Accelerating Science Discovery - Join the Discussion

OSTIblog Articles in the products and content Topic The Importance of Being Unique

In a world replete with information sources and options, it is imperative to offer users something unique. (, a federated search product that currently provides a single point of access to 61 scientific databases and portals from more than 60 countries, is a remarkably unique scientific discovery tool.  Representing more than three-fourths of the world’s population, enables access to over 400 million pages of science from around the globe.  Many of the databases searched through are not well known outside their originating countries and are not easily accessible through typical commercial search engines.  In fact, a recent analysis indicated that results, when compared to Google and Google Scholar results, were unique approximately 96.5 % of the time.  Some examples of the wide range of information that a user might find on are:

  • From the CERN Document Server, full text experimental reports from the Large Hadron Collider project.
  • From KoreaMed, an article on the specific risks of stroke in the Korean population.
  • A PhD dissertation from the University of Queensland, available through ARROW, which assesses the potential contribution of renewable energy to the electricity supply in Australia.
  • An article from Nepal Journals Online which discusses the critical role of irrigation water for food production within that country.
  • From African Journals Online, a journal article discussing the impacts of human activities on the persistence of malaria.
  • Through NASA’s contributions to, information on manned space flights.
  • Technical reports from the INIS database on the disposal of high level radioactive wastes.
  • Journal articles on laser arrays from the Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China.
  • From the...

    Related Topics: cern, erff, google, nasa, (WWS)


Making the Web Work Even Better for Energy R&D

The Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) maintains several collections of scientific and technical information (STI) that can be employed to help achieve the President's national objectives for the U.S. Department of Energy.

OSTI's databases are important resources for scientists and engineers working to strengthen America's role as the world leader in science and technology, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote energy security and enhance nuclear security. OSTI has shown that the web can work better for science and research and development - and OSTI believes that making the web work still better for science and R&D will help overcome critical roadblocks to widespread, cost-effective deployment of emerging or existing but under-deployed energy technologies.

OSTI's Progress to Date

Established in 1947, the DOE Office of Scientific and Technical Information ( fulfills the agency's responsibilities to collect, preserve and disseminate scientific and technical information (STI) emanating from DOE R&D activities. OSTI's mission is to advance science and sustain creativity by making R&D findings available to DOE and other researchers and the public. In the words of Section 982 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, "The Secretary, through the Office of Scientific and Technical Information, shall maintain with the Department publicly available collections of scientific and technical information resulting from research, development, demonstration, and commercial applications supported by the Department."

OSTI is founded on the principle that science progresses only if knowledge is shared, and the OSTI Corollary - accelerating the sharing of knowledge accelerates the advancement of science - takes OSTI's founding principle to the next level. (See OSTI's FY 2009-2013 Strategic Plan,...

Related Topics: osti, sti

Read more...'s Unique Collaboration is a one-stop portal for federal government science information.  Over 200 million pages of science information from 14 federal agencies may be searched through a single query.  How far we have come in the past decade!

You may not be aware that was developed and is governed by the Alliance, a group of science information managers who began working together to overcome the stovepipes of agency information in 2001.   This unusual collaboration has taken a bottom-up approach throughout the development and operation of the site.  All participating agencies have an equal voice in the process; all agencies manage their own content through a decentralized content management model.   In addition, agencies maintain their own databases which are searched by in real-time.

I am pleased to note that the Alliance and their "out of the box" techniques have served the science attentive citizen well for almost 7 years!

Valerie Allen

Related Topics:, alliance


A Unique Insight into DOE Research Accomplishments: A Special Collection

Unique and interesting insights into U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Research and Development (R&D) accomplishments are available in a special collection that features research of DOE and its predecessor agencies, the Energy Research and Development Administration (ERDA) and the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC).

This special collection contains historically significant government documents that have been specially selected and digitized to make them accessible via the Web. Landmark documents such as The Eightfold Way: A Theory of Strong Interaction Symmetry and The First Weighing of Plutonium are among approximately 300 specially-selected documents included in the database. Additionally, documents are aggregated with related aspects of the collection into more than sixty (60) Feature Topic pages with diverse topics such as Video Games -- Did They Begin at Brookhaven? and Human Genome Research: Decoding DNA.

The collection features a large number of DOE-associated Nobel Laureates and showcases a diversity in DOE research areas, including Solar Energy (with related educational materials) and Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) that are used to power spacecraft.

Easy access to this unique collection is provided via...

Related Topics: doe, DOE Research & Development (R&D) Accomplishments, legacy collection, nobel laureates, Nobel Prize, research results, technical reports


You Can Be a Part of Accelerating Scientific Discovery!

Did you know that you can help make important research available online by adopting a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) technical report?   There are more than 300,000 DOE technical reports in need of digitization. In fact, most DOE technical reports from the 1940s to 1991 are still only available in hard copy or microfiche. This means that important research is not electronically accessible by researchers and the public.

You may find a technical report that you want to share with others or you think worthy of making indefinitely available on the web to support the advancement of science. When you search for important science information in your area of interest, you can choose to sponsor the digitization of any adoptable technical report. The cost is $85 (approximately the same cost as ordering a hard copy). 

You can request recognition via a sponsor "certificate" indicating that the technical report was made electronically available through your contribution. The certificate will appear as the first page of the document. Or, you may request an acknowledgment in honor of . . . or in memory of . . . , etc. to appear as the first page of the document.  However, if you prefer to be an anonymous sponsor, no recognition will be placed in the report.


Related Topics: Adopt-A-Doc, digitization, doe, technical reports


ROI of 10,000,000% -- Would You Invest?

Even the most outrageous Ponzi scheme couldn't promise a return of 10 million percent, but that's the return to be realized by opening the Department of Energy's historic R&D findings to the web.  Yes, you have to accept certain assumptions, but it's not a major leap.  Let's review the math.

Since the early 1940s (even before the Atomic Energy Commission -- a DOE predecessor), the U.S. government has been investing billions of dollars in energy-related and basic scientific research.  Up until the late 1990s, most of the results from this work were recorded in papers (literally).  The vast majority of these papers are under the watchful eye of DOE's Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI).  Since 2000, DOE's R&D reports have been generated entirely electronically; so, all of these are available on OSTI's Information Bridge web product.  And, through a combination of its own efforts and collaborations with key partners such as the IAEA's International Nuclear Information System (INIS), OSTI has been able to digitize technical reports dating back to the early 1990s -- also available through Information Bridge.  In addition to these efforts, OSTI is also trying other innovative approaches, such as Adopt-A-Doc, where individuals or organizations can sponsor the digitization of individual reports or small subset collections.  But that leaves essentially...

Related Topics: Adopt-A-Doc, digitization, Information Bridge (IB)


Customized Services for the Department of Energy Research Community

While the majority of the Office of Scientific and Technical Information's (OSTI) activities are focused on making the Department of Energy's (DOE) scientific and technical information widely accessible, OSTI also provides special services to the Department and its contractor community. 

For example, in instances where it is important to protect certain types of information while at the same time ensuring that qualified members of the DOE research community are able to access the data, OSTI provides specialized databases and information services.  Using a variety of capabilities and search options, qualified patrons can access approximately 4.5 million domestic and international energy-related bibliographic records as well as over 200,000 full-text documents spanning more than six decades of DOE research. When researchers locate a report and need electronic access to a document that is available only in hard copy, they can request that OSTI scan the document and make it available electronically. OSTI will perform this service for eligible requesters without charge to them. In this fashion, OSTI is able to expand its collection of electronically available documents based on the immediate needs (requests) of the Department's research scientists.

If you work for DOE or are a DOE contractor, you may benefit from this specialized service. For more information and to take advantage of these services, please visit

Debbie Nuchols


Related Topics: doe, doe contractor, electronic access, information services, osti


Tool Supports OSTI Mashups

Did you know that science information is available via web "mashups"? Web "mashups" combine multiple products/services into a single application for the purpose of consolidating information with an easy-to-use interface.

The Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) uses "mashups" to return search results from Science Accelerator,, and These "mashups" include external sources of information, in these cases from Wikipedia and EurekAlert!, that are provided as a service to the user for help with additional background information or with the ability to further study their topic.

These "mashups" are made possible by OSTI's use of a federated search to perform all-encompassing searches of important databases and collections. Science Accelerator searches U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) databases of scientific and technical information representing billions of dollars of DOE research. searches U.S. government agency scientific databases and web pages. searches national and international scientific databases and portals.

Federated searching provides each of the three products with one-stop simultaneous searching of multiple networked data resources via a single query. When a query is entered, it is sent to selected databases, collections, and/or web portals that are available for searching. The individual data resources send back results, which are ranked in relevance order and are provided to the user as "mashups". Users can examine these "mashups" to find specific results that contain information that is useful to...

Related Topics: doe, mashup, osti, Science Accelerator,, (WWS)


It's been a big summer for sharing science info--and it's still only June!


It's been a big summer for sharing science info--and it's still only June!

Did you know:

  • That now you can find research from China when you search within  OSTI was in Ottawa June 10 helping formalize the addition of China to the WorldWideScience Alliance? In addition, now you can quickly narrow your results list to the research you need, share them on social networking sites, bookmark your search, and set up alerts.
  • That now you can learn about OSTI tools and services on our OSTI YouTube site launched in June?
  • That you can Adopt-A-Doc? OSTI launched a new site for this tool in June that puts you in the driver's seat for helping make important research available online.
  • That you can now more easily navigate and find exciting scientific discoveries, search tools, and science information of interest to you by using OSTI's redesigned home page (launched June 10).
  • That from June 14 to June 17, close to 6,000 librarians and participants in the Special Librarian Associations 2009 Conference in Washington DC were afforded the opportunity to learn about OSTI's special librarian tools, and search engines just for science - DOE Science Accelerator (DOE collections), (U.S. sources), and (global sources)? OSTI supported two displays at the SLA exhibit.
  • That OSTI has developed a strategic plan for making the web work better for science?


And did you know that now you can more easily let us know what you think about our...

Related Topics: Adopt-A-Doc, OSTI Youtube Channel, Science Accelerator,, SciTech Connect, youtube


Dynamically OSTI--Web 2.0 -- Enabling Information-Enabling Users-Enabling Acceleration

Fluidity is about being flexible, variable, graceful and agile. OSTI as an organization is fluid. We are listening to the scientist, the researcher, the educator, the librarian, and the science attentive citizen.  What do they need?  What do they want?  How can scientific and technical information reach them when and how they desire it?  How can we make their work better, faster and easier? This OSTI agility means that switching gears midstream and going with the Web 2.0 flow to meet the needs and expectations of the public, is something just our speed.  The Wikipedia definition of Web 2.0 states that "[i]t is characterized as facilitating communication, information sharing, interoperability, and collaboration on the World Wide Web." Web 2.0. Wikipedia. (retrieved June 4, 2009).  What better fit to the OSTI Corollary "speeding the sharing of knowledge will accelerate the advancement of science"than the techniques and technology of Web 2.0? 


To speed the sharing of knowledge, OSTI is facilitating communication through blogging, audio, podcast, and video sharing.  We are also engaged in information sharing via widgets, alert systems, RSS, XML and OAI services.  These tools compliment a variety of our scientific and technical information products, such as DOE R&D Accomplishments and DOepatents...

Related Topics: osti, osti corollary, podcast, rss, web 2.0, widgets