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OSTIblog Articles in the Products and Content Topic

DOE Data Explorer

Early in May the new design and the expanded search functionalities of the DOE Data Explorer were launched.  The major upgrade continues this month with the addition of customization features that enhance your interaction with the DDE database.  You may be familiar with some of these from OSTI’s other information products.  For example, you can now download retrieved records into an Excel spreadsheet format or create an account to store your searches in a personal “library.”  But brand new is the ability to log on and choose how you wish to view DDE’s search results!  Use the standard list format to get a preview of each record’s abstract/description.  This view, available with or without an account, can be sorted by relevance or alphabetically by title. 

Choose the detailed, tabular display to see more results per page (up to 100 records at a time) and to view at a glance the OSTI ID, title, content type of the data collection or dataset, and the sponsor organization.  Each of the columns can be used as a sorting choice, further increasing the ways you can view your retrieved information.

If you didn’t have time to take a look at the new release of the DOE Data Explorer earlier in the summer, we encourage you to do so now.  Revisit the OSTIblog article of June 20, 2013 to read more about the search capabilities DDE now offers and the larger scope of its content.  And, as always, let us know if you have comments or questions.

Related Topics: DOE Data Explorer (DDE), non-text information


OpenNet spotlights The Manhattan Project


OpenNet spotlights The Manhattan Project

Sixty-eight years ago, an atomic bomb was detonated on an isolated corner of southern New Mexico in a weapon test named Trinity.

This month,  The Manhattan Project: Resources, a web-based, joint collaboration between the Department’s Office of Classification and Office of History and Heritage Resources has been launched. The site is designed to disseminate information and documentation on the Manhattan Project to a broad audience including scholars, students, and the general public. OSTI is hosting this information as part of the OpenNet web site. Manhattan Project Resources consists of two parts: 1) a multi-page, easy to read and navigate Manhattan Project: An Interactive History providing a comprehensive overview of the Manhattan Project, and 2) the full-text, declassified, multi-volume Manhattan District History commissioned by General Leslie Groves in late 1944. The new site brings together an enormous amount of material, much of it never before released.

Related Topics: atomic bomb, Calutron (Y-12) Operators, Leslie Groves, Manhattan Project, OpenNet, OpenNet


SciTech Connect: Subject and Author Filters

by Tim Byrne 24 Jul, 2013 in Products and Content

One of the nice features of SciTech Connect is the ability to filter search results by subject and author.  On the Search Results page, these filters are midway down the left side.

The full SciTech Connect database contains over 2.5 million citations.  Filtering the full database by subject [23 MB AVI] shows the top subject in the database to be materials science with 184,200 citations.  Not too far down the top ten list you will also find materials with another 127,916 citations.  While this shows that SciTech Connect is quite strong in this area, the rest of the top subjects are good indicators of the diversity of scientific disciplines found in SciTech Connect.  Note especially environmental sciences as the ninth most frequent subject term.

  • materials science (184,198)
  • elements (174,970)
  • physics (174,180)
  • organic compounds (172,389)
  • design (157,517)
  • oxygen compounds (145,684)
  • chemical reactions (142,736)
  • materials (127,924)
  • environmental sciences (127,863)
  • fuels (123,001)

Selecting the Electronic Full-Text tab and filtering by subject [18 MB AVI] will give you a significantly different list of top ten subjects.  Materials science is still high on the list, along with design and environmental sciences, but the other seven subjects are new. 

Keeping the lights on

On August 14, 2003, a software bug at a utility company brought New York City to its knees, and the resulting cascading effect ultimately forced the shutdown of more than 100 power plants (read more). Approximately 50 million people in 8 U.S. states and Canada experienced the worst blackout in North American history.

Research has been ongoing at the Department of Energy to improve our electrical grid’s reliability to ensure history is not repeated. Dr. William Watson, Physicist, OSTI staff, details in his latest white paper In the OSTI Collections: Keeping Power Grids Stable how DOE researchers are using data-based simulations, mathematically analyzing power grid behavior, improving energy storage, and working to understand the effects of transient power changes caused by devices connected to the grid so that we can avoid power grid instability and keep the lights on.  

Related Topics: blackout, Dr. William Watson, energy, lights, North American, OSTI Homepage, power grids, power plants


100th DOE R&D Accomplishments Feature Page Celebration


100th DOE R&D Accomplishments Feature Page Celebration

DOE R&D Accomplishments is a unique website and database in the OSTI collection.  For over 14 years, special Feature pages have been methodically researched and useful information collected on scientists, discoveries, and historical events to include in this searchable resource.   It  is a rich source of DOE trivia unto itself. 

On June 12th, 2013, the 100th Feature Page was released on the website and it highlighted 2004 Nobel Prize Winner in Physics, David Gross.  Gross joins other featured DOE Nobel Laureates such as Glenn Seaborg, E. O. Lawrence, Melvin Calvin and Saul Perlmutter on this distinguished list.  But there’s more than just Featured Scientists!  Topics are also featured in the list of 100 pages.  These include Topics like: the amazing breakthrough of decoding the human genome; the RTG-which powered many space vehicles including the Curiosity and New Horizons; the Archaea; nuclear medicine; and the Manhattan Project. The outcomes featured have had significant economic impact, have improved people’s lives, or have been widely recognized as a remarkable advance in science. 

These Feature pages are filled with factual information, links to documents, additional data, and multimedia files.  Preparation includes coordination with DOE research facilities, including Office of Science National Laboratories.  The...

Related Topics: Curiosity, David Gross, DOE Research & Development (R&D) Accomplishments, E.O. Lawrence, Glenn Seaborg, human genome, Manhattan Project, Melvin Calvin, nobel laureates, Saul Perlmutter, space


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


Now Playing on ScienceCinema. . .


Now Playing on ScienceCinema. . .

Looking for a good summer movie?  Over 600 new videos have been added to ScienceCinema recently.  Learn more about the Higgs Boson, and what it means for the universe, in “Unraveling the Higgs Boson Discovery”.  Or, watch “Breakthrough: Using Microbes to Make Advanced Biofuels” to learn how the Joint BioEnergy Institute is using microbes to convert non-food crops and agricultural waste into fuels for cars, trucks, and planes.  Interested in harnessing the sun’s power?  See how companies are improving the efficiency of solar cells in “Solar Innovator”.   Simply enter a search, and ScienceCinema’s advanced audio indexing technology and powerful search capabilities will identify videos containing the words, plus pointers to the exact spots in the videos where the words were spoken.  ScienceCinema adds new videos as they are produced and submitted by the DOE Laboratories, programs, and other facilities.  Over 3,200 videos are now available – take a break from the heat and enjoy a new film!

Related Topics: Biofuels, microbes, movie, ScienceCinema, solar, sun


Plasmas - The Greatest Show on Earth

Perhaps the most beautiful and eerie displays of light in our sky are a phenomenon known as the auroras. This natural glow of light in the sky in high latitude regions usually displays ribbons of colors from a fluorescent green to brilliant purple to a vivid crimson somewhat like an unexpected beautiful sunrise or sunset.  Observers often call it the greatest show on Earth.

Auroras are triggered by geomagnetic storms when gusts of solar plasma wind strike the Earth’s magnetic field; charged particles rain down over the north and south magnetic poles, lighting up the atmosphere and causing the air to glow. In the northern latitude, this display is known as the aurora borealis or northern lights and in the southern latitude, it is known as aurora australis or southern lights.  Like lightening, auroras are one of the few naturally-occurring plasmas found here on Earth.

Plasma science involving both natural and artificially produced plasma encompasses a variety of science disciplines ranging from plasma physics, atomic and molecular physics, chemistry, energy security, advanced space propulsion, and material science.  Plasma’s unique behaviors and characteristics make them useful in a large and growing number of scientific and industrial applications important to our universe.  

DOE researchers are making significant progress in this amazing field.  For example, researchers at the...

Related Topics: ambient-gas, auroras, geomagnetic storms, microwave thrusters, nanomaterials, OSTI collections, plasma, SciTech Connect, spaceship propulsion, William Watson


A (re)Birth Announcement for the DOE Data Explorer

A database and its supporting website can get periodic makeovers and sometimes it can even undergo rebirth!  The DOE Data Explorer (DDE) has just emerged from a rebirth process, and we are proud to announce its transformation.  The first version of DDE was launched in 2008 with the mission of guiding users to collections of publicly available, DOE-sponsored data and other non-text information.  Hundreds of websites were researched in order to find these collections at DOE’s labs, program offices, and user facilities, at data centers, at colleges and universities, on private sector websites such as SciVee, and across all science disciplines.  The mission has not changed, but the content has grown to include individual datasets within collections.  Now DOE boasts a new website design, better navigation, enhanced search functionality, and new features to help you analyze your search results.

The most obvious change in design, of course, is in the color scheme and the clean lines of the new pages.  DDE took inspiration from OSTI’s recently launched SciTech Connect, opting for a design that clearly says “family look and feel.”  An exciting part of the new “feel” appears on the left side of your screen every time you do a search.  Like SciTech Connect, DDE automatically breaks down the results of the search into groupings that allow you to shortcut through a long list of citations and go directly to the subset of your choice.  In DDE the groupings are based on the types of data and non-text items that were retrieved by your search term.  Search on the word “solar,” for example, and you will...

Related Topics: data, data sets, datacite, Digital Object Identifier, DOE Data Explorer (DDE), dois, non-text information, redesign


Out of the past and into the future

If you look closely, you can find fossilized material on the banks of the Norris Lake shoreline in Anderson County, Tennessee when the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) lowers the water level.  If you are really lucky, you will find traces of sea creatures or beautiful flora or fauna impressions encased between the freshly exposed layers of rock. These are ancient treasures from our country’s rich geological history.

A paleogeography reconstruction of the Earth took place some 56 to 34 million years ago during the Eocene geologic period of time .  At the beginning of the Eocene, high temperatures and warm oceans created a hothouse world.  Continents drifted toward their present positions. As Australia split from the southern continent, a cold water channel developed between the two continents and a global cooling trend began.  In western North America, mountain building started and huge lakes formed.  Oil shale was formed by deposition of silt and organic debris on lake beds and on the ocean floor.

Many of the oil shale deposits and fossil zones around the world were formed during this period of time.  The Green River Formation in the United States records 6 million years of Eocene sedimentation in a group of mountain lakes in the three basins of Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah. The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that 1.5 trillion barrels of shale oil are contained within Green River Formation’s oil shale. This formation is the richest and largest known oil shale resource in North America.

DOE researchers are making progress on the long road to...

Related Topics: Eocene, extraction, geological, Green River Formation, Oil Shale, paleogeography, SciTech Connect, water