Accelerating Science Discovery - Join the Discussion

OSTIblog Articles in the DOE STI Topic

OSTI Is Re-Focusing and Re-Balancing Its Operations – And Refreshing Its Home Page – to Advance Public Access


OSTI Is Re-Focusing and Re-Balancing Its Operations – And Refreshing Its Home Page – to Advance Public Access

Let’s call it creative destruction, borrowing from a popular term in economics.  The idea is that the very essence of capitalism is the destruction of old structures and the building of new ones that inevitably face the same pressures as the structures they replaced.  It’s the reason the buggy whip industry fell on hard times. The information management business of the Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is in constant flux too, where the next big thing can soon become the next big flop. OSTI cannot be immune to these disruptive forces, nor would we wish it to be.  Here, I would like to focus on just one of many disruptive forces in the information management and information technology worlds compelling OSTI to change, the push for greater public access to federally-funded R&D results.  Frankly, it’s a disruptive force we welcome.

Increasingly the legislative and executive branches of government have emphasized public access to federally-funded scholarly publications (i.e., journal articles and accepted manuscripts) and digital datasets. OSTI will lead the implementation of public access to scholarly publications for DOE, just as the organization has offered public access to other forms of scientific and technical information (STI) emanating from DOE and its predecessor agencies for the past 67 years.

To this end, OSTI is re-focusing and re-balancing its resources, operations, and priorities. For OSTI, this means looking first and foremost at the STI produced by DOE and serving DOE R&D interests.  OSTI is working to be as comprehensive as possible in its processes to collect, preserve/curate, and disseminate all forms of STI from DOE. This means that the DOE Scientific and Technical Information Program, or STIP, is of paramount importance. STIP is a robust and effective collaboration across the DOE...

Related Topics: .EDUconnections, Adopt-A-Doc, DOE Green Energy, DOE STI, journal literature, National Library of Energy (NLE) - Beta, osti, OSTI Homepage, Science Accelerator, Science Conference Proceedings, ScienceLab, SciTech Connect


OSTI Partnering with Publishers on CrossRef and FundRef to Enhance Public Access to DOE Scientific and Technical Information

Throughout our history, the Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) has worked to make authoritative science information ever more efficiently available to researchers and the public alike. Our core mission – ensuring access to and preservation of U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) research results – has not changed. But the technology we apply to that mission has changed a lot over the past 20 years. By adopting Internet technology carefully and early, pioneering new advances in that technology to meet our needs and partnering with other stakeholders in the scientific and technical information community (STI), OSTI aspires to achieve our mission better than ever before.

In 1994, OSTI actually created the first DOE home page, and we have made significant strides into the Information Age ever since, defining new electronic exchange formats, creating collections of digitized scientific and technical information and establishing an energy science and technology virtual library. OSTI also has played a leading role in developing and adopting pioneering web tools such as federated search, the simultaneous search of multiple web databases in real time via a single search query, and relevance ranking, technology that allows search results to be returned in a ranked order relevant to the search query, to enhance the diffusion of scientific knowledge.

As we reported in the last issue of the Newsletter, as directed by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and requested by former DOE Office of Science Director Dr. William Brinkman, OSTI is now developing a gateway that will provide public access to the gold standard of scientific communications, peer-reviewed accepted manuscripts and scientific journal articles resulting from DOE research investments.

OSTI is committed to being a leader in making the web work for DOE science, and in...

Related Topics: CrossRef, Digital Object Identifier, DOE STI, FundRef, public access, scientific information, SciTech Connect


OSTI’s Committee of Visitors, An Update


OSTI’s Committee of Visitors, An Update

"The unexamined life is not worth living."  So says Plato's Socrates in the Apology.   His self-examination led to extreme humility (or to an extreme irony) when Socrates confessed to his accusers that the only knowledge he had was knowledge of his own ignorance.  No one we know of came away from a Socratic cross-examination in one piece, but they would at least have known their own limits.  And in knowing their limits, or their ignorance, they would somehow be better.

That's really the reason we open ourselves up to honest reviews of our own performance, or open our programs up to honest review by outsiders.  Now there are two ways to go about such reviews.  One is to gather your amen corner around you and have them tell you how great you are and what progress you are making and how important you are, etc. etc.  You can then announce to the world that you are a smashing success.  The other way is to gather serious, knowledgeable, and thoughtful people and let them ask hard questions; ask them to put you through a Socratic dialogue.  You'll almost always discover that there is room for improvement, if you choose the latter course. 

OSTI chose the latter course when it had a Committee of Visitors (CoV) review its programs.  A previous CoV report some years ago had proved helpful.  I felt it was time for another review. 

After meeting with OSTI staff for a full two days, the committee provided us with 10 individual reports.  There was praise for the enthusiasm, professionalism and entrepreneurial spirits of the OSTI staff.  And although there were certainly questions and criticisms, no one felt these took away from the outstanding work the staff was doing.

A summary of the review is as follows:

Taken as a whole, the ten reviews shared a consistent message:  OSTI needs to grapple with and resolve the balance between its mission to provide ready access to DOE R&D results and its more entrepreneurial mission...

Related Topics: CoV, Digitize Legacy Collection, DOE STI, metrics, Scientific and Technical Information Program Website