Accelerating Science Discovery - Join the Discussion

Published by Mark Martin

I have to admit that I am truly a science fiction and fantasy geek.  Blame it on growing up on a steady diet of Star Wars and Transformers.  This bit of background information helps explain why I smile internally whenever I get the chance to talk about dark archives.  Those words call to mind a picture of some mysterious, powerful object at the center of an epic story, like The Lord of the Rings.  Great words.

Published by Dr. Walt Warnick
Computer Integration

 

OSTI is especially proud of its web integration work whereby we take multiple web pages, documents, and web databases and make them appear to the user as if they were an integrated whole.   Once the sources are virtually integrated by OSTI, the virtual collection becomes searchable via a single query.  Because information on the web appears in a variety of formats, from HTML web pages, to PDF documents, to searchable databases, OSTI has developed and uses a suite of integration approaches to make them searchable via single query.  

OSTI has two goals that make it critical for us to understand multiple solutions for integrating science content on the web.  First, we make DOE science information widely available and searchable by appropriate audienceswherever they may be; and second, we make science information from around the world searchable by DOE researchers.  Since migrating to a fully electronic operationin the late 1990s, OSTI has met these goals by deploying various search architectures for integrating content via the web.

Within the information science circles that we engage in, we are well known for our pioneering work with the integration technology known as federated search. However, there are other, possibly lesser known,  technologies that we employ to integrate web content.

Published by Lorrie Johnson
Biological and Environmental Research Abstracts Database

 

OSTI’s mission is to collect, preserve, and disseminate DOE-sponsored R&D results emanating from research projects at DOE Laboratories and facilities and from grantees at universities and other institutions.  OSTI performs its mission through many avenues, one of which includes supporting its parent organization within DOE, the Office of Science (SC), and the research programs within SC.

Since 1995, OSTI has provided assistance and support to the Office of Biological and Environmental Research (BER) by developing and maintaining a database of BER research project information.  Called the BER Abstracts Database (http://www.osti.gov/oberabstracts/index.jsp), it contains summaries of research projects supported by the program.  Made up of two divisions, Biological Systems Science Division and Climate and Environmental Sciences Division, BER is responsible for world-class biological and environmental research programs and scientific user facilities.  BER’s research program is closely aligned with DOE’s mission goals and focuses on two main areas:  the Nation’s Energy Security (developing cost-effective cellulosic biofuels) and the Nation’s Environmental Future (improving the ability to understand, predict, and mitigate the impacts of energy production and use on climate change).

Published by Lorrie Johnson
WorldWideScience.org

 

WorldWideScience.org recently released a new mobile version (http://m.worldwidescience.org).  Scientists and researchers throughout DOE and the entire U.S. now have access to over 80 scientific and technical databases from preeminent libraries and information centers around the world, all via their “smart phones” or tablets. 

Operating in the same fashion as the computer-based version of WorldWideScience.org, the user simply enters a single query into the search box on the phone.  Using federated search technology, the query is distributed to each of the approximately 80 databases and the search results are combined and re-ranked according to relevance. 

Search results are streamlined for easier viewing on mobile devices, but the user can still connect to the full citation at the originating source database.  If full text is provided, users can view it on the phone/tablet, or they may choose to download it into e-reader software.  Users also have the option of emailing the full set of search results to themselves, or others, for later viewing. 

As “smart phone” and tablet usage continues to grow at a rapid pace, Mobile WorldWideScience.org makes finding important scientific and technical information as convenient and easy as possible! 

Published by Dr. Jeffrey Salmon

Everyone speaks well of the idea that the results of scientific research should be open for all to see, although there are obvious caveats to complete openness: Proprietary research, human subjects research, preliminary results, the pace and timing for releasing results, all come to mind.  But when it comes to research funded by the taxpayer, open science is almost a truism.  And again, while there are practical and principled reasons why complete openness is sometimes restricted, the readers of the OSTI blog will be familiar with the arguments for openness; the principle of reproducibility is a fundamental tenant of science, the possibility of accelerating the pace of discovery by making scientific results readily and easily accessible, these are just two critical pieces of the argument.  There is another reason for openness connected to both these points that was highlighted recently in Jonah Lehrer’s always interesting Head Case column in the Wall Street Journal (6/25/11).