United States Department of Energy

Energy Link System (E-Link)

DOE STI Management System


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Frequently Asked Questions

E-Link Overview
What is the purpose of E-Link?
E-Link is a corporate Department of Energy (DOE) system through which scientific and technical information (STI) sponsored by DOE may be submitted and/or announced electronically to DOE's central coordinating office, the Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) for subsequent announcement, availability, and preservation. In addition to online submission capability, E-Link provides for Departmental electronic review of deliverables from Financial Assistance Awardees and provides DOE and DOE contractors with search and STI management reporting capabilities.
What is STI and what does it encompass?
DOE produces STI (scientific and technical information) in the course of performing research and development (R&D) and other science and technology activities and endeavors. STI includes findings, technological innovations, and/or results of demonstration and commercial application activities as well as experiments, observations, simulations, studies, and analyses. Scientific findings are communicated in various media; e.g., textual, audiovisual, multimedia, and digital; and are produced in a range of STI products including technical reports, scientific/technical conference papers and presentations, journal articles, theses and dissertations, scientific and technical computer software, videos, DOE program documents and workshop reports, publicly available scientific research datasets, etc. The majority of DOE's STI is unclassified with no access restrictions, but STI may be classified, or controlled unclassified information (CUI). DOE Order 241.1B, Scientific and Technical Information Management, provides additional information.
Who uses E-Link?
E-Link is used by authorized DOE and DOE contractor staff across the Department for the submission and/or review of STI. Various management reports are available to DOE sites and offices in overseeing their STI process and sites/offices have access only to their site(s)-designated STI. Financial Assistance Awardees and grantees also utilize E-Link for submission of deliverables and final reports in accordance with the terms of their award. DOE awarding offices and programs are automatically notified when an awardee submits STI via E-Link in order to facilitate the review and completion of the submission process.
E-Link Registration
Do I need a username and password?
If you are a financial assistance recipient/awardee, you do NOT need a username and password to submit STI. Make sure you meet all the System Requirements, then complete the AN 241.3 and the submission process.

If you are a DOE Operations/Field Office or Major Site/Facility Management Contractor, you DO need a username and password. To obtain these you must complete and submit the E-Link Access Request
Once you have received your username and password:

  • From the homepage, select the box for DOE Program Managers and Major Site/Facility Contractors. This will direct you to the Log On screen where you can enter your username and password.
  • You must indicate that you have read the E-Link Terms of Use before logging on.
  • Select LOG ON to access your submittal and search options.
  • If a Security Information dialog box appears, you may select to close the box and/or to discontinue the security messages.

If an invalid username or password is entered, you will receive the message "Logon Failed. Please Try Again"
If I am unable to log on and I get messages such as "… If this persists, call OSTI," "server not available," or other message, what should I do?
Possible difficulties are that the system is temporarily down, there is a difficulty with network communications, or there is a technical difficulty. Please report difficulties with logging on to OSTI at e-mail 241user@osti.gov or to a contact. To assist in resolving the problem, copy the message and include it in the e-mail or in the conversation with the contact.
Announcement Notices and Reports
What are the different Announcement Notices? Which one do I use?
Consider several factors when deciding which Announcement Notice you need to use: Who you are, the function you need to perform, the STI product you are creating a record for, and the type of distribution/access limitations that each AN handles. See the lettered list below for details

  1. Who: DOE Program Offices or Major Site/Facility Management Contractors
    Function: Submission or edit/update of STI documents, publications, and presentations.
    STI Product Types: Technical reports, theses and dissertations, journal articles, conference/event publications or presentations (including slides or multimedia presentations), program documents, factsheets, books or book chapters, etc.
    Distribution/Access Limitations: AN 241.1 accepts both Unlimited (public access) information or Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI). Note that Unlimited STI products may either be posted on the host website or uploaded to OSTI for posting. All Limited/Controlled Access STI must be uploaded to OSTI.
    Use AN 241.1 You may use E-Link's manual, single-record entry AN 241.1 or E-Link's AN 241.1 Batch Upload interface for multiple-record entry. Either method for submitting AN 241.1 information requires the submitter to first log on to E-Link with a valid user ID and password. See the STIP website to learn about other, fully automated methods that DOE organizations can use to submit AN 241.1 information.

  2. Who: Financial Assistance Recipients/Awardees
    Function: To provide STI deliverables specified in the grant/award/contract to DOE for review.
    STI Product Types: Technical reports, journal articles, conference/event publications or presentations, or an "other" which is identified via a free text field in the Announcement Notice.
    Distribution/Access Limitations: AN 241.3 accepts both Unlimited (public access) information or Controlled/Limited Access STI with the exception of classified information or UCNI. However, all STI products (with the exception of copyrighted journal articles) submitted from Awardees for DOE review must be uploaded via the AN 241.3 when the metadata is submitted.
    Use AN 241.3: On the E-Link home page, select Financial Assistance Recipients to access Submission Options. Then, select the AN 241.3. You are not required to log on to E-Link to use this version of the AN 241.3.

  3. Who: DOE Operations/Field Offices
    Function: Approval and release of STI provided for DOE review by Financial Assistance Recipients/Awardees.
    STI Product Types: Technical reports, journal articles, conference/event publications or presentations, or an "other" which is identified via a free text field in the Announcement Notice.
    Distribution/Access Limitations: Unlimited (public access) or Controlled/Limited Access STI with the exception of classified information or UCNI.
    Use AN 241.3: After an Awardee uploads his or her STI product for review, E-Link notifies the appropriate contact at the DOE organization responsible for administering the grant. The reviewing/releasing official logs on to E-Link, retrieves the SAVED record using the OSTI ID, conducts appropriate reviews, and, when ready, submits the record to OSTI.

  4. Who: DOE Program Offices, Major Site/Facility Management Contractors, or Financial Assistance Recipients/Awardees
    Function: Submission of DOE-sponsored software to the ESTSC.
    STI Product Types: Software, computer manuals
    Distribution/Access Limitations:
    Use AN 241.4: On the E-Link home page, select Financial Assistance Recipients to access Submission Options. Then select Software (AN 241.4). You are not required to log on to E-Link to use this version of the AN 241.4. If you do have an E-Link account, however, you may log on to access Submission Options for DOE organizations and select Software (AN 241.4) there. In both cases, you will be taken to the ESTSC website to fill in the metadata fields.

  5. Who: NNSA Site/Facility Management Contractors, DOE Program Offices and additional DOE sites generating classified / Unclassified Controlled Nuclear Information (UCNI) STI.
    Function:Submission of approved classified information and UCNI.
    STI Product Types: STI comprised of various digital media (textual, multimedia, audiovisual, etc.) which encompasses many product types including technical reports, conference reports/presentations, journal articles, thesis, workshop reports, planning reports, etc.
    Distribution/Access Limitations: Limited to classified information and UCNI only.
    Use AN 241.5: Submit classified E-Link account request via NNSA Enterprise Secure Network (ESN) for further instructions.

  6. Who: DOE Program Offices, Major Site/Facility Management Contractors, or Financial Assistance Recipients/Awardees
    Functions: Submission of a dataset record to obtain a DOI and have OSTI register the dataset with the DataCite Registry.
    STI Product Types: Datasets.
    Scope of Dissemination: Unlimited (public access). The dataset and its landing page must be posted on the web for access, and the submitted metadata must contain a URL that links to the landing page.
    Use AN 241.6: On the E-Link home page, select Financial Assistance Recipients to access Submission Options for Financial Assistance Recipients. Then select Scientific Research Datasets (AN 241.6). You are not required to log on to E-Link to use this version of the AN 241.6. If you do have an E-Link account, however, log on to access Submission Options for DOE Program Offices, etc. You may click on the AN 241.6 there to go to the input interface for data products.
What happens to my product after I submit?
After submission, STI products are managed in accordance with the site-designated access limitation in order to enable appropriate access to Departmental research. The majority of DOE's STI is unlimited access. STI products which have no access limitations are available on web-based searchable databases which provide free access to full-text and bibliographic data on DOE R&D and other scientific information. Key among these products is SciTech Connect a portal to publicly-available DOE-sponsored research. Subsequently, through OSTI partnerships, DOE's STI is available on Science.gov, a gateway to government science information and research results, and WorldWideScience.org, a global science gateway.

For STI products which are designated as controlled unclassified information (CUI), OSTI manages the product in accordance the site-designated access limitation and ensures appropriate protections are in place for statutorily controlled STI. For additional information, DOE and DOE contractors may contact 241user@osti.gov
Can I transmit the AN 241.1 information via Batch Upload?
Announcement Notice 241.1 metadata can be submitted one record at a time when you are logged on to E-Link, or you can use the Batch Upload interface on E-Link to submit multiple AN 241.1 records in one XML-formatted file. Once your file of metadata is uploaded, you will be able to attach full text STI products to the appropriate record. Like the single-entry AN 241.1, Batch Upload meets security requirements and can accept both Unlimited (public access) information and Controlled Unclassified Access (CUI) information. Products with a designation of UNL can be posted at the submitter's site for OSTI to link to, or they can be uploaded. CUI products must always be uploaded.
Your metadata file for use with the Batch Upload interface may contain as few as one or two records, or it may contain dozens, but there is a file size limit of 120 megabytes. See the Batch Upload Instructions page for detailed instructions on how to create/format your XML metadata file and the records in it. You will also find there instructions on how to upload full text STI products and match them to the correct record. Always remember to ensure that NO Protected Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is uploaded to OSTI.
Can E-Link accept and process ORCID numbers now?
Yes. Any records submitted to OSTI via the AN 241.1 single-entry interface on E-Link, the AN 241.3, or the AN 241.6 can now include ORCID information for those authors that have obtained an ORCID from the website at http://www.orcid.org. The Batch Upload interface and the automated submission systems (Harvesting and the web services/APIs for 241.1 and 241.6) will soon be incorporating ORCID numbers into the metadata they handle, as well. Read About the Addition of ORCID numbers to E-Link.
How does a dataset get a DOI from OSTI?
The Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) became a member of, and a registering agency for, DataCite in 2011 and now assigns permanent identifiers, known as Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs), to publicly available scientific research datasets. These datasets (datastreams, data files, etc.) support the technical reports and published literature resulting from DOE's research. They are also recognized as valuable information entities in their own right that, now and in the future, need to be available for citation, discovery, retrieval, and reuse. The assignment and registration of a DOI for every dataset submitted is a free service for DOE researchers that is provided by OSTI to enhance DOE's management of this important resource. Read About OSTI's Data ID Service.
How can I edit my submission?
If you are a financial assistance recipient/awardee, you may not view or edit your information once it has been submitted. Please print and review your information prior to submitting.

If you are a DOE Operations/Field Office or Major Site/Facility Management Contractor, you may log on with your username and password, view submitted announcement records, and edit specific metadata in a record or replace the full text product with a different version. The steps for editing a previously submitted record are:
  • Log on to E-Link
  • Using the search functionality of E-Link, retrieve the specific record you wish to change/update.
  • Select the EDIT button that appears under the OSTI ID on the Search Results screen.
  • The selected record will appear with 'Revised Announcement' and Revised Product at the top of the page; you must select one of these radio buttons. If you are planning to submit new full text, select Revised Product. If you are only changing information on the announcement record itself such as author or title or report number, select Revised Announcement.

    Note: If you select EDIT for a record that was submitted via harvesting, you will first see a warning notice: If you edit this harvested record cord and SAVE or SUBMIT the results, this record can never be resubmitted via the harvesting process. Future updates must be done manually in E-Link. Do you wish to proceed? If you select OK, you will then view the selected record and begin the editing. If you answer CANCEL, the record is not changed in any way. Log off E-Link and resubmit the record via the harvesting process.

  • When revising the Announcement Notice, make the desired changes or additions to the metadata, then select SAVE to return to the record later or SUBMIT TO OSTI to complete the edit and resubmit the record with its new information. Note that:
    • E-Link will not allow a site URL from a previously submitted record to be removed during the edit process unless the product that was originally linked to is now uploaded via the Announcement Notice.
    • Only users with releasing official authority can submit/release a revised record.
    • When revising the full text product, select the "Revised Product" radio button at the top of the screen. Then, change the site URL for a site-hosted product or upload a new full text document using the UPLOAD capability in the Announcement Notice. When you change the URL for a site-hosted product, first ensure that the product has actually been relocated to the new address on your site's server. E-Link immediately validates the new URL and will not allow you to SAVE or SUBMIT a record if the full text product is not where the metadata says it is. Also, do not completely delete the existing URL before entering the revised URL. Instead, leave at least the http:// portion of the URL intact while you change the rest of the address. Note that the change in the URL alerts E-Link to download, cache, and index the updated full text.
Can I delete a submission?
E-Link account holders with releasing official authority can delete either new submissions or older, existing records. Retrieve in E-Link the specific record you wish to delete. Select the title of the record; that will take you to the detailed page of E-Link metdata for that record. Scroll all the way to the bottom and select the "Remove Record from E-Link" button. A dialog box will pop up and ask you to input a reason for the deletion. The logged on user, the reason provided, and the date of the deletion are all kept in the log files to satisfy accountability and tracking requirements. Note that the deleted record disappears immediately from view and is no longer searchable in E-Link, but the removal of the record from the public databases requires an overnight process. Also, the record may still exist for some time in non-DOE systems such as Google.
What is Personally Identifiable Information (PII)?
PII is any information about an individual which can be used to distinguish or trace an individual's identity. Some information that is considered to be PII is available in public sources such as telephone books, public websites, university listings, etc. This type of information is considered to be Public PII and includes, for example, first and last name, address, work telephone number, email address, home telephone number, and general educational credentials. In contrast, Protected PII is defined as an individual's first name or first initial and last name in combination with any one or more of types of information, including, but not limited to, social security number, passport number, credit card numbers, clearances, bank numbers, biometrics, date and place of birth, mother's maiden name, criminal, medical and financial records, educational transcripts, etc.
What is the purpose of the "Protected PII Detected?" button?
The "Protected PII Detected?" button now appears on all E-Link metadata records which have an STI product, i.e., not announcement only records. In the event that Protected Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is humanly identified in an STI product that has been uploaded to OSTI, this button enables record owners to initiate a process through which the product is not accessible through OSTI's web-based information systems. The record owner should redact any Protected PII, and upload a new version of the STI product. At that time, the record owner will be prompted to confirm that the new version does not include Protected PII, after which it will again be accessible through OSTI's systems. Please note, it is the responsibility of submitting organizations and their respective DOE E-Link releasing officials to ensure that no Protected PII is contained in STI reports and products and uploaded to E-Link. This option provides another means through which E-Link users can be proactive in preventing the release of Protected PII.
How do I send metadata for Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI)1 reports?
The announcement notice (metadata) for both publicly available and Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) may be sent via E-Link.  E-Link ensures secure transmission by utilizing Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS), and is FIPS 140-2 compliant (See: Is data transmission in E-Link secure?)

If the metadata describes either Unclassified Controlled Nuclear Information (UCNI) or classified data, it must NOT be transmitted over open systems networks. It must be sent by approved mail or electronic means. Contact OSTI for further information.

1This includes all DOE Official Use Only (OUO) information (i.e. limited distribution information other than UCNI or classified)
Product Types and File Formats
What happens to my product after I submit?
After submission, STI products are managed in accordance with the site-designated access limitation in order to enable appropriate access to Departmental research. The majority of DOE's STI is unlimited access. STI products which have no access limitations are available on web-based searchable databases which provide free access to full-text and bibliographic data on DOE R&D and other scientific information. Key among these products is SciTech Connect a portal to publicly-available DOE-sponsored research. Subsequently, through OSTI partnerships, DOE's STI is available on Science.gov, a gateway to government science information and research results, and WorldWideScience.org, a global science gateway.

For STI products which are designated as controlled unclassified information (CUI), OSTI manages the product in accordance the site-designated access limitation and ensures appropriate protections are in place for statutorily controlled STI. For additional information, DOE and DOE contractors may contact 241user@osti.gov
What reports are available from E-Link?
While E-Link provides for submission of STI products, it is important to note that E-Link is also an important STI management tool for sites, programs, Field Offices, and heads of contracting activities. To assist these entities, various reporting capabilities are available. Quick access to SAVED Notices and items PENDING Release is available on the menu bar. Other standard status and reconciliation reports are available at REPORTS. In addition, users may utilize E-Link SEARCH capabilities for additional, tailored reporting. NOTE: Search results may be downloaded into Excel to enhance use and review.
What are the E-Link product types?
Product types denote the ways in which scientific and technical information is produced and communicated. Currently, E-Link product types include the following: books/monographs, conference papers/presentations/proceedings, journal articles and accepted manuscripts, patents, program documents and workshop reports, scientific and technical computer software including software manuals or user guides where provided, technical reports, theses/dissertations, scientific factsheets, and publicly available scientific research datasets. E-Link will be updated as new forms of STI emerge. Refer to FAQ: What are the different Announcement Notices? For additional information on submission of various STI product types or address questions to 241user@osti.gov
What is the preferred file format for submittal?
STI products should be provided to OSTI in electronic format. See the table below for electronic formats and the situations in which they can be used. PDF Searchable is the preferred format for full-text documents such as technical reports, accepted manuscripts of journal articles, program documents, etc. The STI product should never be encrypted or password-protected.
STI Product Format Means for Providing STI to OSTI
Site Hosts STI Site Uploads STI
AV Materials (Videos, Webinars, etc.) Use product type = CO and medium code = AV. Submit URL for the AV presentation. See STIP website for AV indexable formats. Do not upload AV materials. Coordinate with OSTI if physically providing AV to OSTI is needed. See STIP website for AV indexable formats.
HTML* Use medium code = Electronic Document and submit URL for “landing pages” of datasets (AN 241.6) Do not upload HTML
Microsoft Word (5.0 or greater) Do not link submitted records to Word documents. Applicable only to those using AN 241.3. Must be uploaded.
PDF Searchable Use medium code = Electronic Document and submit URL for the actual PDF full text. Use medium code = Electronic Document and upload PDF full text.
PowerPoint Use product type = CO and medium code = Electronic Document. Submit URL for the PowerPoint presentation. Use product type = CO and medium code = Electronic Document. Submit URL for the PowerPoint presentation.

*Note that documents uploaded in HTML format may be significantly delayed in processing.

Is there a file size limit?
There is a file size limit of 120 Megabytes for all files being uploaded.
Technical Support and System Requirements
Is data transmission in E-Link secure?
E-Link uses Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS), a combination of the Hypertext Transfer Protocol with the SSL/TLS protocol, to provide encrypted communication and secure identification for E-Link data transmissions. OSTI utilizes OpenSSL, which is FIPS 140-2 compliant, to implement HTTPS.
What are the system requirements for E-Link?
This application will work in all W3C standards-compliant browsers [exit federal site] and must comply with the priority 1 guidelines of U.S. Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, 1998. Users with special needs/accessibility issues should be able to navigate the site reasonably well without using a mouse or a graphical browser. While not required for site usage, enabling JavaScript is recommended to enhance user capabilities.

Browser Settings:
  • Enabling Cookies is required.
  • Enabling JavaScript is recommended.
  • The web server for the announcement notices is on secure port 443. Some sites restrict the use of ports. See your system administrator for port accessing issues.
  • If you have a firewall, you must include the address of your proxy server for HTTP access and assign it to port 443.

Note: The method for enabling Cookies and Javascript are browser and version specific. Check your browser's online Help or contact your system administrator for assistance.
Do I need to have Cookies enabled?'
Yes, you must select Accept All Cookies. Please see our security notice for further information.
Why did I receive a "timed out" error message?
Because of security issues involved in the submittal of Web AN 241.1, a "time-out" of one hour has been put into place. To avoid data loss, you can do two things:
  • Use the SAVE selection at the bottom of the Web Version of the announcement notice (you can then retrieve the notice in the NOTICES PENDING selection on the MAIN PAGE) or
  • From the homepage, select the box for DOE Program Managers and Major Site/Facility Contractors. This will direct you to the Log On screen where you can enter your username and password and log on then select your browser's Back button to navigate back to your notice. (As long as you haven't quit your browser, the notice will be there in a previous page.)
If you must leave your workstation for a period of time, select SAVE at the bottom of Web Announcement Notice 241.1 and then select LOG OFF. This combination will save the input data and will discontinue the session. The LOG OFF option is provided to protect your workstation and E-Link from unauthorized access and use.
Contact Information
Who do I contact for assistance?
Kim Buckner
E-Link Product Manager
241user@osti.gov
865-576-1228
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