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 WorldWideScience.org (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...Read more...