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OSTIblog Articles in the transparency Topic

DOE Open Government Plan 3.0 Highlights OSTI Products

by Peter Lincoln 24 Jun, 2014 in
Open Gov


The Department of Energy recently issued its latest Open Government Plan, and the document recognizes the DOE Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) for advancing open government and the principles of transparency, participation, and collaboration by making scientific and technical information (STI) publicly available.

On his first day in office in January 2009, President Obama signed the Memorandum of Transparency and Open Government, which called on agencies to provide “an unprecedented level of openness in government” and instructed the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to prepare a directive to “establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration” throughout the federal government. The Administration’s open government directive subsequently issued by OMB required each executive departments and agency to prepare and issue an open government plan in 2010 and every two years thereafter.

OSTI grew out of the post-World War II initiative to make the declassified scientific research of the Manhattan Project as freely available to the public as possible, and throughout its 67-year history, OSTI has built very large collections of energy-related STI, emanating primarily from the work of DOE and its predecessor agencies. Today OSTI makes these STI collections available through sophisticated web products, and its R&D results are accessed more than 400 million times annually.


Related Topics: collaboration, open government plan, transparency, ScienceCinema, SciTech Connect, National Library of Energy (NLE) - Beta, (WWS)


DOE research videos available on ScienceCinema



Scientific videos highlighting research and development (R&D) sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) are available on ScienceCinema. ScienceCinema uses innovative, state-of-the-art audio indexing and speech recognition technology to enable users to quickly find video files produced by the DOE national laboratories, other DOE research facilities and CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research). When users search for scientific words and phrases, precise snippets of the video where the search term was spoken are provided along with a timeline.

More than 2,500 videos are currently available in ScienceCinema, and the database will continue to grow as new R&D-related videos are produced by DOE programs, labs and facilities and submitted to OSTI. Scientific videos, animations, interactive visualizations and other multimedia are expected to become an increasingly prominent form of scientific communications. ScienceCinema was recently recognized as one of DOE’s six new initiatives in the DOE Open Government Plan 2.0 for making the federal government more transparent, participatory and collaborative. 

Related Topics: audio indexing, communications, open government plan, r&d, scientific, transparency, videos, ScienceCinema


Transparency of Scientific Information

by Mike Jennings 01 Jul, 2009 in Technology

As a coordinator of Web 2 media and product technology at OSTI, I've often wondered whether the stakeholders involved in the development of DOE scientific reports could benefit more from web innovations such as websites, blog sites, subscriptions, and "live" content. The commercial Web and its second generation of Web 2 innovations have certainly been relevant factors in the transparency equation for other types of information on the Web outside of science. Specifically, I suggest that Web innovations would complement electronic document innovations for the transparency of DOE scientific information reports.

The majority of new DOE scientific information is preserved in commercial electronic document formats like the Adobe PDF format which require special software to view and navigate the information. PDF document technology is less useful for certain features. This is especially true for web browsers and mobile devices.

By promoting a mix of conventional and modern Web innovations in DOE's research documentation life-cycle, the following benefits could be realized for DOE scientific and technical information:

  • Conventional websites use hyper-linking to connect a thought written in one document to another thought "anchored" in another document. Perhaps hyper-linking is a better way for one DOE researcher to cite the work of another.
  • Blog sites automatically provide chronological, topical, and subject-relational approaches for studying information whereas electronic documents usually present only one sequential read of the information.
  • Subscription to website content is more convenient.  The RSS and email protocols enable websites and blogs to deliver frequent, bite-size information to mobile devices.  Mobile devices are less able to manage the software needed to access the information stored inside electronic documents. 
  • Electronic documents are mostly static.  But websites use both conventional and modern...

    Related Topics: electronic documents, transparency, web 2.0