As Spring 2015 rolls around, it’s time to mark a momentous occasion in the history of SciTech Connect: it’s turning TWO!
SciTech Connect is a publicly available database of bibliographic citations for energy-related scientific and technical information (STI), including technical reports, journal articles, conference papers, books, multimedia, and data information. Launched in March 2013 by the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI), SciTech Connect incorporated the contents of two of the most popular core DOE collections, DOE Information Bridge and Energy Citations Database, and employed an innovative semantic search tool and updated interface to enable scientists, researchers, and the public to retrieve more relevant information. SciTech Connect has emerged as a go-to resource, becoming OSTI’s most-visited repository for DOE science, technology, and engineering research information. Currently, it offers users over 2.7 million citations, including 400,000 full-text documents and nearly 1.5 million journal article citations, 240,000 of which have digital object identifiers (DOIs) with links to publishers’ websites.
Forty-five years ago, nations around the world saw their dream for a more efficient way to share nuclear-related information reach fruition through the creation of a formal international collaboration. This was accomplished without the internet, email, or websites. It was the right thing to do for public safety, education, and the further advancement of science. It was also a necessary way forward as the volume of research and information about nuclear-related science, even back then, was skyrocketing and exceeded the capacity for any one country to go it alone. And the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) was part of the collaboration from its initial planning stages.
The International Nuclear Information System, or INIS, as it is commonly known, was approved by the Governing Board of the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in 1969 and began operations in 1970. The primary purpose of INIS was, and still is, to collect and share information about the peaceful uses of nuclear science and technology, with participating nations sharing efforts to build a centralized resource.
Sometimes the ordinary things we use every day can lead to extraordinary discoveries. This was truly the case when physicists Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov used the humble adhesive tape to extract single layers of graphene from graphite.
Although graphene had been theorized years before, it was thought to be impossible to isolate such thin crystalline materials in a laboratory. Geim and Novoselov not only exfoliated their thin sheets of graphene, they transferred them to a silicon substrate, the standard working material in the semiconductor industry and did electrical characterization on the graphite layers.
I’ve always been a “window shopper.” I don’t want to go in and find the store directory, follow the little map, go up the escalator and through the racks…unless the window displays tell me it will probably be worth my time. I tend to approach databases the same way; I want to know what’s in there. Not only do I want some reassurance that what I need is there, but I also want to see if there’s information I may not have realized I need yet.
Every summer for the past 16 years, the Department of Energy has invited the best and brightest graduates from across the country to attend the National School on Neutron and X-ray Scattering (NXS). This year, 65 graduate students attending North American universities, and studying physics, chemistry, materials science, or related fields, participated in the 14-day whirlwind emersion into national user facilities to learn in a hands-on environment how to use neutrons and X-rays in their research. This educational program is jointly conducted by Argonne National Laboratory's Advanced Photon Source and Materials Science Division and Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Neutron Scattering Science Division.