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OSTIblog Articles in the Energy Files Topic

OSTI's Pioneering Technology Efforts

by Mark Martin 24 Jul, 2009 in Technology

A typical misconception I face when I tell people that I work within the government is that they think my job, even though it is in the technology arena, must move at a snail's pace relative to the commercial sector. This preconceived notion that our government crawls along relative to technology adoption and innovation - at least in my experience - is way off the mark.

Here at OSTI we can cite several examples where we have been on the bleeding edge of technological development. Not only have we been on the bleeding edge, in some cases we have been on that bleeding edge in cooperation with some of the largest, most innovative technology companies in the world.

For example, OSTI has been a pioneering force in federated search technology since the late 1990s. Federated search, for those of you new to the term, is the simultaneous search of multiple online databases or web resources from a single query. The Wikipedia article on federated search is an excellent resource for more information on exactly how federated search works.

Before the term "federated search" had been coined, OSTI was implementing pioneering technology that would come to be known as federated search. In April 1999, OSTI launched EnergyPortal Search, a product now encompassed in EnergyFiles.  EnergyPortal Search was the first federated search application deployed by OSTI and the first product of its kind in the government.  In December 2002, OSTI launched, the first ever search capability across major science agencies. In June 2007, OSTI introduced the concept of, which searches across national and international...

Related Topics: Energy Files, federated search, milestones,, (WWS)


Forms of STI - pt. 3

by Tim Byrne 23 Jun, 2008 in Products and Content

In the first two parts to this post (Forms of STI and Forms of STI - pt. 2), I talked about how there are different forms of scientific and technical information and each is published and disseminated in its own way.  OSTI has different search tools to access the different types of STI.  I also discussed technical reports, journal literature, conference proceedings and papers, and e-prints.  After defining each of these types of STI, I described the OSTI products that searches each.  This post will finish the discussion by covering patents, project summaries, and theses/dissertations.


 Patents allow the spread of information about technological inventions while protecting the property rights of the inventor.  A patent issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office excludes others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling the invention throughout the U.S. or importing the invention into the U.S. for a limited time in exchange for public disclosure of the invention when the patent is granted.  This public disclosure is extremely important in furthering scientific research.  Technology moves on, but information remains useful forever

Thomas Jefferson, an inventor himself and appointed by George Washington to the first Patent Board, was, essentially, the first patent examiner.  He found that "the issue of patents for new discoveries has given a spring to invention beyond my conception." (As a graduate of the University of Virginia, I always like to work in a Jefferson quote in my writings.)

DOE and its predecessor agencies, ERDA and AEC, are responsible for creating a tremendous amount of new technology....

Related Topics: dissertations, DOE Research & Development (R&D) Accomplishments, DOE Research and Development (R&D) Project Summaries, E-Print Network (EPN), Energy Citations Database (ECD), Energy Files, Federal R&D Project Summaries, Information Bridge (IB), osti, patents, project summaries, sti, theses


Forms of STI - pt. 2

by Tim Byrne 20 Jun, 2008 in Products and Content

In the first part to this post, Forms of STI,  I talked about how there are different forms of scientific and technical information and how each is published and disseminated in its own way.  OSTI has different search tools to access the different types of STI.  In the last post I discussed technical reports.  Now I will cover journal literature, conference proceedings and papers, and e-prints, defining each and pointing out the OSTI  search tools that covers each.

Journal literature:

The publication of research in scientific journals started in the mid seventeenth century.  Before that and for some time after, scientific and technical information was circulated via letters, printed tracts and books.  Journals became a preferred medium because journal publishers worked to achieve wider dissemination and faster publication.  Today, however, even with the tremendous growth in scientific journals in the later half of the twentieth century, publishing in scientific journals is most often not a speedy process.  It can often take a year of more for an article to be published once it has been accepted by a journal.  For this reason, many scientists and engineers also utilize other means to share their research.  Options include technical reports, conference papers, pre-prints and a growing use of e-prints.

From 1948 to 1976, the Atomic Energy Commission published Nuclear Science Abstracts, providing comprehensive indexing of the international nuclear science literature, including journal literature on a worldwide basis.  This literature can now be found using Energy Citations Database.  ECD...

Related Topics: conference papers, conference proceedings, E-Print Network (EPN), e-prints, Energy Citations Database (ECD), Energy Files, Information Bridge (IB), journal articles, osti, Science Conference Proceedings,, sti