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What is Scientific and Technical Information (STI)?

by Judy Gilmore on Wed, April 06, 2016

scientific and technical informationScientific and technical information, or STI:  It's in OSTI's name.  It's in the language of our most recent statutory authority, section 982 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005:  "The Secretary, through the Office of Scientific and Technical Information, shall maintain within the Department publicly available collections of scientific and technical information resulting from research, development, demonstration, and commercial applications supported by the Department."  A DOE policy directive, DOE Order 241.1B, entitled "Scientific and Technical Information Management," requires DOE offices, contractors, and grantees "to ensure that STI is appropriately managed as part of the DOE mission to enable the advancement of scientific knowledge and technological innovation."  As provided in the directive, OSTI spearheads the DOE Scientific and Technical Information Program (STIP), a collaboration of STI managers and technical information officers from across the DOE complex responsible for identifying, collecting, disseminating, and preserving the results of DOE-funded research and development (R&D).  STI is the heart of OSTI and its mission.

The STI that OSTI makes available is produced and published in a variety of media and formats.  OSTI disseminates this STI publicly via a suite of web-based searchable databases featuring basic and advanced search capabilities, including semantic search, customized alerts, results displayed in relevance rank, in-document searching, and downloadable search results.  SciTech Connect is the main portal to DOE-sponsored R&D results and includes all of the types listed below; some STI is also searchable in niche portals that provide central access to specific collections, like the datasets in DOE Data Explorer, or the accepted manuscripts in DOE PAGESBeta.  You can learn more about all of these search products at our Catalogue of Collections.

Accepted Manuscripts
An accepted manuscript of a journal article is the final peer-reviewed version, including changes made during the peer-review process; thus it has the same content as the published article but is not the final published version.  Accepted manuscripts can be searched at DOE PAGESBeta and SciTech Connect.

Technical or Workshop Reports
A technical report (or scientific report) is a document that describes the process, progress, or results of R&D or other scientific and technological work, including recommendations or conclusions of the research and such information as the original hypotheses, approaches used, and findings.  Workshop reports are similar in format but the content is derived from a workshop, conference, or similar venue, which focuses on a specific scientific or technical problem or topic.  Technical and workshop reports can be searched at SciTech Connect.

Scientific Datasets
Scientific datasets are data derived during R&D or other scientific and technical work. Datasets may consist of numerical data, simulations from computer models, figures, tables, and data plots, GIS data supporting interactive applications, genomic data, or other forms of non-textual data which are a basic component of research results.  Scientific datasets can be searched at DOE Data Explorer and SciTech Connect.

Scientific and Technical Software
Scientific/technical software is computer software developed or modified during work supported by DOE. The software package usually includes the source code, the executable object code, and support documentation.  Scientific and technical software records, including citations for open source software, can be searched at SciTech Connect.

Videos
DOE produces hundreds of videos each year with significant scientific and technical content. These videos are typically from conferences and events where speakers or panels of speakers present the content; webinars used to disseminate research results may also be recorded.  The audio is indexed and made searchable at ScienceCinema and SciTech Connect.

Patents
A patent for an invention is the grant of a property right to the inventor, which in the United States is issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).  The assignee for a patent produced from DOE R&D could be the Department of Energy or a DOE grant recipient.  Patents can be searched at DOepatents and SciTech Connect.

Books or Monographs
As an STI product, a book or monograph is a scholarly piece of writing on a specific subject.  It may contain a detailed written study of a single specialized subject or an aspect of it, including a manual describing a particular process.  Books and monographs can be searched at SciTech Connect.

Conference Papers/Presentations or Proceedings
A conference paper/presentation or proceedings is a type of STI product from a conference, symposium, lecture, or similar event.  Individual papers and presentations are those presented at an event by an individual whose work was sponsored by DOE, while a conference proceedings is the compilation of a group of papers from a conference, workshop, seminar, etc.  Conference papers and proceedings can be searched at SciTech Connect.

Program Documents
A program document is one prepared by or for a DOE Program Office for the purpose of being published (i.e., issued) on behalf of a program, representing a program perspective.  This type of document may contain programmatic analyses, research needs assessment, outcome of a workshop on a specific technology or scientific topic, strategic or operational plan, or other types of program-specific information. Program documents can be searched at SciTech Connect.

Theses and Dissertations
A thesis or dissertation is an academic paper often based on original research, using scholarly resources, which is written by a candidate as a graduate school requirement for a higher academic degree. Dissertations and theses may be considered "gray literature" since they are not typically published commercially.  Theses and dissertations can be searched at SciTech Connect.

More details are available about all of these product types at the Scientific and Technical Information Program (STIP) homepage, including a series of fact sheets with more extensive definitions and explanations of options for submitting to OSTI, DOE's central coordinating office for the wealth of STI generated across the DOE complex and by DOE-funded awardees. 

 

 
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