent with the access limitations indicated on ANNOUNCEMENT NOTICE 241.1 or ANNOUNCEMENT NOTICE 241.3. The appropriate distribution statements are provided in Attachment 6.
Funding Office
The funding office(s) or sponsoring organization(s) may be identified by name, symbol/logo, or B&R code of the DOE office providing the support or funding.
Introduction provides general information regarding the topic of the report. It introduces the subject, purpose, and scope of the report.
List(s) of Figures and Tables
Lists of Figures and Tables are only required if the report contains more than five figures or tables. If the report contains less than five, it is an optional element. The list should include the figure/table number, title, and page number. The list of figures precedes the list of tables. 
Performing Organization
The name and address of the performing or research organization and/or site of origin are typically identified. Subcontract work is normally submitted through the performing R&D contractor or laboratory.
References list the “Sources” or “Works Cited.”
Report Documentation Page
The report documentation page, used by some Federal agencies in announcing and cataloging reports, is not used by DOE; the DOE announcement notice contains similar information. DOE laboratories and facilities that conduct work for others may need to obtain the report documentation page (Standard Form 298) from the agency sponsoring the work.
Reporting Period
The reporting period clarifies the period of time covered by the report.
STI Product/Report Number
To assist in retrievability, it is recommended that every product published by the origination organization be assigned a standard product/report number that contains some unique identifier that can be traced to the site of origin. The report number formats typically used within the Department are based on the American National Standards Institute Standard Technical Report Number (STRN) Format and Creation (ANSI/NISO Z39.23?1997). Examples are shown in Table 4.

Special numbering may be used for a report series or sequence and translations. Existing series or numbering guidelines used within the Department are available from OSTI.

Table 4 Standard Report Number
Description Standard Report Prefix
DOE Program Office DOE/XX B nnn, where XX is 2-letter office code, followed by numerical sequence
DOE Field Element DOE/ZZ B nnn, where ZZ is 2-letter field code, followed by numerical sequence
Major Project Office DOE/XX B nnn, where XX is 2- or 3-letter office code, followed by numerical sequence
National Energy Technology Laboratory Example: DOE/NETL B nn/nnnn
Major Laboratories/Contractors Most laboratories have approved report series prefixes; e.g., ANL/TN B nnn. May also use DOE/XXXB nnn, where XXX represents approved site codes.
Other Contractors and Financial Assistance Recipients DOE/XX/nnnnn B where letters and numbers are extracted from contract number.

Additional information may be added to the product number, such as the following types of suffixes:

Table 5 Additional Identifying Information
Description Standard Suffix
Abstract ABS
Addendum ADD
Edition ED
Executive Summary ES
Part PT
Revision REV
Supplement SUPPL
Volume VOL
A summary states the key points of the report, including a description of the problem under investigation, the principal results, conclusions, findings and recommends a course of action. Any symbols, abbreviations, acronyms, and unusual terms used in the summary are defined within the text. The summary should be non-technical in nature and contain enough detail so that individuals (decision makers) who will not be reading the entire report will have a basic understanding of the research and findings.
Table of Contents
A table of contents page defines the organization and scope of a report. Headings in the table of contents should reflect the numbering and wording used in the report structure.
A brief title is recommended that describes the subject matter covered. A subtitle may be used for further clarification. Additional guidelines are provided below:
  • When an STI product has more than one volume, repeat the primary title on each volume. Use a subtitle to identify the specific subject of the individual volume.
  • If the report is other than topical, provide the report type and the period covered, if appropriate, as part of the title or subtitle. For non-major site/facility management contractor generated reports, the report type and period covered are critical for acknowledging receipt of specified deliverables.
  • Unclassified titles must be used for classified documents. The titles must be marked with the appropriate classification level, category, and any caveats, as applicable (see DOE M 471.2-1C).
Title Page
Contains abstract (optional), author, award/contract/financial assistance number, date, funding office, performing organization, report number, and title.