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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


Surviving a Technological Transformation

by Dr. Walt Warnick 02 Sep, 2008 in Technology

The life of every person in the world today has been shaped by successive technological transformations. The printing press transformed communication and education, beginning in the mid 15th century. Sailing and navigation technology of the late 15th century allowed Europeans to learn about other continents, beginning the global network of trade. Metal tools and firearms technology of the early 17th century enabled Europeans to colonize other continents and spread the fruits of European technology around the world. Railroads transformed transportation beginning in the early 19th century, and the telephone transformed communication in the latter part of that century. The automobile transformed transportation beginning early in the 20th century. These are but a few of the notable transformations that profoundly reshaped the way people live.

Today it is the Internet transformation, especially the Web. As a leader in making the Web work for DOE science, OSTI is embedded in the Internet transformation and OSTI itself is being transformed. Our dual core mission -- getting DOE results out to the scientific community and beyond, and getting the community's results into DOE -- has not changed. But the technology we apply to that mission has changed a lot. By carefully adopting Internet technology, and even pioneering new advances in that technology to meet our needs, OSTI achieves its mission better than ever before and has achieved a series of impressive "firsts."

I think all of us at OSTI would agree that getting this far has not been easy. If there is one word that describes what it has been like to be embedded in the Internet transformation, it is "turbulent." In this regard, the Internet transformation is much like the technological transformations that preceded it. Those embedded in transformations find themselves in a rapidly changing world which challenges them to find their own way through...

Related Topics: DOE Data Explorer (DDE), milestones, Science Conference Proceedings


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


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)