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DOE Data Explorer: Restructured and Redesigned to Better Reflect Data Relationships

by Sara Studwell 31 Aug, 2017 in

DOE Data ExplorerResearch data is being produced at a rapidly increasing rate, and we at the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) recognize the importance of making data findable and accessible and are committed to being active in the data community.  The DOE Data Explorer (DDE), launched in 2008, is a search tool enabling users to locate and access research data resulting from DOE funding.  Additionally, OSTI joined DataCite in 2011 and established the DOE Data ID Service, through which OSTI assigns persistent identifiers, known as digital object identifiers (DOIs), to datasets submitted by DOE and its contractor and grantee researchers to help increase access to digital data from DOE-funded research.

As product manager for DDE, my goal is to ensure that DDE reflects the ways in which researchers organize their data so that users can easily find or discover data of interest to them.  So, after OSTI held meetings with researchers and stakeholders and listened to what they need in a data search and discovery tool, we developed a plan to reorganize and redesign DDE to better reflect inherent relationships between data objects.  I presented this plan at the SciDataCon conference in September 2016 and subsequently co-authored a paper with colleagues Carly Robinson and Jannean Elliott that further explained the steps being taken to update DDE.

Through a multi-phase restructuring, we are creating meaningful contextual relationships between data objects to make the data more accessible; phase I was completed in August 2017, and phase II is...

Related Topics: DOE Data Explorer (DDE)

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Robert F. Curl, Jr. and Richard E. Smalley, Collaborators in the Discovery of Fullerenes

by Brian O'Donnell 18 Aug, 2017 in

 

To celebrate 70 years of advancing scientific knowledge, OSTI is featuring some of the leading scientists and works particularly relevant to the formation of DOE, OSTI, and their predecessor organizations and is highlighting Nobel laureates and other important research figures in DOE’s history.  Their accomplishments were key to the evolution of the Department of Energy, and OSTI’s collections include many of their publications.

The 1996 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded jointly to Robert F. Curl Jr., Richard E. Smalley, and Sir Harold W. Kroto for discovery of new forms of the element carbon – called fullerenes – in which the atoms are arranged in closed shells.  Fullerenes are formed when vaporized carbon condenses in an atmosphere of inert gas.  The gaseous carbon is obtained by directing an intense pulse of laser light at a carbon surface.  The released carbon atoms are mixed with a stream of helium gas and combine to form clusters of a few to hundreds of atoms.  The gas is then led into a vacuum chamber where it expands and is cooled to some degrees above absolute zero.  The carbon clusters can then be analyzed with mass spectrometry.

Robert Curl, Jr. and Richard Smalley

A fullerene is a molecule of carbon most often in the form of a hollow sphere, ellipsoid, or tube.   Spherical fullerenes made of 60 carbon atoms, also referred to as Buckminsterfullerenes or buckyballs, resemble the balls used in soccer.  Fullerenes are similar in structure to graphite,...

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John Pople, A Theoretical Chemist

by Brian O'Donnell 14 Jul, 2017 in
John Pople, Photo courtesy of Northwestern University

To celebrate 70 years of advancing scientific knowledge, OSTI is featuring some of the leading scientists and works particularly relevant to the formation of DOE, OSTI, and their predecessor organizations and is highlighting Nobel laureates and other important research figures in DOE’s history.  Their accomplishments were key to the evolution of the Department of Energy, and OSTI’s collections include many of their publications.

John Pople was born on October 31, 1925, at Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset, England.  Although none of his family had attended university, Pople was able to attend Bristol Grammar School, where at the age of 12 he taught himself secondary level of calculus.  When the school learned of his brilliance, and with the support of his parents, he began intensive studies preparing for a mathematics scholarship to Cambridge.  After arriving at Trinity College in 1943, he completed his degree in two years, worked for an airplane company from 1945 to 1947, and returned to Cambridge and earned his doctoral degree in 1951.  He subsequently was a research fellow at Trinity College and then a lecturer in mathematics at Cambridge from 1954 to 1958.

Pople left Cambridge to head the basic physics division at the National Physical Laboratory outside London.  In 1964, he moved to the United States and became a professor of chemistry at the Carnegie Institute of Technology, now part of Carnegie-Mellon University, where he did the work for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.  In 1993, he moved to...

Related Topics: DOE R&D Accomplishments

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Edward Teller, A Theoretical Physicist

by Brian O'Donnell 14 Jun, 2017 in

Edward Teller

To celebrate 70 years of advancing scientific knowledge, OSTI is featuring some of the leading scientists and works particularly relevant to the formation of DOE, OSTI, and their predecessor organizations and is highlighting Nobel laureates and other important research figures in DOE’s history.  Their accomplishments were key to the evolution of the Department of Energy, and OSTI’s collections include many of their publications.

Born in 1908 in Budapest, Hungary, Edward Teller moved to Germany in 1926, earned an undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering at University of Karlsruhe, and in 1930 was awarded a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Leipzig.  His doctoral dissertation dealt with one of the first accurate quantum mechanical treatments of the hydrogen molecular ion.  He moved to the United States in 1935 and was a physics professor at George Washington University (GWU) until 1941, the same year he became a U.S. citizen. 

Teller’s career can be divided roughly into two overlapping phases.  The first, from 1928 to about 1952, was largely devoted to scientific research and university life.  In the second phase, which coincided with the discovery of fission in 1939, he focused on applying physics to defense and, later, on cofounding the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

At GWU, Teller predicted the Jahn-Teller Effect (1937), which distorts molecules in...

Related Topics: DOE R&D Accomplishments

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Video Informs DOE-Funded Researchers about DOE PAGES and Submitting Accepted Manuscripts to DOE OSTI

by Peter Lincoln 02 Jun, 2017 in

Department of Energy PAGES Public Access Gateway for Energy & Science

To help get the word out to researchers funded by the Department of Energy (DOE) at DOE national laboratories and research universities around the country, the DOE Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) and the DOE Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have teamed up to produce a video about DOE PAGES, the DOE Public Access Gateway for Energy and Science.

DOE PAGES offers free public access to the best available full-text version of DOE-affiliated scholarly publications – either the peer-reviewed, accepted manuscript or the published scientific journal article – after an administrative interval of 12 months.  

Entitled “A Video Message about DOE PAGES for DOE-funded Authors of Scientific Publications,” the infographic video provides an introduction to the DOE portal to scholarly publications resulting from DOE research funding – and encourages DOE laboratory and grantee researchers to submit their accepted manuscripts to OSTI, which developed and maintains the repository for the Department. 

DOE PAGES “was created to provide free public access to articles by DOE-funded researchers,” the video notes.  “To get their papers into DOE PAGES, all DOE-funded researchers are required to submit their accepted manuscripts to their labs’ publication system or directly to OSTI.  This is a great way for DOE to show the American public the important work that’s underway to solve...

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Harold Urey’s Many Contributions to Science

by Kathy Chambers 16 May, 2017 in

Harold C. Urey

Image credit: Energy.gov

To celebrate 70 years of advancing scientific knowledge, OSTI is featuring some of the leading scientists and works particularly relevant to the formation of DOE, OSTI, and their predecessor organizations and is highlighting Nobel laureates and other important research figures in DOE’s history.  Their accomplishments were key to the evolution of the Department of Energy, and OSTI’s collections include many of their publications. 

The pioneering work of American chemist and physicist Harold C. Urey on isotopes led to his discovery of deuterium in 1931 and earned him the 1934 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.  This discovery was one of his many contributions in several fields of science during his long and diverse career. 

By 1929, the theory of isotopes, or the idea that an individual element could consist of atoms with the same number of protons but with different masses, had been developed, and the less-abundant isotopes of carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen had been discovered.  Urey, who at the time was an associate professor at Columbia University, believed that isotopes of hydrogen could be more important, so he devised an experiment to look for them.

In 1931, Urey was credited with discovering the hydrogen isotope, or heavy hydrogen, for which he subsequently won the Nobel Prize; he later named the heavy hydrogen “deuterium,” derived from the Greek word deuteros...

Related Topics: R&D Accomplishments, DOE R&D Accomplishments

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Ernest Orlando Lawrence – The Father of Big Science

by Kathy Chambers 14 Apr, 2017 in

Ernest Orlando Lawrence
Ernest Orlando Lawrence.  Image credit: Energy.gov

To celebrate 70 years of advancing scientific knowledge, OSTI is featuring some of the leading scientists and works particularly relevant to the formation of DOE, OSTI, and their predecessor organizations and is highlighting Nobel Laureates and other important research figures in DOE’s history.  Their accomplishments were key to the evolution of the Department of Energy, and OSTI’s collections include many of their publications. 

Ernest Orlando Lawrence’s love of science began at an early age and continued throughout his life.  His parents and grandparents were educators and encouraged hard work and curiosity.  While working on his Bachelor of Arts degree in chemistry at the University of South Dakota and thinking of pursuing a career in medicine, Lawrence became influenced by faculty mentors in the field of physics and decided instead to pursue his graduate degree in physics at the University of Minnesota.  After completing his Master’s degree, he studied for a year at the University of Chicago, where, Lawrence “caught fire as a researcher,” in the words of a later observer.  After Lawrence earned his Ph.D. in physics at Yale University in 1925, he stayed on for another three years as a National Research Fellow and an assistant professor of physics.  In 1928, Lawrence was recruited by the University of California, Berkeley as associate professor of physics.  Two years later, at the age of 27, he became the youngest full professor at Berkeley.

In 1929, Lawrence...

Related Topics: cyclotron, Ernest Orlando Lawrence, nobel prize in physics, physics, science, DOE R&D Accomplishments

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OSTI Employees Are Committed to Giving Back to Their Communities

by Erin Dominick Anderson 30 Nov, 2016 in

Besides having a passion for serving our country and its citizens through broad dissemination of Department of Energy R&D results, Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) employees are also committed to giving back to their local, national, and global communities in other ways.

Similar to many employer-supported charitable giving campaigns, there is an annual effort across the U.S. Federal Government known as the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC).  OSTI has participated for many years, with a high percentage of employees donating each campaign season.  The CFC was created in 1961 to coordinate the fundraising efforts of various charitable organizations, which must demonstrate standards of transparency and effectiveness in order to participate in the campaign.  Federal employees continue to make the CFC the largest and most successful workplace philanthropic fundraiser in the world.  The CFC is structured with 125 local campaigns that organize the annual fundraising effort.  OSTI is part of the Smoky Mountain Region Combined Federal Campaign.  In 2016, OSTI employees donated thousands of dollars to local, national, and international organizations.

osti employees
OSTI employees Tammy Payne
(front left), Catherine Pepmiller
(top left), and Kelly Dunlap
volunteering on the
2016 Day of Caring.

In addition to their monetary gifts, this year a number of OSTI federal employees also participated in a Day of Caring volunteer service event held on October 28, 2016.  OSTI joined more than 200 volunteers from the DOE Oak Ridge Office...

Related Topics: CFC, Communities, osti, Smoky Mountain Region Combined Federal Campaign

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OSTI Developing Open Source, Social Coding Platform for DOE Scientific Software

by Brian Hitson 02 Nov, 2016 in
DOE CODE

What would a modern software center look like?

We posed that question to Department of Energy (DOE) researchers across the complex in an effort to continue making our scientific and technical information (STI) tools and services best in class.  The answers we received were both enthusiastic and enlightening:  to be most useful, a modern DOE software platform must connect researchers in meaningful ways to their software, data, and research documents; embrace open source; not duplicate but complement existing community practices and platforms; provide for social coding; and enable social media that incorporates sharing and notification systems for software news and updates as well as links to author profiles.

We at the DOE Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) are happy to announce that this platform, called DOE CODE, is now under planning and development.

Why is this important to DOE?

Software is a critical form of STI and instrumental to scientific research.  It allows scientists to achieve day-to-day tasks, perform complex modeling and simulation, execute big data analytics, and control some of the largest scientific instruments in the world; in other words, software is essential to every aspect of modern scientific research. 

Why is it important for OSTI to ensure a robust software platform?

OSTI is charged with fulfilling the Department’s responsibilities to collect, preserve, and disseminate scientific and technical information emanating from DOE R&D activities.  The STI that we collect and make available includes software, as well as technical and workshop reports; journal article manuscripts, citations, and...

Related Topics: DOE Scientific Software, Open Source, DOE CODE; Energy Science and Technology Software Center

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OSTI and ORCID: Working to Help Link DOE Authors and Their Research Results

by Catherine Pepmiller 20 Sep, 2016 in
orcid ids on scitech connect

 

It has always been important for authors and researchers to maintain and present accurate records of their work and experience.  In this digital age, an author can achieve such record-keeping by using a persistent digital identifier, a number associated with a particular author that remains with him or her, regardless of changes in discipline, research project, organization, or position.  ORCID, a not-for-profit-organization working to make it easier to connect research results to authors, has stepped in to provide just such a service.  To date, they have registered over 2.5 million ORCID iDs for their users, and this number grows daily.

ORCID first opened its registry allowing researchers to register ORCID iDs and link their works to their iD in 2012, and the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) was one of the first federal organizations to embrace the ORCID concept.  In spring 2013, OSTI moved to help make it even easier for researchers to employ ORCID iD by offering the option to submit scientific and technical information (STI) records including an ORCID iD via E-Link, the DOE corporate STI ingest system.  Once records have been processed, users may search SciTech Connect by ORCID iD to find works associated with that iD.  Under this system, authors curate their ORCID Works list manually, adding records found in OSTI’s databases.

OSTI has...

Related Topics: orcid, osti, SciTech Connect, SciTech Connect

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