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OSTIblog Articles in the apps Topic Mobile: Top Ten in Federal Apps!

4733 Mobile: Top Ten in Federal Apps!

   Hard work and innovation pay off!  Government Computer News (GCN) and Information Week have published their Top Ten Federal mobile apps lists, and was the only interagency mobile application named to both!  Since last year, over 100 federal agencies have established mobile apps in response to a recent White House initiative requiring them to make their services available for mobile use.  GCN evaluated the apps on their usefulness, how helpful they actually were, and also on that intangible “cool factor.”  GCN applauded Mobile’s surprisingly powerful search engine that checks science data from 13 federal agencies and said “It could probably even be a boon to researchers to keep them from duplicating research, and it will certainly help your kids get an A on their science papers.”  Information Week published its “10 Handy Mobile Apps From Uncle Sam” and noted that: “(The) site searches scientific information from more than 50 databases and 2,100 government-affiliated websites. On-the-go science buffs can now access that data trove via a mobile version of the website or a downloadable Android app. Users can get Wikipedia and EurekAlert! results related to their searches.”

Researchers are like the rest of us.  They’re pressed for time, often multi-tasking, and looking for that competitive edge. Discovery can come at any moment and it’s critical to have resources at your fingertips, now more than ever.  That’s one of the reasons that launched its mobile application in September 2011.  And this handy scientific search tool isn’t just for scientists, it’s a great application for teachers preparing lessons or for kids doing...

Related Topics: alerts, apps, mobile,


Search Technology Developed by DOE Wins NIH Challenge


Search Technology Developed by DOE Wins NIH Challenge

WebLib, a start-up company which won a Department of Energy (DOE) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant, managed by the Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI), has just won a celebrated contest using technology developed for DOE.

To start from the beginning, a DOE Small Business Innovation Research project funded a Phase II application for WebLib to develop a novel search technology called semantic search.  Semantic search uses semantic knowledge of concepts and their relationships to produce relevant results, even when those results do not contain the user’s original query terms. The project was managed by the Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) which seeks to accelerate science by accelerating the spread of knowledge.  The goal of the project was to speed up literature searches by dramatically increasing the precision and completeness of searches of scientific and technical databases where the great bulk of the results of government R&D reside. To enable the development of semantic search, DOE OSTI provided WebLib with the DOE Green Energy Database to use as a test platform. 

WebLib made remarkable progress advancing the state of the art in search technology.  After just the first year of a two year grant, WebLib delivered its first cut at advanced semantic search technology.

The semantic search technology developed by WebLib was tested by OSTI which found that it was a significant advance over previous search technologies.  Subsequently, DOE deployed WebLib’s semantic search into the production version of the DOE Green Energy Database.  WebLib’s semantic search technology is so powerful and affordable that OSTI hopes to deploy it on eight more databases.

With its successful technology at hand, WebLib drove on and entered the...

Related Topics: apps, DOE Green Energy, NLMplus, SBIR/STTR, WebLib


“Mobilizing” Science

by Dr. Walt Warnick 05 Aug, 2011 in Technology


“Mobilizing” Science

At the youngest ages, children are intrigued by Mentos in a Diet Coke. Figuring out what nature is trying to tell us, which is otherwise known as doing science, can be exciting. But, too often, young people become disabused of that excitement when they experience the drudgery of reading dry texts while confined in a stuffy cubicle or a study carrel. Now we are taking a step to help change that perspective. We are displacing text with video, and we are making it easy to find and learn science wherever you happen to be. 

It is an unfortunate circumstance that fun is too often taken out of science. We should want students of all ages to be happy, as happy people invest themselves more into what they are doing. We should want science to remain an avocation even as it becomes a vocation for some students and others move on to different interests. For too long, hours of silent study and nights spent in a dreary lab have driven out the joy like my five-year-old granddaughter felt last week when she caught a bright orange newt in the woods. Better to preserve the excitement and drive out the drudgery.


Related Topics: apps, mobile, (WWS)