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DOE Data Explorer title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

FAQs

Click or tap on the questions below to see answers to frequently asked questions.


General FAQs


What is DOE Data Explorer?

DOE Data Explorer (DDE) is the Office of Scientific and Technical Information's (OSTI) search tool for finding publicly available DOE-funded scientific data submitted by data centers, repositories, and other organizations funded by the Department. DDE includes data Project, Collection, and individual Dataset records. The data objects 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: Projects, Collections, and Datasets. A Project is a scientific research group, data center, user facility, or other DOE-funded endeavor that is creating research data. A 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. The data objects themselves reside at national laboratories, data centers, user facilities, colleges and universities, or other websites.

DOE Data Explorer Hierarchy Image

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

Individual Dataset citations are submitted by the creator, author, principal investigator (PI), or by the organization hosting the data. Bibliographic information (metadata) for Datasets can be submitted to OSTI through E-Link's submission interface or through a web service using an Application Programming Interface (API). See the Data ID Services page for full details. Note: OSTI is not a data repository and does not host the data, which is hosted in a data repository chosen by the data creator(s).


Does DDE host Datasets?

No, DDE is not a data repository. The data found in DDE reside at national laboratories, data centers, user facilities, colleges and universities, or other websites as determined by the data creator(s). DDE provides metadata/citation information about the data object with access to the data via a DOI link from the search results page or an individual record page in DDE.


What is a Digital Object Identifier (DOI)?

A DOI is a unique persistent identifier that references a digital object and provides long term access; DOIs remain stable even if the underlying address or URL for the content changes.


Are Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) assigned to data objects in DDE?

Yes. OSTI is a member of and registering agency for DataCite. DataCite is an international organization that supports data visibility, ease of data citation in scholarly publications, data preservation and future re-use, and data access and retrievability. As a DataCite member, OSTI has the authority to assign Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) to Datasets and data Collections that are submitted by DOE and its contractors or grantees. The assignment and registration of a DOI for every Dataset or data Collection submitted is a free service provided by OSTI to aid in citation, discovery, retrieval, and reuse of DOE-funded Datasets and data Collections. See the information about OSTI's Data ID Services for full details.


Search FAQs


How do I search DOE Data Explorer?

DDE search works much like a basic Google search, where you enter your terms into the basic search box to retrieve results. You can search for a single term or a phrase by putting it in "double quotes." Additionally, DDE supports Boolean and proximity operators, wildcards, and parentheses for grouping.

Boolean Operators

DDE recognizes the operators AND, OR, and NOT.

Example: A search for water AND "climate change" will return results that include both the term water and the phrase climate change.

Example: A search for water OR "climate change" will return results that include either the term water or the phrase climate change.

Example: A search for water NOT "climate change" will return results that include the term water but not the phrase climate change.

+ and - allow for a search to either be required or forbidden in the search results.

Example: A search for energy +water will return results that include the term energy and include the term water.

Example: A search for energy -water will return results that include the term energy but not the term water.

Proximity Operators

Example: "nuclear energy"~3 will return results where nuclear and energy are within three words of each other in the bibliographic record.

Parentheses for Grouping

Example: A search for water AND ("climate change" OR energy) will return results that include both the term water and either the phrase climate change or the term energy.


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

"Explore" allows you to browse Projects, Collections, or Datasets. Selecting one of the product types allows you to browse a full results list of that type.


The advanced search allows you to perform more complex searches, offering you a number of fields, such as Title, Author, DOI, or Publication Date to help you refine your search results.

To access the advanced search, select the green drop-down arrow inside the basic search bar, either on the homepage or at the top of any subsequent page. To access all the advanced search features, click on the "More Options" selection at the bottom of the advanced search.

DOE Data Explorer Homepage Image
All Fields
Searches all bibliographic data.
Title
Searches only titles.
Creator/Author
Searches all author or creator names, including ORCID if available.
Research Org
Searches by the name(s) of the organization(s) that was funded and performed 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.

Example:

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.

Subject
Searches the standardized subject categories and keywords associated with the data.
Sponsoring Org
Searches the name(s) of DOE program office(s) that provided funding for the research producing the data.
Collaborations
Searches the name(s) of any collaborating organization that contributed to the research producing the data.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Searches the Digital Object Identifier (DOI), a unique persistent identifier that references a data object.
Identifier Numbers
Searches all identifying numbers, including DOE contract number, report number, non-DOE contract/award numbers, DOI, related identifying numbers, or associated data products.


What information is found on the Full Record page in DDE?

The information in the full record is descriptive bibliographic metadata unique to a specific data object. Basic bibliographic metadata includes the title, creator(s), description, and publication date. This metadata improves online search and retrieval and helps ensure preservation of the data. Below is a list of metadata that OSTI collects for display in DDE, with specific types of metadata that are searchable using the advanced search fields indicated with an asterisk(*).

Title*- the title of the data.

Abstract- summary of the data.

Creator/Author*- includes first and last name of the main researchers involved in producing the data, may include middle name/initial, email address, ORCID, and institutional affiliation.

Project Lead*- includes first and last name of the lead on a data Project, may include middle name/initial, email address, ORCID, and institutional affiliation. Project Lead is searched in the Creator/Author advanced search field.

Publication Date*- the date when the data becomes publicly available.

Other Number(s)*- any unique string that may also identify the data. These can include accession numbers, report numbers, experiment numbers, etc. These are searched in the Identifier Numbers advanced search field.

DOE Contract Number*- the DOE contract number under which the data was produced. DOE Contract Number is searched in the Identifier Numbers advanced search field.

Product Type- describes the type of the data, either data Project, Collection, or Dataset.

Research Org*- the name(s) of the organization(s) that was funded and performed the research that provided the data.

Sponsoring Org*- the name(s) of the DOE program office(s) that provided the funding for the research that created the data.

Collaborations*- the name(s) of a research/project collaboration, company, institution, or organization the creator(s) wishes to acknowledge that is NOT a creator affiliation, originating research organization, or funding organization.

Subject*- words or phrases that describe the data. This includes subject categories picked from a standardized authority list or keywords assigned to the data by the data creator(s).

Geolocation- the spatial region or named place where the data was gathered or about which the data is focused.

OSTI Identifier*- a unique identifier assigned by OSTI upon data submission. The OSTI Identifier is searched in the Identifier Numbers advanced search field.

DOI*- a unique persistent identifier that references a digital object and provides long-term access; DOIs remain stable even if the underlying address or URL for the content changes. A DOI is searched in the DOI or Identifier Numbers advanced search fields.


Can I sort or refine my results?

Yes, on the results screen there are different filter options depending on product type. For data Projects, you can refine by Research Organization; for data Collections, you can refine by Creator, Research Organization, or Project; for Datasets, you can refine by Creator, Research Organization, or Project. Sort options on the results page include sorting by relevance or publication date.


Yes, you can save the bibliographic/metadata information for a set of results as a CSV/Excel, XML, or JSON file from the results screen.

From an individual bibliographic/metadata record page you can export the metadata to Endnote or save it in RIS, CSV/Excel, XML, or JSON format. You also have the option to generate a citation for the record in various formats, including MLA, APA, Chicago, and BibTeX.


How can I view details about a data Project, Collection, or Dataset?

By clicking the title of a Project, Collection, or Dataset from the results list you will be directed to the record, which provides bibliographic information, data accessibility options, as well as citation format and metadata export options.


How can I view a data Project or Collection associated with a particular Dataset?

From the Dataset Full Record page you can view the associated Project or Collection(s) by using the tab options below the Dataset title.


What information is found on the "References", "Cited by", and "Other Related Research" tabs?

DDE displays links to related research objects such as journal articles and datasets on the "References", "Cited by", and "Other Related Research" tabs found on the Full Record page for a dataset. Using reference information from Crossref and Scholix, as well as related identifier information submitted through OSTI's ingest system, E-Link, the information available on the tabs helps demonstrate the relationships between research objects and provides a more comprehensive picture of the research lifecycle.

The "References" and "Cited by" tabs include reference and citation information, if available, from Crossref, Scholix, and E-Link. The "References" tab provides links to research items that the data object has referenced (other datasets, software, etc.), while the "Cited by" tab provides research that has cited the data object (journal articles, other datasets, etc.). Both tabs are organized and can be filtered by resource type (journal article, dataset, software, etc.) and are accessible to users via digital object identifiers (DOIs) where available.

Tabs Information

The "Other Related Research" tab provides the linked research objects under "Related Works" that are available in DDE and OSTI.GOV. Like references and cited by, related works are organized and can be filtered by resource type (journal article, dataset, figure, patent, etc.). The precise relationship type between the dataset and the Related Works, such as "Is Supplement To" or "Documents", is also provided for additional context. The related works are accessible to users via digital object identifiers (DOIs) where available.

Tabs Information

How can I access a Dataset from DDE?

Clicking the DOI link either from the results screen or from the Full Record page will direct you to the location where the data creator is hosting the data.


What are the benefits of having a DDE account?

A DDE account allows you to save searches, set up alerts, and create and export lists in multiple formats including CSV and XML. Account registration is not mandatory, but it enables more interactive features and customization.


How do I register for a DDE account?

To create a DDE Account, select the Create Account link at the top right of your screen and enter the requested information. You are required to provide your email address and create a password. Each account must be registered with a unique email address. After registration, you will be taken to your account management screen. If you are a DOE community user, a DOE federal employee, contractor, or grantee you are invited to provide some additional information at the time of registration or through your account management screen.

Registration Page

What if I have more Questions?

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