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Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Commemorating 75 Years: OSTI Partners Honor a History of Leadership and Innovation


On November 2, 2022, Brian Hitson, Director of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI), hosted OSTI's 75th Anniversary Virtual Event (link is external) commemorating OSTI's 75th year of collecting and disseminating DOE research results. In his opening remarks, Hitson stated that the event program and speakers reflected OSTI's two-fold philosophy of having a dedicated and customer focused workforce and building lasting, deep partnerships and relationships with the customers and communities that are essential to OSTI's mission success. The entire recorded event can be viewed at OSTI's YouTube channel, along with 75 Years of Sharing Scientific Discovery (link is external), a video highlighting OSTI accomplishments from the 1940s to today.

OSTI's relationships extend from within DOE and counterpart offices in other U.S. federal agencies, to national information organizations around the world and international scientific and technical information (STI) groups. OSTI also maintains meaningful public-private connections and partnerships with academia. In pre-recorded remarks, DOE Office of Science (SC) (link is external) Director Dr. Asmeret Asefaw Berhe emphasized OSTI's "partnering model for collaboration and dissemination of USDOE STI" as key to OSTI's success, and key to accelerating DOE's scientific discoveries. 

Following Dr. Berhe's remarks, Hitson introduced the speakers that would deliver reflections on OSTI's history and projections for its future. 

Dr. Steve Binkley, Principal Deputy Director in the DOE Office of Science (SC), gave a thorough account of how the DOE national laboratories' mission areas have evolved since their inception. He recognized that OSTI has underpinned all of this research history by providing access to STI to the laboratories and celebrated OSTI for being at the frontier of information technology's fast-paced advancements.

Professor Tony Hey, Chief Data Scientist at the UK Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, chaired an SC subcommittee that provided recommendations for how OSTI could fulfill the requirements of the 2014 OSTP Public Access memorandum and provide enhanced value to the DOE research community. Professor Hey highlighted the steps OSTI took to deliver modernized services to DOE researchers. Drawing on his long-standing relationship with OSTI, Hey looked towards OSTI's future and noted the important role that data management will play in serving scientists and the general public.

Yvette Woell, Manager of the Argonne Research Library and STI Manager at Argonne National Laboratory (link is external), discussed the transformation of OSTI's resources from print materials and microfiche to OSTI.GOV, OSTI's online database with over three million searchable records. Woell specified two elements that set OSTI's search tools apart from other services: the breadth of information types indexed and the freely available nature of the services. Woell also highlighted OSTI's lead role in establishing cross-agency groups to foster collaboration and partnerships within the STI landscape.

Jerry Sheehan, Deputy Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Library of Medicine (NLM) (link is external), observed that OSTI and NLM's strong partnership over the years is no surprise, given that both organizations share a commitment to staying on the cutting edge of STI developments, and therefore leading in STI dissemination. Sheehan polled colleagues from other U.S. federal agencies and found that all recognized and appreciated OSTI's history of extensive support towards furthering public access and open science goals. Sheehan expressed his confidence that OSTI will continue to serve as a guiding force in the STI field for another 75 years.

Dr. Ericka Patillo, Director of Graduate Studies at the University of Tennessee School of Information Sciences (SIS) (link is external), echoed the theme of OSTI's value as a partner by describing OSTI's relationship with SIS. Over decades of partnership, OSTI has provided practicum opportunities to SIS students and partnered with SIS faculty on grant-funded projects. OSTI has employed over 100 SIS graduates, and those employees give back to SIS by teaching courses, serving on the SIS board of visitors, and supporting student organization activities. Patillo expressed SIS's gratitude for their rich partnership with OSTI, and her hope that it continues for another 75 years.

In his closing remarks, Hitson addressed current and former OSTI employees, both federal and contractor, and credited their know-how, commitment, and work ethic as the recipe for historic and future success. OSTI is grateful for the productive and cooperative relationships with all of the organizations represented at the event and the speakers who joined to commemorate the 75th anniversary. OSTI's success during the last 75 years would not have been achieved without the support and collaboration of other pioneering organizations and the dedicated staff who work to maintain OSTI's mission and vision.