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SciTech Connect, Primary Repository for DOE Scientific and Technical Information, Turns Two

by Catherine Pepmiller on Thu, April 02, 2015

SciTech Connect


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. 

During its two year history, SciTech has recorded over 3 million sessions with a total of 5,180,000 pageviews.  Following the discontinuation of Information Bridge and Energy Citations Database in September 2013, SciTech Connect traffic has been responsible for the majority of the pageviews served by OSTI’s DOE core-mission products. Since the beginning of fiscal year 2014, SciTech Connect has had an average rate of 6.17 pageviews per minute and served nearly 2.2 million users. 

SciTech Connect is unique amongst OSTI’s products due to its innovative semantic search strategy to encourage STI discovery.  SciTech Connect's semantic search technique is known as keyword-to-concept mapping. It accepts keyword-based queries and returns concept-mapped queries as in a taxonomy; a search term is mapped to other associated terms, including narrower and related concepts.  At its inception, SciTech Connect offered both a Basic Search, utilizing this semantic strategy, and an Advanced Search option familiar to users of OSTI’s other search tools.  In the two years since SciTech Connect was launched, the searching ability and speed have improved significantly.  Search options have been expanded to include a semantic search, a traditional term search as found in most “basic” options, and an Advanced Search screen to allow greater user control and field-specific queries. 

Search strategies in SciTech Connect also support numerous operators to complete requests.  Boolean operators (OR, AND, and NOT) may be used to limit and expand searches in the Term Search screen.  Additionally, the “near” operator may be simulated by searching terms in quotes, followed by a number (e.g. "wind energy"~5), indicating the maximum number of words that may separate the terms.  SciTech Connect also offers a number of other features, including faceting; in-document search; word clouds; and personalization, which allows users to save searches, define alerts based on saved searches, and create and manage document libraries. 

OSTI invites users to share feedback about SciTech Connect as it begins its third year of operations – and to continue watching for further improvements and new research in the weeks and months ahead.

Catherine Pepmiller is a Librarian and Product Manager in the DOE Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Related OSTI Products: SciTech Connect
Page last updated on 2017-09-08 12:16

About the Author

Catherine Pepmiller's picture
Catherine Pepmiller

Librarian and Product Manager, overseeing OSTI’s SciTech Connect and ScienceCinema