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OSTIblog Articles in the (WWS) Topic

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)


OSTI Functions in Brief

OSTI is dedicated to the principle that to advance science, research must be shared. OSTI  is increasingly recognized for its contributions to the sharing and exchange of scientific and technical information.  OSTI works to accelerate discovery by speeding access to knowledge.

OSTI's users conducted 80 million information transactions last year.  Spreading responsibility for these transactions across the OSTI staff implies that each OSTI employee was responsible for 12 information transactions per minute throughout the work year, which I view as an incredible metric of success.   And we have only just begun.  OSTI's traffic increases significantly each year. 

But, of course, OSTI staff rarely interacts with users personally.  Rather, staff creates, develops, and deploys information tools for users.   OSTI's suite of cutting edge web tools make science information searchable from everywhere.   Through the deployment of information technology, OSTI accomplishes ...

Related Topics: Field Work Proposals, searchable fwp, Information Bridge (IB), (WWS)


China Joins the WorldWideScience Alliance: Why This is Important

On October 14, OSTI announced that the People's Republic of China had joined the WorldWideScience Alliance. The press release making the announcement described, and hinted at, the importance of China's contribution:

China, a major producer of journals and conference proceedings, is offering searches of key Chinese English-language scientific literature through The Chinese resource enables searching of over 6,000 journals., the global science gateway managed by the WorldWideScience Alliance, is intended to enhance scientific communication in order to accelerate international scientific progress by serving as a single, sophisticated point of access for diverse scientific resources and expertise from nations around the world.


The Importance of China's Participation

The addition of China is a notable milestone for a number of reasons.

China is a major global contributor to scientific knowledge. Thomson Reuters makes the point clearly:

According to citation analysis based on data from Web of Science, China is ranked second in the world by number of scientific papers published in 2007. Scientific's World IP Today Report on Global Patent Activity 2007 reported that China almost doubled its volume of patents from 2003 to 2007, and...

Related Topics: doe, osti, (WWS)


The Science Knowledge Imperative: Making non-Googleable Science Findable

Just as science progresses only if knowledge is shared, accelerating the sharing of knowledge accelerates science. All of us engaged in disseminating science knowledge have the opportunity and obligation to do our jobs better, for to do so accelerates science itself. 

To this end, I propose a grand challenge--to make more science available to, and searchable by, more people than ever before. A momentous milestone will be achieved once we enable everyone with web access the ability to search with unparalleled precision a billion pages of authoritative science. Already, considerable progress has been made.  

My organization, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is responsible for the scientific and technical information operations of the Department. Over the last 11 years, OSTI has become entirely web-based. Of course, we are just one among many entities who connect people to knowledge using the web. Most notably, Google, Yahoo!, and other conventional search engine providers do this, too.

Google and other conventional search engines do for the web what publishers have long done for books--they create an index so that customers can quickly find information. Web users value this service so highly that search companies have become phenomenally successful enterprises. 

However, an important misunderstanding has sprung up about Google and the others. That is, the false presumption, especially among young people, that most useful information is available via conventional search engines such as Google and Yahoo!

In fact, much of the information on the web is inherently unavailable to Google and Yahoo! This key limitation would come as a surprise to...

Related Topics: crawling, federated search, google, science,, E-Print Network (EPN), (WWS)


WorldWideScience - The One-Stop Global Gateway to National Science Portals

I would like to share news of groundbreaking proportion on the subject of accelerating scientific progress. On June 12, 2008, in Seoul, Korea, OSTI, along with national and international partners, formally established the WorldWideScience Alliance, a multilateral governance structure for the global science gateway (WWS).

First, let me provide a brief history.  As many of you know, over its 60+ year history, OSTI has built very large collections of energy-related scientific and technical information, emanating primarily from the work of DOE and its predecessor agencies.  We have made these collections available through our own sophisticated web products, and their popularity and use among scientists and science-attentive citizens is well documented - with 80 million transactions per year.

In a similar way, other U.S. federal science agencies and, indeed, other STI organizations around the world have built their own databases and other web products to provide electronic access to their own R&D results.  While these efforts address individual STI organizations' mandates to provide public access to their R&D information, such decentralized efforts have left the typical scientist/citizen in a dilemma - a dilemma which, we believe, actually impedes the rate of scientific progress.

The dilemma is that no single scientist can be expected to be aware of the hundreds of high-quality STI sources on the web.  Moreover, even if a person were aware of all of these sources, he or she simply wouldn't have the time to search them one-by-one to find the scientific knowledge that will help accelerate his or her own efforts.  And, finally, this scientist will not be able to find the...

Related Topics: federated search, icsti, kisti, (WWS)


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

Read more... finding the hidden treasures of science

Alliance Members (From Left to Right): Yukiko Sone (for Masayuki Mizukami, Japan Science and Technology Agency); Kirsi Tuominen, VTT Technical Research Centre (Finland); Pam Bjornson, Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information; Walter L. Warnick, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Scientific and Technical Information ( Operating Agent); Yang Byeong-tae, Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information; Richard Boulderstone, The British Library (United Kingdom); Jeffrey Salmon, U.S. Department of Energy, Associate Under Secretary for Science; Lee Gul-woo, Korean Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology; Herbert Gruttemeier, International Council for Scientific and Technical Information; Eleanor Frierson, Alliance (United States); Jean-Fran?ois Nomin? (for Raymond Duval, Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique (France)); Jan Brase (for Uwe Rosemann, German National Library of Science and Technology (TIB))

Not Pictured: Abel Packer, Scientific Electronic Library On-Line (SciELO); Yvonne Halland, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) (South Africa); Susan Murray, African Journals Online; T. Mary McEntegart, International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP)

Scientific history was made today in Seoul, Korea, as 13 founding members of the WorldWideScience Alliance committed their talents and resources to promoting the global sharing of science. 

Ok, it's a big claim to say that "history was made." So, let's back it up.  

First, it's important to talk about the world before  Countries all around the world, large and small, are "doing" science: from exploring cures for cancer to designing the car of the future to identifying innovative uses of nanotechnology. There's no doubt that wonderful...

Related Topics: (WWS)


Explore Science from around the World at

Science from Finland, Sweden and Korea can now be found at, the global gateway to science. This brings the total to 32 sources from 44 countries that can be searched. The new sources include the VTT Publications Register and VTT Research Register (from the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland), the Directory of Open Access Journals (managed by Lunds University in Sweden), and KoreaScience (from the Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information). Visit and click on the interactive map to view science sources from every inhabited continent.

Lorrie Johnson

Information Services Specialist, OSTI

Related Topics: koreascience, open access journals, (WWS)


OSTI's contribution to international discovery:

On June 22, 2007, OSTI opened, a global science gateway, to the public. was an ambitious undertaking and OSTI was the perfect organization to take on the technical, administrative, and organizational challenges to take a powerful idea and bring it to fruition. is a federation of national science portals; participating nations make research results available to citizens and scientists of all nations. Speeding global access to scientific information speeds discovery, encourages collaboration, and accelerates revolutionary advances in science. allows searching of 32 databases, comprising more than 200 million pages, from 44 cooperating countries. Federated search technology allows users to simultaneously search the 200 million pages from all 32 databases in real-time with a single query. is modeled after OSTI's, a gateway to over 50 million pages of authoritative research and development results and other selected science information provided by U.S. government agencies. Much like,'s content is aggregated from cooperating organizations. For, 17 scientific and technical organizations from 13 federal agencies participate in the Alliance and contribute the content. has evolved through several...

Related Topics: icsti, International Council for Scientific and Technical Information,, (WWS)


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)