Frequently Asked Questions

Mission and Focus

Q: What exactly is OSTI? 
A: The Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) program within the Office of Science, the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States. Since 1947, OSTI and its early predecessors have been nationally recognized for contributions to the sharing and exchange of science information. Please see OSTI History for additional information.

Q: What is OSTI's mission? 
A: OSTI's mission is to advance science and sustain technological creativity by making R&D findings available and useful to DOE researchers and the American people. Please see OSTI Mission.

Q: Isn't OSTI the same thing as 
A: No, OSTI is not the same thing as is a collaboration of 15 federal science agencies, and allows search of 200 million pages of authoritative government documents. DOE is one agency in the collaboration. OSTI plays a significant role by hosting the portal. In fact, OSTI's home address is #1 Way, Oak Ridge, TN, 37830.


OSTI Databases and STI Availability

Q: What types of information will I find at OSTI? 
A: At OSTI you can search collections of research results, including those produced throughout the DOE National Laboratory complex and by Departmental grantees. You can find current and legacy research results, browse scientific subject portals of interest, explore significant DOE discoveries, learn about DOE Nobel Prize Winners, access and search scientific e-prints, and much more.

Q: Can I search for research documents online at OSTI? 
A: Yes. Using SciTech Connect, you can search science, technology, engineering research and more from the U.S. Department of Energy. For additional information on our suite of web products, view our Catalogue of Collections or Science Information page.

Q: I'm not sure which resource to search. How do I choose? 
A: If you are looking for recent (1991 to current) research results, try SciTech Connect and/or DOE PAGES. If you are looking for legacy research results (1943 forward), try SciTech Connect and/or DOE R&D Accomplishments. If you are looking for patents, try DOepatents. If you are looking for data collections, try the DOE Data Explorer. If you are looking for multimedia, try ScienceCinema. You may want to take a few minutes to review these and other search tools at our Catalogue of Collections or  Science Information page.

Q: I am looking for an OSTI product and receive a retired page?
A: OSTI's product line has been streamlined. Please search SciTech Connect or one of our other products. All of the content from the DOE Information Bridge, Energy Citations Database and DOE Green Energy can be found in SciTech Connect. Science Conference and Proceedings information can also be found in SciTech Connect. Information similar to E-Print Network can be found in DOE PAGES. Information for teachers and students, similar to ScienceLab and .EDUconnections, can be found in Though the Adopt-A-Doc product has been discontinued, you can still order documents, please see our Sources for Department of Energy Scientific and Technical Reports. If you still have questions, please contact us.

Q: I am looking for an OSTI Widget?
A: The OSTI Widgets will no longer be able to be supported as the commercial vendor has gone out of business. For additional information on our suite of web products, view our Catalogue of Collections or Science Information page. If have questions, please contact us.

Q: I am looking for a technical report, and the OSTI database tells me that it is not available in electronic format. How can I order this document? 
A: Please see Sources for Department of Energy Scientific and Technical Reports for document ordering information.

Q: Does OSTI have a public reading room? 
A: OSTI does not have a public reading room. Please see DOE Public Reading Rooms for a listing of DOE reading rooms across the country.

Q: Are all OSTI documents available to the public? 
A: The majority of documents managed by OSTI are made available to the public through its online databases and are available through partnership with the National Technical Information Service. OSTI also manages documents that are accessible only to those who meet the necessary user access criteria.

Q: Are there any resources at OSTI for teachers and students? 
A: Several of our products offer key information and support for educators and research, see our Catalogue of Collections or Science Information page.

Q: Are there any resources at OSTI for librarians? 
A: Yes. MAchine-Readable Cataloging (MARC) RecordsMARC Records FAQsOAI Repository ManualOpen Archives Initiative (OAI) Records, and XML Services Manual.

Q: What is OAI and how do I use OAI services at OSTI? 
A: OAI stands for Open Archives Initiative. Please see the OAI Repository Manual for a full description of what OAI is and how to use OSTI's OAI services. To download OAI records for the Information Bridge, please view the OSTI OAI Records page. If you have questions about the OSTI OAI server, please contact us.

Q: What XML data services does OSTI have and how do I use them? 
A: OSTI has XML data services available for these collections: Geothermal Data, Hydropower, Vehicle Technologies, DOepatents Database Data, SciTech ConnectDOE Data ExplorerDOE PAGES, and DOE R&D Accomplishments. For a full description of OSTI's XML data services and how to use them please view one of the XML Data Services Manual found on the linked overview page.

Q: How do I find news about OSTI? 
A: Please take a moment to view issues of our Newsletter or sign up for our Newsletter to be sent by email.  Also, the OSTI home page is routinely updated with topics of interest.

Q: I have a disability. What assistance is available for me at the OSTI website? 
A: Please see our accessibility information.

Q: Does OSTI use persistent cookies on any of its websites? 
A: No, OSTI does not use persistent cookies (bits of information placed on a user's computer to track customer use and related patterns) on any of its web-based products. Session cookies may be used to provide salient session-related information and to allow product-specific functions to be performed; but, in no case will cookies be used to capture information that might compromise or threaten personal privacy.

Q: How can I find out about job openings at OSTI? 
A: OSTI does not maintain a list of job postings. For information on positions with the federal government, see USAJOBS.

Q: How do I get help on the OSTI website? 
A: You may contact the OSTI webmaster at In addition, each web product has contact information for product-specific questions.

Q: How should I place an order for a document whose full text is not available from your site? 
A: Please see Sources for Department of Energy Scientific and Technical Reports.

Q: Do you have information about Department of Energy fellowships and grants? 
A: has information on fellowship opportunities at Internship and Fellowship Opportunities in Science. Fellowship and Internship opportunities for the Department of Energy and other Federal Agencies can also be found on USAJOBS.


Contacts and Directions

Q: How can I contact OSTI? 
A: Visit our Contact Us page for phone, address, and other contact information.

Q: Is it OK for me to link to the OSTI website from my home page? 
A: Yes. You may link to the OSTI site from personal or organizational websites, as long as OSTI endorsement or approval is not implied. We do not provide links from our site back to yours.

Q: Where do I send feedback to OSTI's website? 
A: You may send feedback and find contact information by using our Contact Us page.



Q: Why can't I get the site to display correctly? Some of the features look out-of-place. 
A: Our site uses cascading stylesheets, according to W3C  standards. If you are not using a standards-supporting browser, our site might not appear as intended. You may still navigate the site and access its content; however, we encourage you to upgrade. The three common standards-conforming browsers are available for download and use free of charge: Internet ExplorerMozilla FireFox , and Google Chrome.
Last updated on Friday 10 March 2017