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OSTIblog Articles in the products and content Topic

OSTI is helping librarians make DOE R&D easier for library patrons to find

by Tim Byrne 18 Sep, 2008 in Products and Content

OSTI now offers librarians and others, free of charge, the opportunity to download records of DOE research and development (R&D) information in MARC (MAchine-Readable Cataloging) format. Records are available for the full-text reports contained in the Information Bridge. By using OSTI's MARC records download librarians can easily expand access to a variety of scientific research straight from their online library catalogs.

OSTI MARC Records are derived from existing Information Bridge records. There are currently over 170,000 records in the Information Bridge. Options for downloading records include subject category, year and OSTI ID number.

Information Bridge provides free public access to full-text documents and bibliographic citations of DOE research report literature. Documents are primarily from 1991 forward and were produced by DOE, the DOE contractor community, and/or DOE grantees. Legacy documents - including U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) documents dating back to the 1940s - and  their MARC...

Related Topics: Information Bridge (IB), Information Bridge MARC Records, marc, SciTech Connect Full-Text MARC Records


Introducing 5.0

Science.Gov 5.0 is now available!

The first thing you'll notice is the new main page design. The same elements are there, but reconfigured to update the website look and feel. We have also added seven deep web sources (see DOE press release) into the search. 

If you're a frequent user of, you may have had a hand in the recent enhancements. Many of the new 5.0 technical features are in response to past suggestions from users. Topic "clustering" is available on the results so you can drill down into subtopics to focus your research. Presented alongside the results is auxiliary information from the AAAS EurekAlert! Science News and from Wikipedia. Also new with this version is the ability to download search results into your citation management software - a specific request from the library community. You will also notice a new Alerts interface which allows you to set up an ATOM or RSS feed of your Alerts.

The Alliance has released a major version of each year since its launch in December 2002. We continue that tradition with the newest release, realizing that both technology and R&D results from U.S. federal government continue to grow at a very significant pace. 

The Alliance is itself an interesting story, a truly unique example of federal agencies overcoming "stovepipes" to create a true cross-agency portal. You may read more information on this initiative and its participants on OSTI hosts and manages the site for the Alliance.

I do hope you find the upgraded features of our Version 5.0 helpful. We'...

Related Topics: alerts, rss feed,, alliance


The Science Knowledge Imperative: Making non-Googleable Science Findable

Just as science progresses only if knowledge is shared, accelerating the sharing of knowledge accelerates science. All of us engaged in disseminating science knowledge have the opportunity and obligation to do our jobs better, for to do so accelerates science itself. 

To this end, I propose a grand challenge--to make more science available to, and searchable by, more people than ever before. A momentous milestone will be achieved once we enable everyone with web access the ability to search with unparalleled precision a billion pages of authoritative science. Already, considerable progress has been made.  

My organization, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is responsible for the scientific and technical information operations of the Department. Over the last 11 years, OSTI has become entirely web-based. Of course, we are just one among many entities who connect people to knowledge using the web. Most notably, Google, Yahoo!, and other conventional search engine providers do this, too.

Google and other conventional search engines do for the web what publishers have long done for books--they create an index so that customers can quickly find information. Web users value this service so highly that search companies have become phenomenally successful enterprises. 

However, an important misunderstanding has sprung up about Google and the others. That is, the false presumption, especially among young people, that most useful information is available via conventional search engines such as Google and Yahoo!

In fact, much of the information on the web is inherently unavailable to Google and Yahoo! This key limitation would come as a surprise to...

Related Topics: crawling, E-Print Network (EPN), federated search, google, science,, (WWS)


Forms of STI - pt. 3

by Tim Byrne 23 Jun, 2008 in Products and Content

In the first two parts to this post (Forms of STI and Forms of STI - pt. 2), I talked about how there are different forms of scientific and technical information and each is published and disseminated in its own way.  OSTI has different search tools to access the different types of STI.  I also discussed technical reports, journal literature, conference proceedings and papers, and e-prints.  After defining each of these types of STI, I described the OSTI products that searches each.  This post will finish the discussion by covering patents, project summaries, and theses/dissertations.


 Patents allow the spread of information about technological inventions while protecting the property rights of the inventor.  A patent issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office excludes others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling the invention throughout the U.S. or importing the invention into the U.S. for a limited time in exchange for public disclosure of the invention when the patent is granted.  This public disclosure is extremely important in furthering scientific research.  Technology moves on, but information remains useful forever

Thomas Jefferson, an inventor himself and appointed by George Washington to the first Patent Board, was, essentially, the first patent examiner.  He found that "the issue of patents for new discoveries has given a spring to invention beyond my conception." (As a graduate of the University of Virginia, I always like to work in a Jefferson quote in my writings.)

DOE and its predecessor agencies, ERDA and AEC, are responsible for creating a tremendous amount of new technology....

Related Topics: dissertations, DOE Research & Development (R&D) Accomplishments, DOE Research and Development (R&D) Project Summaries, E-Print Network (EPN), Energy Citations Database (ECD), Energy Files, Federal R&D Project Summaries, Information Bridge (IB), osti, patents, project summaries, sti, theses


Forms of STI - pt. 2

by Tim Byrne 20 Jun, 2008 in Products and Content

In the first part to this post, Forms of STI,  I talked about how there are different forms of scientific and technical information and how each is published and disseminated in its own way.  OSTI has different search tools to access the different types of STI.  In the last post I discussed technical reports.  Now I will cover journal literature, conference proceedings and papers, and e-prints, defining each and pointing out the OSTI  search tools that covers each.

Journal literature:

The publication of research in scientific journals started in the mid seventeenth century.  Before that and for some time after, scientific and technical information was circulated via letters, printed tracts and books.  Journals became a preferred medium because journal publishers worked to achieve wider dissemination and faster publication.  Today, however, even with the tremendous growth in scientific journals in the later half of the twentieth century, publishing in scientific journals is most often not a speedy process.  It can often take a year of more for an article to be published once it has been accepted by a journal.  For this reason, many scientists and engineers also utilize other means to share their research.  Options include technical reports, conference papers, pre-prints and a growing use of e-prints.

From 1948 to 1976, the Atomic Energy Commission published Nuclear Science Abstracts, providing comprehensive indexing of the international nuclear science literature, including journal literature on a worldwide basis.  This literature can now be found using Energy Citations Database.  ECD...

Related Topics: conference papers, conference proceedings, E-Print Network (EPN), e-prints, Energy Citations Database (ECD), Energy Files, Information Bridge (IB), journal articles, osti, Science Conference Proceedings,, sti


Forms of STI

by Tim Byrne 19 Jun, 2008 in Products and Content

A comment I have heard on numerous occasions is that OSTI has a too many databases and search tools and it is difficult to know which to use.  Well, I am sure that a lot of people do find the variety of OSTI resources to be a bit confusing, but it really takes different types of databases and search tools to cover all the different types of scientific and technical information (STI).  Scientific and technical information has many forms, such as journal articles, technical reports, patents and e-prints.  Each has its own publication route which requires its own method of acquisition.

A traditional library is built by compiling a collection of books and periodicals for use by library patrons.  In the electronic world, collections have expanded beyond the walls of the library.  OSTI is able to create two different types of electronic collections.  The first type is more like a traditional library in that OSTI compiles a collection of STI produced by or funded under the provenance of the Department of Energy on an OSTI computer.  OSTI controls what goes into these collections and in what format.  The OSTI databases that are of this sort include the full text documents in the Information Bridge and the bibliographic citations and summaries created for the Energy Citations Database, DOEpatents, and the DOE R&D Project Summaries.  The second type of electronic collection is a virtual collection of STI outside of DOE.  These collections contain STI that is of interest to DOE, but, for the most part, is not produced by DOE.  The citations and full text documents in these virtual collections reside on the Internet in servers all over the world.  OSTI has identified the locations of the STI and provides a means to search...

Related Topics: conference papers, conferences, DOE Research and Development (R&D) Project Summaries, DOepatents, E-Print Network (EPN), e-prints, Energy Citations Database (ECD), Information Bridge (IB), journal articles, patents, proceedings, project summaries, Science Accelerator, Science Conference Proceedings,, sti, technical reports, theses, (WWS)


Discover the data behind DOE publications!

If you're ready to discover data, then OSTI's newest product is ready for you!  The DOE Data Explorer (DDE) is a unique tool that identifies collections of DOE-sponsored numeric files, figures and data plots, multimedia and images, computer simulations, specialized databases, and interactive data maps. Browse, run a quick search, or advanced search, then click a link to results. You'll be amazed at the data you can freely see and use, the highly specialized interfaces developed by the owners of the data that will help you delve deeper into their collections, and the software toolkits that allow you to manipulate, compare, visualize, download, and re-use the data.

The DOE Data Explorer will guide you to data collections at national laboratories, data centers, scientific user facilities, colleges and universities ...and across all of the science areas with DOE involvement.  The DOE Data Explorer development team sifted through hundreds of these websites so that you would not have to, selecting each collection for inclusion according to strict criteria. 

DOE has several data centers  that provide excellent collections and expert services. Each of these centers specialize in data belonging to a specific subject area or scientific discipline. The DOE Data Explorer will help you find those centers and their collections. However, its unique usefulness is in helping you find the collections that are NOT in a data center.  In addition, what if you want to do cross-disciplinary research?  Or what if you don't even know what data might be out there or what discipline it might belong to? You need a data discovery tool that will allow you to see ALL of DOE's data - regardless of scientific discipline, regardless of format, and, even,...

Related Topics: data, DOE Data Explorer (DDE), national laboratories

Read more... finding the hidden treasures of science

Alliance Members (From Left to Right): Yukiko Sone (for Masayuki Mizukami, Japan Science and Technology Agency); Kirsi Tuominen, VTT Technical Research Centre (Finland); Pam Bjornson, Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information; Walter L. Warnick, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Scientific and Technical Information ( Operating Agent); Yang Byeong-tae, Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information; Richard Boulderstone, The British Library (United Kingdom); Jeffrey Salmon, U.S. Department of Energy, Associate Under Secretary for Science; Lee Gul-woo, Korean Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology; Herbert Gruttemeier, International Council for Scientific and Technical Information; Eleanor Frierson, Alliance (United States); Jean-Fran?ois Nomin? (for Raymond Duval, Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique (France)); Jan Brase (for Uwe Rosemann, German National Library of Science and Technology (TIB))

Not Pictured: Abel Packer, Scientific Electronic Library On-Line (SciELO); Yvonne Halland, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) (South Africa); Susan Murray, African Journals Online; T. Mary McEntegart, International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP)

Scientific history was made today in Seoul, Korea, as 13 founding members of the WorldWideScience Alliance committed their talents and resources to promoting the global sharing of science. 

Ok, it's a big claim to say that "history was made." So, let's back it up.  

First, it's important to talk about the world before  Countries all around the world, large and small, are "doing" science: from exploring cures for cancer to designing the car of the future to identifying innovative uses of nanotechnology. There's no doubt that wonderful...

Related Topics: (WWS)


Approximately 10,000 DOE research documents added to the Information Bridge searchable database


Our OSTI team recently completed digitizing and uploading to the Information Bridge database about 10,000 documents issued by the U.S. Department of Energy (from 1991 to 1994). This means that citizens can now search this database and rapidly download these documents in full text - all for free.

The exciting part? Previous to this upload, these documents were very difficult to find - either on the Internet or in hard copy.

Even more exciting? These documents bring the total Information Bridge Energy Department reports (issued from 1991 to present) to more than 165,000. This research is in science fields such as physics, chemistry, materials, biology, environmental sciences, energy technologies, engineering, computer and information science, renewable energy, etc.

OSTI plans to continue digitizing DOE legacy documents so that you can find even more science information on the Web.

The Information Bridge is a DOE Science Accelerator resource.

Michelle Turpin

Information Bridge Product Manager



Related Topics: digitization, Information Bridge (IB), technical reports


Explore Science from around the World at

Science from Finland, Sweden and Korea can now be found at, the global gateway to science. This brings the total to 32 sources from 44 countries that can be searched. The new sources include the VTT Publications Register and VTT Research Register (from the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland), the Directory of Open Access Journals (managed by Lunds University in Sweden), and KoreaScience (from the Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information). Visit and click on the interactive map to view science sources from every inhabited continent.

Lorrie Johnson

Information Services Specialist, OSTI

Related Topics: koreascience, open access journals, (WWS)