A typical misconception I face when I tell people that I work within the government is that they think my job, even though it is in the technology arena, must move at a snail's pace relative to the commercial sector. This preconceived notion that our government crawls along relative to technology adoption and innovation - at least in my experience - is way off the mark.
Here at OSTI we can cite several examples where we have been on the bleeding edge of technological development. Not only have we been on the bleeding edge, in some cases we have been on that bleeding edge in cooperation with some of the largest, most innovative technology companies in the world.
For example, OSTI has been a pioneering force in federated search technology since the late 1990s. Federated search, for those of you new to the term, is the simultaneous search of multiple online databases or web resources from a single query. The Wikipedia article on federated search is an excellent resource for more information on exactly how federated search works.
Before the term "federated search" had been coined, OSTI was implementing pioneering technology that would come to be known as federated search. In April 1999, OSTI launched EnergyPortal Search, a product now encompassed in EnergyFiles. EnergyPortal Search was the first federated search application deployed by OSTI and the first product of its kind in the government. In December 2002, OSTI launched Science.gov, the first ever search capability across major science agencies. In June 2007, OSTI introduced the concept of WorldWideScience.org, which searches across national and international...Read more...
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...Read more...