The 75th anniversary of the Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) arrives at a time of unparalleled scientific progress and discovery. From its early days in paper and microfiche to the current digital delivery of scientific research data, software code, and scholarly literature, OSTI has found innovative ways to bring DOE-funded research and development (R&D) results to the public since 1947. OSTI continually pursues new ways to make scientific and technical information (STI) more discoverable, easily accessible, and complete than ever before.
OSTI was founded in 1947 as the Technical Information Division of the Atomic Energy Commission and was tasked with the collection, preservation, and dissemination of paper and microfiche scientific records related to the Manhattan Project. The goal was to promote peaceful uses of nuclear research and to accelerate scientific progress. Since that time, OSTI has gone by a variety of names, and the scope of its scientific information collections has grown, but the core mission and responsibilities remain unchanged. OSTI continues to collect and preserve DOE's scientific record and provide tools and services supporting the discovery, use, and visibility of DOE research. Throughout its history, OSTI has been a leader in supporting public access to federally-funded R&D results by pioneering innovations such as enabling widely-used search engines to index OSTI's large digital collections, bringing DOE's content to millions more consumers annually. OSTI implemented an innovative model for public access to DOE-funded scholarly literature by launching DOE PAGES in 2014 and demonstrated the concept and power of federated search technology through tools such as Science.gov and WorldWideScience.org.
Over the past decade, OSTI has launched other search tools, including OSTI.GOV, the primary search tool for DOE-funded R&D results, and DOE CODE, a unique, collaborative software services platform and search tool for DOE-funded code. OSTI is also enabling open science in leveraging the power of persistent identifiers, paving the way for better acknowledgement, citation, and linkages among DOE R&D results. Through involvement with Crossref, DataCite, and ORCID, and development of persistent identifier services, OSTI is actively promoting FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable, reusable) open science principles. OSTI services include the Data ID Service and the Award DOI Service, which assign digital object identifiers (DOIs) to research data, awards, grants, and contracts. OSTI also launched the US Government ORCID Consortium, which brings together US Government and DOE-affiliated organizations looking to use, adopt, and integrate with ORCID iDs, another essential persistent identifier in open science.
Along with new product releases, OSTI has also focused on improving existing search tools. DOE Patents, DOE ScienceCinema, and DOE PAGES have undergone redesigns to improve the search interfaces and capabilities, provide links to related works, and allow for enhanced personal account functionality.
OSTI's search tools provide access to important resources for scientists and engineers working to strengthen America's role in science and technology, promote energy security, protect the environment, and enhance nuclear security. OSTI is building on 75 years of information discovery and continues to work to increase the precision and power of information search tools and construct a modern science environment where R&D results are linked and accessible.
As we celebrate throughout 2022, watch for more articles detailing interesting events in DOE OSTI history, advances in our search tools and services, and our plans for the next 75 years.