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OSTIblog Articles in the CENDI Topic

The Significance of


The Significance of

When I became Director of the DOE’s Office of Scientific and Technical Information in 1997, we had a grand vision for a new era of global discovery. The way we provided access to scientific and technical information could be revolutionized. The internet showed promise, unbelievable promise. How exciting it was to become OSTI’s leader at that point in time.  

Although the development of the Department of Energy’s web-searchable databases greatly enabled our scientific community to access R&D collections, the search technology was inefficient. How could we make the information more easily accessible to the public? Somehow we had to wrap our arms around and embrace new technologies. We had the talent, we had the motivation, and we definitely had the energy. We knew there was a better way to improve the Government’s service to its people.

Other U.S. agencies were struggling with the same challenges. Each agency had amazing scientific collections and databases, but there was no tool for the public to locate and navigate through this disconnected information. The first parallel searching of government databases and websites was developed by OSTI to solve this dilemma. More work had to be done. Somehow, we had to merge scientific disciplines across agency organizational boundaries to provide a useful science resource for America.

During the May 2000 Workshop on a Future Information Infrastructure for the Physical Sciences and the April 2001 Workshop on Strengthening the Public Information Infrastructure for Science, both led by DOE OSTI, an alliance was formed. Participants forged a consensus on how the public infrastructure for science information could be improved and how public access to scientific information of the federal science agencies could be enhanced. It was believed that a comprehensive, well-organized gateway to science information would provide a coherent government R&D presence on the web....

Related Topics: CENDI,, Data.Gov, FEMA,


A big anniversary for an even bigger collaboration!


A big anniversary for an even bigger collaboration!

Ten years ago this month was launched!  The cross-agency portal was created to break down the stovepipes of science information, knowing that it is difficult to know which federal agency holds what information.  Thanks to longtime relationships between the agency senior information managers of CENDI as well as a partnership with, and with the efforts of many, many supporters, a unique and grassroots project was undertaken and still provides an important service today.  A special thanks to our Alliance co-chairs during these years:  Eleanor Frierson, NAL/USDA (retired); Tom Lahr, NBII/USGS (retired); Cindy Etkin, GPO; Tina Gheen, LOC; Annie Simpson, USGS.

Some interesting facts:

  • Number of Websites, 2002 – 90
  • Number of Websites, 2012 – 2100+
  • Number of Large Databases, 2002 – 18
  • Number of Large Databases, 2012 – 59
  • Number of Pages Searched, 2002 – under 45 million
  • Number of Pages Searched, 2012 – 200 million+
  • Number of Participating Agencies, 2002 – 10
  • Number of Participating Agencies, 2012 – 13
  • Number of Page Views, Fiscal Year 2003 – 751,180
  • Number of Page Views, Fiscal Year 2012 – 34 million+

Here is to the next ten years! 

Related Topics: anniversary, CENDI, information, partnership, science,,


A Big Year for

This is a big year for, the interagency federal science information portal on the web since 2002.  A major upgrade has just been completed and is available at

  • An updated look is in place, with a slideshow demonstrating some of the major activities of the 13 participating science agencies
  • Multimedia sources are now available and automatically searched 
  • Visualization of related and narrower topics is an optional display, as is the ability to navigate visually
  • A Spanish version,, is linked from
  • New databases and websites have been added
  • Upgraded software enhances the results page

Look for an updated mobile version coming out soon! is a collaboration of 17 organizations within 13 federal agencies, operated by DOE’s Office of Scientific and Technical Information and supported by CENDI, an interagency working group of senior scientific and technical information (STI) managers.


Valerie Allen Operations Manager

Related Topics: CENDI,,, sti