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OSTIblog Articles in the technical reports Topic

Technical Reports and Journal Articles

Technical reports and journal articles are both used to report the results of research and development projects. There are differences between the two that are driven by the objectives of each form of reporting.

The primary objective of journal articles is to report results of experimental and/or theoretical scientific investigations to enhance the body of scientific knowledge. This is the primary way that (1) science advances and (2) the scientific community communicates among its members and practitioners. Typically, there are space limitations prescribed by the journal publisher that limit the length of journal articles usually to only a few pages. Journal articles are almost always subjected to a rigorous peer review process before they are accepted for publication.

The main objective of technical reports is to document the research findings together with the approaches and techniques to inform the research process. Unlike journal articles, technical reports face no space limitation. At OSTI, our technical reports range from a few pages in length to several hundred and average 60 pages in length. The content is more under the control of the author(s) and is rarely subject to peer review beyond that which the author(s) or their institution(s) may seek.

A commonality between electronic technical reports and journal articles is the use of Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) to uniquely identify each document. DOIs are used to ease the referencing of a technical report or a journal article in downstream publications. The advantage of using a DOI for a document is that it is a permanent identifier that will ride with the document even though the document’s location and other metadata may change. Referring to an online document by its DOI thus...

Related Topics: Enrico Fermi, journal articles, Manhattan Project, technical reports, Thomas Edison


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


Join the discussion on important DOE research

Our team is excited to announce that you can now join in or start discussions on important DOE research and development in the Information Bridge collection.

Our new social networking feature, Document Discussion, has been added to the Information Bridge to provide a forum for moderated, substantive commentary on DOE research and development. Users may perform a search at the Information Bridge site and then begin a discussion or add to a discussion about any of the documents in the results list returned. Authors of the research documents will be notified so that they may view and contribute to the discussion.

The Information Bridge is a core OSTI product featuring approximately 190,000 fully searchable DOE technical reports. Information Bridge serves over 3 million user transactions per month. We look forward to your contributions and to many dynamic discussions on your science topics of interest.

Michelle Turpin

Product Manager

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


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)


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