DOE Patents

API Documentation


The DOE Patents API allows you query the Department of Energy's DOE Patents repository of patent information resulting from DOE-sponsored research and development.

The API is built on a REST architecture, providing predictable URLs that make writing applications easy. The API is HTTP-based, so it can be accessed using a wide variety of clients; most examples are illustrated using the cURL command to demonstrate basic use cases.

The list of resources available through the API, and their corresponding reference documentation, will always be made available at the API root endpoint (this document).

API Root Endpoint

General Guidelines

Each resource endpoint in the API will vary slightly in some respects, such as what query parameters are valid for that type of request and how the expected output may be structured. These variations will be outlined in detail in the resource-specific sections below. There are, however, some general rules and expectations that are common to all interactions with the API.

HTTP Methods

The DOE Patents API uses the HTTP verb (method) associated with the incoming request to identify the type of action being performed. Note that at this time the DOE Patents API has methods for querying data only, and therefore all requests to the API will be GET requests.

Request Methods
Method Description
GET Used for retrieving resources.
POST Used for creating resources and performing resource actions.
Not currently valid for DOE Patents API resource requests
PUT Used for updating resources.
Not currently valid for DOE Patents API resource requests
DELETE Used for deleting resources.
Not currently valid for DOE Patents API resource requests

Using the GET method, you can retrieve a list (collection) of resources or details of a particular resource.

To get a list of records:

$ curl

To get details of a dataset with a particular ID:

$ curl{osti id}

Response Formats

By default, results from the DOE Patents API will be returned in JSON format. By specifying an expected mime type in the Accept header of the request, results can also be returned in any of JSON, XML, or Bibtex formats.

Format Types and Accept Headers
Format Accept header
JSON application/json
XML application/xml
Bibtex application/x-bibtex

Specifying the Accept header in the request, you can retrieve results in a particular format.

To get a dataset's metadata in JSON format:

$ curl{osti id} \
	-H 'Accept: application/json'

To get a dataset's metadata in XML format:

$ curl{osti id} \
	-H 'Accept: application/xml'

To get a dataset's metadata in Bibtex format:

$ curl{osti id} \
	-H 'Accept: application/x-bibtex'

Response Headers

Responses from the API will include certain common HTTP headers, providing details about the response or the included content.

Common Response Headers
Response Header Description
Date The date the response is issued, in RFC 1123 format
Content-Type The mime type in which the response data is formatted
X-Total-Count For responses containing data, the number of records returned in the current response
Link If more matching records are available than are returned in the current response, this will contain links to more DOE Patents in RFC 5988 format

Example Response Headers

HTTP/1.1 200 OK

Date: Thu, 26 May 2016 16:25:04 GMT
Content-Type: application/json
X-Total-Count: 50
Link: <>; rel="next", <>; rel="last"
Content-Length: 3911


Requests that return multiple records will be paginated to 20 records by default; the number of records per page can be modified by specifying a numerical value for the ?rows parameter, and the specific page with the ?page parameter (default 1). If more matching records exist, the Link response header will contain links to additional DOE Patents of data, in RFC 5988 format. The specific type of link is denoted by the "rel" value.

Link Header Rel Values
Name Description
next The link relation for the immediate next page of results
last The link relation for the last page of results
first The link relation for the last page of results
prev The link relation for the immediate previous page of results

Example Link Header Values

$ curl

HTTP/1.1 200 OK

X-Total-Count: 250
<>; rel="next",
<>; rel="last",
<>; rel="first",
<>; rel="prev"

Record Model

Responses returning data all return the same basic structure, formatted as appropriate for the content type requested.

HTTP Status Codes

A successful response from the API will always return an HTTP status code of 200.

HTTP Success Status
Status Description
200 OK

Record Fields

Results are always presented as a list of Record objects, formatted according to the content type requested. For JSON, records are returned as an array of objects. For XML, records are returned as <record> elements wrapped in a <records> container. BibTex results are formatted serially.

Record Fields
Field Name Description
osti_idThe unique OSTI identifier for the record
titleA name or title by which the record is known
descriptionA short description or abstract
authorsThe person(s) primarily responsible for the creation of the data
product_typeThe product type of the record (one of "Dataset" or "Collection")
doiThe Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
publication_dateThe publication date, in ISO-8601 format
publisherThe name of the entity that holds, archives, distributes, releases, or produces the resource
country_publicationThe country in which this version of the record was published
formatAdditional format / paging information
languageThe primary language of the resource
availabilityIf applicable, the office or organization to refer access requests to
research_orgIf credited, the organization name primarily responsible for conducting the research
sponsor_orgIf credited, the organization name that sponsored / funded the research
subjectsA list of subjects, keywords, or key phrases describing the resource
doe_contract_numberThe DOE contract number associated with the entry
patent_numberThe patent number associated with the entry
entry_dateThe date the record was added or last modified, in ISO-8601 format
linksFull URL's to the citation and the full text for this OSTI ID

Example Response

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Content-Type: application/json
      "osti_id":"{osti id}",
      "format":"Medium: ED",
      "description":"Cras ac lacinia quam, ac viverra mauris. Duis aliquam blandit nibh",
      "title":"Pellentesque ornare velit id enim hendrerit eleifend. Praesent facilisis",
      "country_publication":"United States",
         "Lorem ipsum"
            "href":"https:\/\/\/doepatents\/biblio\/{osti id}"
            "href":"https:\/\/\/doepatents\/servlets\/purl\/{osti id}"
         " Aenean at mi vulputate (Irem), faucibus ipsum a, tempor ipsum (Icorus). "
         "Cras, ac lacinia"
HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Content-Type: application/xml

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
      <osti_id>{osti id}</osti_id>
      <title>High speed, high current pulsed driver circuit</title>
      <description>Cras ac lacinia quam, ac viverra mauris. Duis aliquam blandit nibh</description>
         <author>Cras, ac lacinia</author>
      <doi />
      <publisher />
      <format>Medium: ED</format>
      <availability />
         <research_org>Aenean at mi vulputate (Irem), faucibus ipsum a, tempor ipsum (Icorus)</research_org>
      <subjects />
         <link rel="citation" href="{osti id}" />
         <link rel="fulltext" href="{osti id}" />
HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Content-Type: application/x-bibtex
  title        = {Mastering the DOE Patents API},
  author       = {Hemsing, E. and Marinelli, A. and Marcus, G. and Xiang, D.},
  abstractNote = {Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.},
  doi          = {10.1103/ScienceOrgName.113.134802},
  place        = {United States},
  year         = 2014,
  month        = 9,

Error Model

If for some reason the API returns an error response, it will be formatted as appropriate for the content type requested. All error responses have the same basic structure.

HTTP Status Codes

Errors will be returned with an HTTP error status code appropriate to the type of error encountered.

HTTP Error Status
Status Description
400 Bad request
401 Unauthorized
404 Resource Not Found
405 Method Not Allowed
500 Internal Error

Error Fields

Errors are always presented as a single object, formatted according to the content type requested.

Error Fields
Field Name Description
statusCodeThe response error code, duplicated for convenience
statusMessageA brief description of the error type
errorDescriptionA more detailed description of the specific error cause

Example Error

HTTP/1.1 404 Not Found
Content-Type: application/json
    "statusCode": 404,
    "statusMessage": "Not Found",
    "errorDescription": "No record matching the supplied OSTI ID was found"
HTTP/1.1 404 Not Found
Content-Type: application/xml
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
    <statusMessage>Not Found</statusMessage>
    <errorDescription>No record matching the supplied OSTI ID was found</errorDescription>
HTTP/1.1 404 Not Found
Content-Type: application/x-bibtex
Not Found
No record matching the supplied OSTI ID was found


The DOE Patents API currently supports two endpoints, both of which are data retrieval endpoints and as such only GET method requests are valid. All endpoints are relative to the root endpoint.

API Root Endpoint

Record List (Search)

GET /records

The record list endpoint allows you to search for lists of records in DOE Patents by a variety of criteria.

Record List Query Parameters
Parameter Description
qGeneral query field, will search full record for provided terms
osti_idThe unique OSTI identifier for a record
fulltextSearches the article full text (if available) for the provided terms
biblioSearches the bibliographic information for the provided terms
authorSearches the author entries
titleSearches within document titles
identifierFinds records based on common identifiers (report number, contract number, etc.)
sponsor_orgSearches the sponsoring organization field
research_orgSearches the research organization field
contributing_orgSearches the contributing organization field
source_idA code specifying the organization that submitted the record
publication_date_startBeginning publication date boundary in MM-DD-YYYY format
publication_date_endEnd publication date boundary in MM-DD-YYYY format
entry_date_startBeginning entry date boundary in MM-DD-YYYY format
entry_date_endEnding entry date boundary in MM-DD-YYYY format
languageFinds records by language
countryFinds records by country of publication
sortSpecifies a field name on which to sort
orderSpecifies the sort order (one of asc or desc)
rowsThe number of rows per page to return (default 20)
pageThe specific page of records to return (default 1)

Record List Endpoint

Single Record by ID

GET /records/{osti_id}

The single record by id endpoint allows you to retrieve details for a specific record by providing the appropriate OSTI ID value as the key in the request path.

Single Record Endpoint{osti_id}

The DOE Patents API is actively in development; the documentation should be kept up to date with the functionality of the current release. If you have any questions or suggestions, please let us know.