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Frequently Asked Questions

What is DOE Data Explorer?

The DOE Data Explorer (DDE) is the Office of Scientific and Technical Information's (OSTI) search tool for finding DOE-funded, publicly available, scientific data submitted by data centers, repositories, and other organizations funded by the Department. DDE includes data Project, data Collection, and individual Dataset records. The data themselves reside at national laboratories, data centers, user facilities, colleges and universities, or other websites.

What does DDE contain?

DDE has three types of data records: data Projects, data Collections, and Datasets. A data Project is a scientific research group, data center, user facility, or other DOE-funded endeavor that is creating research data. A data Collection is a package of related datasets with a DOI for the entire collection. A Dataset is a single instance of data whose boundaries have been defined by the data submitter, with a DOI associated. The data themselves reside at national laboratories, data centers, user facilities, colleges and universities, or other websites.

These three 'types' of records represent the various 'levels' that occur during data creation and use, allowing you to search and discover data through the natural hierarchical relationships that exist between data products.

DDE record type hierarchy

What can the "Explore" feature do for me and how do I use it?

"Explore" allows you to browse Projects, Collections, or Datasets. By selecting one of the product types you will be able to browse a full results list of that type.

How do I use the Advanced Search?

The advanced search will allow you to perform more complex searches, offering you a number of fields, such as Title, Author, document Type, or Publication date to help you refine your search results.

All Fields
Searches all bibliographic data and the full text of the citation.

Searches titles.

Searches all author or creator names, including ORCID if available.

Dataset Type
Allows you to filter your results by Dataset type. For an explanation of the different Dataset types, see "How do the eight "Dataset types" fit into this picture and what do they include?"

Searches the URL or DOI where the data resides.

Searches both the standardized subject categories and keywords associated with the data.

Identifier Numbers
Searches for all identifying numbers, including DOE contract number, report number, non-DOE contract/award numbers, DOI, related identifying numbers, or associated data products.

Research Org
Searches by the name(s) of the organization(s) that was funded and performed the research producing the data.

Sponsoring Org
Searches the name(s) of the DOE program office(s) that provided the funding for the research producing the data.

Searches the name(s) of any collaborating organization that contributed to the research producing the data.

Publication Date
Searches for data that were published within a specified timeframe. Select the starting date or ending date from the drop down calendar OR type MM/DD/YYYY, e.g. 01/01/2014.

Publication from: 01/01/2014 retrieves all data published on or after 1/1/2014.
Publication to: 01/01/2014 retrieves all data published on or before 1/1/2014.

How do the eight "Dataset types" fit into this picture and what do they include?

These Dataset types describe the main content of a Dataset. The TYPE field on the Advanced Search page opens a picklist with all eight Dataset types. Choose one to limit your search to that particular type only.

Animations are often very short, silent, generated by data points. Simulations normally output from computer model. Software model itself may be part of collection or stand as its own product. Input data files may or may not be included.

Links to published papers in which some of this material appeared may be present, but the figures and plots have been listed separately in recognition of their own importance. May also be a "data plotting" tool. Data points can be entered or queried; specialized interface provides the data plot.

Genome/Genetics Data
Gene Sequences, taxonomies, images or figures, software.

Interactive Data Maps
May be GIS data, a GIS database, or the interactive interface based on and changing with the underlying data, or combination of all. Interactive resources that behave in similar way but are based on non-geographic data also fall in this type, such as Chart of Nuclides from NNDC.

Videos documenting (showing) experiments or results.

Numeric Data
Primary content expressed in numbers; all other content is secondary and supporting. May be in tables, spreadsheets, mathematical equations. Often is binary monitoring data pulled from sensors.

Specialized Mix
Collection designed to be a specialized mixture of data and information types. It has structure, organization, and the way the information is put together is what gives it meaning. The information often does not exist elsewhere except in pieces. May work when data fits none of these categories comfortably.

Still Images or Photos
Images/photos of cells, molecules, structures of nanomaterials, etc., often taken with electron microscopes. Images/photos from particle collisions, astronomy, observation flights, etc.

Where do the individual datasets come from? How do they get into DDE?

Individual dataset citations are directly submitted by the organization hosting the data or the creator/author/PI. Bibliographic information about datasets can be submitted to OSTI through the Announcement Notice 241.6 on the E-Link website or through a web service using an Application Programming Interface (API). See DOE Data ID Service for full details. Note that OSTI does not host the data; it is posted on the submitter's website.

Tell me about the Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) on these data Collections or individual Datasets.

OSTI is a member of and registering agency for DataCite and has the authority to assign Digital Object Identifiers to datasets that are submitted by DOE and its contractors or grantees. The assigning and registration of a DOI for every dataset submitted is a free service provided by OSTI to enhance DOE's management of this important resource. See the information about DOE Data ID Service for full details.

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