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Office of Scientific and Technical Information


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 (OSTI) search tool for finding DOE-funded, publicly available, scientific data records submitted by data centers, repositories, and other organizations funded by the Department.

Where do the data objects come from? How do they get into DDE?

Individual data object citations are submitted by the creator, author, principal investigator (PI), or by the organization hosting the data. Bibliographic information (metadata) for the data object 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 data?

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 the data objects that are submitted by DOE and its contractors or grantees. The assignment and registration of a DOI for every data object submitted is a free service provided by OSTI to aid in citation, discovery, retrieval, and reuse of DOE-funded data. 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

  • DOE Data Explorer recognizes the operators AND, OR, and NOT in both the basic search and the Advanced Search. Operators must be capitalized in order to function in this manner, rather than as a part of the phrase being searched.

    • Example (AND): applied AND research will return all records where both applied and research appear.

    • Example (OR): applied OR research will return all records where either applied or research appear.

    • Example (NOT): applied NOT research will return all records where applied appears and research does not appear.

    • Example (NEAR): applied NEAR research will return all records where both applied and research appear; however, the relevance is increased for records where the two terms appear closer together.

  • +/- may also be used to simulate the AND/NOT operators.

    • Example: A search for applied +research will return results that include the term applied and also include the term research.

    • Example: A search for applied -research will return results that include the term applied but not the term research.


  • Phrases can be searched by using double quotes in both the basic search and the Advanced Search.

    • Example: "applied research" will return records where the word applied is followed immediately by research.

  • Phrases can be joined together using Boolean operators.

    • Example: "organic chemistry" OR "organic chemical" will find records where either the phrase "organic chemistry" or the phrase "organic chemical" appear.

  • Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT, NEAR), when appearing inside double quotes, will be treated as searches on the word, and will not act as Boolean operators.

    • Example: "applied and research" will find documents where the entire phrase, "applied and research" appears.

  • Wildcard operators inside a phrase will search for variations of the phrase.

    • Example: "organic chemi*" will find records containing any of the following phrases: "organic chemical", "organic chemistry", "organic chemist", etc.


  • The asterisk (*) is used as a multi-character wildcard. A wildcard is used to search for variations on a root word. It may be used at the end or in the middle of the word. It cannot be used at the beginning of the word as this will result in an error.

    • Example: chemi* will return records containing any of the following terms: chemical, chemistry, chemists, etc.

    • Example: f*l will return records containing any of the following words: fuel, foil, final, fossil, etc.

    • Example: *uel is not a valid search and will result in an error.


  • Similar to the Boolean operator NEAR, appending a phrase with ~ followed by a number will find the included terms within that number of words away from each other.

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


  • In the search criteria, when using digits to express numerals instead of words (i.e., 7 instead of seven), best results are obtained by entering the numbers without punctuation or spaces.

    • Example: 7362 is a better search term than 7,362 as punctuation can impact function.

Order of Operation

  • The default order of operations (precedence) for all supported Boolean operators is NEAR, NOT, AND, OR.

  • Unless overridden by use of parentheses, the default order of operations will be used. Expressions are evaluated in order from left to right according to the precedence of their operators. Operators with higher precedence are applied first. Operators of equal precedence are applied in order of their appearance in the expression from left to right.

    • Example: organic NOT chemistry OR material will return records where either organic appears and chemistry does not appear, or the term material appears. This search results will be identical to the following: (organic NOT chemistry) OR material. Since NOT has a higher precedence, its expression is evaluated first

  • You can override the default order of operations by using parentheses.

    • Example: organic NOT (chemistry OR material) will return records where organic appears and neither chemistry nor material appear.

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.
Searches only titles.
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.


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.

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.
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.

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.

Award DOI*- digital object identifiers (DOIs) assigned to awards, contracts, equipment, facilities, grants, prizes, salary awards, time awarded, and training grants. Award DOIs are assigned by the funding/awarding organization. Within DOE that may include DOE funding offices, national laboratories, and user facilities. Award DOI is searched in the Identifier Numbers advanced search field.

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 you can filter options by Creator/Author or Research Organization. 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 object?

By clicking the title 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 access a data object 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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