Accelerating Science Discovery - Join the Discussion

OSTIblog Articles in the Science Accelerator Topic

Be on the Alert!

Do you want to receive notification of the latest additions to key DOE/OSTI resources that contain research and development results, project descriptions, accomplishments, and more?  It's as simple as registering for Science Accelerator Alerts and then choosing a topic or author of interest.  You may either 1) conduct a search on your chosen topic/author and then select the 'Create an Alert' button on the search results page or 2) go directly to the Alerts Login page and login.  Either of these approaches will take you to a page containing an 'Alert Profile'.  Complete the profile, including the Alert frequency time frame desired, and save it.  You will then receive Alerts at the e-mail address that you provide.

Alerts joins the many other features on Science Accelerator that are available to assist with finding what you are seeking -- refining the search (search within a search), sorting the results, clustering, Wikipedia and EurekAlert! science news results, and selecting specific items of interest.  Science Accelerator also provides feature searches, the capability to e-mail your results, and Web 2.0 features -- a Widget, an RSS feed, and the Share capability.

Mary Schorn


Related Topics: alerts, research-and-development, science, Science Accelerator


OSTI's Web Metrics - Partially Measuring Success

by Mark Martin 24 Sep, 2009 in Technology

OSTI creates and deploys web-based information products to accomplish its mission.  One way to measure the success of this approach is to use web metrics to gauge and analyze the usage of the information we disseminate via our web- based products.

An "information transaction" is the largest and most broadly defined web metric we track at OSTI. We define an information transaction as a discrete information exchange between an information patron and OSTI's suite of web-based information services. An information transaction occurs when our web servers deliver information to satisfy a user's request.  Requests can take a variety of forms.  Sometimes a user's request might be a search of a product such as Science Accelerator that brings back a hit list.  Following up on this information transaction, a user might click on an item in the hit list to call up a single bibliographic citation delivered via a component database of Science Accelerator such as the Information Bridge or Energy Citations Database.  Next, the user might call up the full text of a technical report.  Another type of information transaction would occur when a user requests tens, hundreds, or thousands of bibliographic citations via our OAI or MARC xml services.

In 1994, OSTI launched and hosted the first DOE web home page. From this small web presence, OSTI served 300,000 information transactions. In FY 2008, OSTI served over 84,000,000 information transactions, a 28,000% increase.

While information transactions are of great use and give us a great metric relative to information dissemination, it is useful to more...

Related Topics: Information Bridge (IB), Information Bridge MARC Records, marc, mission, Science Accelerator,


Tool Supports OSTI Mashups

Did you know that science information is available via web "mashups"? Web "mashups" combine multiple products/services into a single application for the purpose of consolidating information with an easy-to-use interface.

The Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) uses "mashups" to return search results from Science Accelerator,, and These "mashups" include external sources of information, in these cases from Wikipedia and EurekAlert!, that are provided as a service to the user for help with additional background information or with the ability to further study their topic.

These "mashups" are made possible by OSTI's use of a federated search to perform all-encompassing searches of important databases and collections. Science Accelerator searches U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) databases of scientific and technical information representing billions of dollars of DOE research. searches U.S. government agency scientific databases and web pages. searches national and international scientific databases and portals.

Federated searching provides each of the three products with one-stop simultaneous searching of multiple networked data resources via a single query. When a query is entered, it is sent to selected databases, collections, and/or web portals that are available for searching. The individual data resources send back results, which are ranked in relevance order and are provided to the user as "mashups". Users can examine these "mashups" to find specific results that contain information that is useful to...

Related Topics: doe, mashup, osti, Science Accelerator,, (WWS)


It's been a big summer for sharing science info--and it's still only June!


It's been a big summer for sharing science info--and it's still only June!

Did you know:

  • That now you can find research from China when you search within  OSTI was in Ottawa June 10 helping formalize the addition of China to the WorldWideScience Alliance? In addition, now you can quickly narrow your results list to the research you need, share them on social networking sites, bookmark your search, and set up alerts.
  • That now you can learn about OSTI tools and services on our OSTI YouTube site launched in June?
  • That you can Adopt-A-Doc? OSTI launched a new site for this tool in June that puts you in the driver's seat for helping make important research available online.
  • That you can now more easily navigate and find exciting scientific discoveries, search tools, and science information of interest to you by using OSTI's redesigned home page (launched June 10).
  • That from June 14 to June 17, close to 6,000 librarians and participants in the Special Librarian Associations 2009 Conference in Washington DC were afforded the opportunity to learn about OSTI's special librarian tools, and search engines just for science - DOE Science Accelerator (DOE collections), (U.S. sources), and (global sources)? OSTI supported two displays at the SLA exhibit.
  • That OSTI has developed a strategic plan for making the web work better for science?


And did you know that now you can more easily let us know what you think about our...

Related Topics: Adopt-A-Doc, OSTI Youtube Channel, Science Accelerator,, SciTech Connect, youtube


On Credibility of Search Results

On March 2nd I wrote an article for the Federated Search Blog: On credibility  of search results.

The article asserts that a federated search engine is only as good as the quality of the content to which it provides access. While the major consumer-oriented search engines may provide more search results overall, it is left to the user of the search application to sift through the search results to identify which content represents credible scientific and technical information.

OSTI doesn't suffer from this quality issue. As stewards for DOE research output, OSTI only disseminates the most credible information. Below are just a few examples of OSTI's commitment to providing only vetted quality information via its federated search applications. provides access to only credible information via federated search; empowers researchers and the science attentive citizen to search important information resources of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) scientific and technical information.

Beyond DOE, delivers 200 million pages of authoritative U.S. government science information from 14 federal agencies that participate in the Alliance.

At the global level, serves as a worldwide science portal to the most credible information from international government agencies and from organizations sanctioned by their governments.

As OSTI grows and the scientific and technical information we provide expands, the quality of information we provide will always remain high.

Sol Lederman
OSTI Consultant

Related Topics: federated search, Science Accelerator,, (WWS)


Customize Your Search Experience at

It is exciting to announce that an array of new search and retrieval features and capabilities have been added to, providing new options for customizing your search experience.

The search engine that helps you find science information from U.S. Department of Energy key resources now

  •     automatically spell checks your search term(s)
  •   allows you to e-mail your search results
  •   offers the capability to export search results into your citation management software
  •   provides links to EurekAlert! Science News and Wikipedia information on your topic(s) of interest and
  •   clusters results by related topics and/or by date in order to more easily target subsequent searches.

In conjunction with these changes, the Help page has been updated to reflect these new options and to provide additional information.

Complementing these new additions is a...

Related Topics: accomplishments, citation management, clustering, conferences, customizing search, e-prints, nobel laureates, patents, projects, reports, Science Accelerator, science information, search, software


Forms of STI

by Tim Byrne 19 Jun, 2008 in Products and Content

A comment I have heard on numerous occasions is that OSTI has a too many databases and search tools and it is difficult to know which to use.  Well, I am sure that a lot of people do find the variety of OSTI resources to be a bit confusing, but it really takes different types of databases and search tools to cover all the different types of scientific and technical information (STI).  Scientific and technical information has many forms, such as journal articles, technical reports, patents and e-prints.  Each has its own publication route which requires its own method of acquisition.

A traditional library is built by compiling a collection of books and periodicals for use by library patrons.  In the electronic world, collections have expanded beyond the walls of the library.  OSTI is able to create two different types of electronic collections.  The first type is more like a traditional library in that OSTI compiles a collection of STI produced by or funded under the provenance of the Department of Energy on an OSTI computer.  OSTI controls what goes into these collections and in what format.  The OSTI databases that are of this sort include the full text documents in the Information Bridge and the bibliographic citations and summaries created for the Energy Citations Database, DOEpatents, and the DOE R&D Project Summaries.  The second type of electronic collection is a virtual collection of STI outside of DOE.  These collections contain STI that is of interest to DOE, but, for the most part, is not produced by DOE.  The citations and full text documents in these virtual collections reside on the Internet in servers all over the world.  OSTI has identified the locations of the STI and provides a means to search...

Related Topics: conference papers, conferences, DOE Research and Development (R&D) Project Summaries, DOepatents, E-Print Network (EPN), e-prints, Energy Citations Database (ECD), Information Bridge (IB), journal articles, patents, proceedings, project summaries, Science Accelerator, Science Conference Proceedings,, sti, technical reports, theses, (WWS)


Now You Can Find Scientific Software at the DOE Science Accelerator

The centralized software center of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has been added to the DOE Science Accelerator search capability. This means that in addition to current and legacy research findings, patents, accomplishments and project descriptions, users of the Science Accelerator can now find federally funded scientific and technical software developed by DOE national laboratories, other facilities and DOE contractors. This software, licensed and distributed by the Energy Science and Technology Software Center (ESTSC), represents the latest in DOE technology and contains selected scientific and technical software from the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The DOE Science Accelerator is a gateway to key DOE databases and resources.

Mary Schorn

Science Accelerator Product Manager, OSTI



Related Topics: Energy Science and Technology Software Center (ESTSC), Science Accelerator, software


Sophisticated Yet Simple - The Technology Behind OSTI's E-print Network: Part 1

by Sol Lederman 26 Feb, 2008 in Technology

The E-print Network is one of OSTI's most popular and powerful research offerings yet few of its users know about the advanced technology that drives it and makes it simple to use. Professional researchers in basic and applied science are able to access over 5 million e-prints gathered from nearly 28,000 world-wide databases and web-sites. Numerous OSTI innovations ensure that the E-print Network's documents are of extremely high quality, are highly relevant to researchers, and are easy and quick to find. This is the first in a series of articles about the technology behind this very important component of the Science Accelerator. This article serves as an overview; subsequent articles will provide more technical information.

The E-print Network is a federated search application. It federates (aggregates) search results from over 50 content databases in a number of scientific disciplines from a single user query. The E-print Network, however, uses federated search in an innovative way; One of the databases it searches is a special collection formed by harvesting over 1.3 million E-prints from nearly 28,000 hand-picked web-sites. A custom-designed crawler is responsible for performing the harvesting and custom software is used to build an index of the 1.3 million E-prints so that they can be searched quickly together with the non-harvested databases. Most E-print Network users are unaware that the application is, in fact, a blend of federated search and Google-like crawling technologies. This marriage of the two technologies reflects OSTI's insight in realizing that e-prints not only reside in certain well...

Related Topics: doe, E-Print Network (EPN), federated search, osti, Science Accelerator


The Role of Federated Search at OSTI

by Sol Lederman 19 Feb, 2008 in Technology

Federated search is very much at the heart of OSTI's ability to realize its mission. OSTI provides a simple description of what federated search is and how it works in the OSTI environment. The best way to experience the tremendous value of federated search at OSTI is to try several of OSTI's flagship applications:

These, and all, federated search applications search databases "live", which means there is no delay or "lag time" between when a collection is updated by its owner and when the new content can be searched. Science Accelerator provides searchable access to a number of science databases that OSTI manages. Its aim is to accelerate science discovery by greatly reducing the time and effort required for researchers to find relevant science information. was OSTI's break-through federated search product; the first version was launched in December 2002. provides access to more than 50 million pages of science information from 17 scientific and technical organizations via the collaboration of 13 federal agencies. WorldWideScience is a global science gateway to national and international scientific databases.

The technology used to mine content from the deep web is called "federated search." While federated search is not the only search technology...

Related Topics: federated search, osti, Science Accelerator,, (WWS)