Cathey Daniels, (865) 576-9539
February 17, 2006

Global Discovery introduced at AAAS 2006

Oak Ridge, TN — The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Scientific and Technical Information, a component of the Office of Science, is looking at new ways to disseminate science information.

As tools and technologies rapidly become more sophisticated, OSTI is conducting applied research on a number of challenges related to this vision aimed at turning local discovery into Global Discovery. The benefits for researchers, for citizens, and for the U.S. economy could prove far-reaching as OSTI, through its Innovations in Scientific Knowledge and Advancement (ISKA), accelerates the rate at which discoveries are shared, thereby speeding scientific advancement.

"Imagine a Google-like search capability that returns results across the whole of science, giving scientists information on research they didn't even know existed," said Dr. Walter Warnick, director. "Except that this search would go further than traditional search engines. Rather than crawling across indexed information, this search would rapidly probe the world's most comprehensive databases and delve into the world's great scientific laboratories in real time."

Dr. Warnick and other search experts introduced Global Discovery at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) [exit federal site] Annual Meeting February 16-20 in St. Louis, MO. The symposium, Global Discovery on the Internet, was moderated by Dr. Alvin Trivelpiece, former director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Participants shared recent developments and "next steps" in database federation and precision search technologies, exemplified by the interagency portal. was featured in a booth exhibit.

"The spread of new ideas in science is mathematically similar to the spread of disease, even though one produces positive results, the other negative," said Dr. Warnick. "Our goal is to foster epidemics of new knowledge by speeding the diffusion of new ideas."

This Global Discovery initiative promises to increase the pace of science by searching all scientific communities at once for data, information, or methodological advances. Already OSTI, through science Web portals such as, E-print Network, and Science Conferences, is finding ways to probe the deep Web, where traditional search engines cannot readily go.