The home of the U.S. Department of Energy's Scientific and Technical Information Program (STIP)

Here you will find background, guidance, and more to ensure that DOE-funded STI is appropriately managed and preserved to support scientific research now and in the future.

Recommended Characteristics of STI Technical Reports

AttributeTypical Placement on STI ProductExplanatory Comment
Front Matter
AbstractTitle PageBriefly informs of purpose, scope, and findings
AcknowledgementsFollows Title PageCredits substantial contributors to the work who are not authors
AuthorCover and Title PageIncludes primary author and all contributing authors
Availability Statement  
Award/Contract/Financial Assistance NumberCover, inside front cover, and title pageDOE funding agreement
Classification Level/ CategoryRefer to DOE M 471.2-1C, Classified Matter Protection and Control ManualClassification level and category of information
Control Markings/CaveatsRefer to DOE M 471.1-1, Identification and Protection of Unclassified Controlled Nuclear Information Manual; DOE M 471.2-1C, Classified Matter Protection and Control Manual; DOE M 471.3-1, Manual for Identifying and Protecting Official Use Only Information; DOE O 5610.2, Control of Weapon Data; and DOE M 452.1-1A, Protection of User Control Vulnerabilities and DesignMarkings that identify special handling or dissemination requirements
DateCover or title pageMonth and Year of release
DisclaimerInside front or back cover 
Distribution StatementCover or title pageOutlines restrictions or limitations on distribution
Funding OfficeCover, inside front cover, title pageSpecifies the DOE office funding work product
List(s) of Figures and Tables Follows Table of ContentsLists 5 or more figures or tables or any combination thereof
Performing OrganizationCover, title page, outside back coverName and address of the performing or research organization and/or site of origin
Report/Product numberCover, title page or outside back coverReport number unique to releasing company/laboratory/agency
Report Documentation PageBefore title pageUsed by federal agencies for database building
Reporting Period Included in title on cover or title page and first page of textMonth/year of reporting period
Table of ContentsFollows Title PageOutlines organization and scope of a report
TitleCover and Title PageA brief title and if necessary, subtitle
Title PageFirst page of productProvides information for description and bibliographic information
Text (Body)
ConclusionsFinal paragraph of text (prior to Summary)Presents substantiated findings, discusses their implications and presents author’s option
Introduction1st page of textStates subject, purpose, scope and plan for developing report
ReferencesCitations within the text or footnotesCites sources of information used by author(s) of reports
SummaryFollows Lists of Figures and Tables and/or Table of ContentsSummarizes problem, results, conclusions, recommendations
Back Matter
AppendixesFollows BibliographyContains supplemental information not essential to the text
BibliographyFollows AcknowledgementsLists additional sources of information not cited in the text of a report
Distribution ListLast page of productGives permanent record of initial distribution of report


An abstract is a concise statement of the purpose, scope, and major findings of the information product. The abstract is intended to be stand alone text, independent of the full product, and is written appropriately for wide dissemination. The abstract is especially important in nonprint information products. For more information, see Guidelines for Abstracts (ANSI/NISO Z39.14?1997).
Acknowledgments of technical assistance that contribute to the content are typically incorporated in a preface or in the text of the report. Occasionally, the acknowledgements will be placed at the end of the report, before the Bibliography. However, lengthy acknowledgments will often be included as optional section following the title page, preface, or table of contents. 
Appendixes contain additional information that clarifies or supports the text of the report.
Author(s) and their employers are typically identified on the information product. Editors and compilers also may be identified.
Award/Contract/Financial Assistance Number
Any of the following numbers that apply are usually included on the cover/title page: DOE award or contract number(s), budget and reporting (B&R) number, unique project identifier, or technical plan number under which the work was funded.
Bibliography lists additional sources not referenced in the text.
Classification Level/Category
Classification level must be included on the document per DOE M 471.1-1 and DOE M 471.3-1. For Classified Information, the Category (if Restricted Data or Formerly Restricted Data) must be included per instructions contained in DOE M 471.2-1C.
Conclusions interpret the findings and discusses their implications. No new material is introduced in the conclusion and it may include the author’s opinions.
Control Markings and Caveats
Control markings are identified in DOE M 471.1-1 , DOE M 471.3-1, DOE M 471.2-1C, DOE O 5610.2, ad DOE M 452.1-1A, as well as the distribution caveats. Caveats are to be used for categories of information requiring additional protection by law. Caveats are used to provide information about distribution limitations and to assist readers in assessing the correct nature of the information’s sensitivity level. These caveats should be placed on the cover of the report.
A publication or issuance date and the basis for it are recommended to be provided on the information product. Examples of dates are shown in Table 3.

Table 3 Publication of Issuance Date
Type of DateSample Text
Date published/issuedAugust 4, 2005
July 2005
Summer 2005
Manuscript dateJune 13, 2005
Date compiledJanuary - March 2005
Disclaimer/Legal Disclaimer
In accordance with Federal law and the guidance of appropriate legal counsel, disclaimer(s) are to be included where appropriate. See Attachment 5 for recommended disclaimer statements.
Distribution Statement
A distribution statement may be required on some STI products. Unclassified controlled and classified STI products require special, unique controls in conformance with applicable statutes, laws, regulations, Executive orders, international agreements, directives, and Departmental policy. Such markings are to be consistent with the access limitations indicated on ANNOUNCEMENT NOTICE 241.1 or ANNOUNCEMENT NOTICE 241.3. The appropriate distribution statements are provided in Attachment 6.
Funding Office
The funding office(s) or sponsoring organization(s) may be identified by name, symbol/logo, or B&R code of the DOE office providing the support or funding.
Introduction provides general information regarding the topic of the report. It introduces the subject, purpose, and scope of the report.
List(s) of Figures and Tables
Lists of Figures and Tables are only required if the report contains more than five figures or tables. If the report contains less than five, it is an optional element. The list should include the figure/table number, title, and page number. The list of figures precedes the list of tables. 
Performing Organization
The name and address of the performing or research organization and/or site of origin are typically identified. Subcontract work is normally submitted through the performing R&D contractor or laboratory.
References list the “Sources” or “Works Cited.”
Report Documentation Page
The report documentation page, used by some Federal agencies in announcing and cataloging reports, is not used by DOE; the DOE announcement notice contains similar information. DOE laboratories and facilities that conduct work for others may need to obtain the report documentation page (Standard Form 298) from the agency sponsoring the work.
Reporting Period
The reporting period clarifies the period of time covered by the report.
STI Product/Report Number
To assist in retrievability, it is recommended that every product published by the origination organization be assigned a standard product/report number that contains some unique identifier that can be traced to the site of origin. The report number formats typically used within the Department are based on the American National Standards Institute Standard Technical Report Number (STRN) Format and Creation (ANSI/NISO Z39.23?1997). Examples are shown in Table 4.

Special numbering may be used for a report series or sequence and translations. Existing series or numbering guidelines used within the Department are available from OSTI.

Table 4 Standard Report Number
DescriptionStandard Report Prefix
DOE Program OfficeDOE/XX B nnn, where XX is 2-letter office code, followed by numerical sequence
DOE Field ElementDOE/ZZ B nnn, where ZZ is 2-letter field code, followed by numerical sequence
Major Project OfficeDOE/XX B nnn, where XX is 2- or 3-letter office code, followed by numerical sequence
National Energy Technology LaboratoryExample: DOE/NETL B nn/nnnn
Major Laboratories/ContractorsMost laboratories have approved report series prefixes; e.g., ANL/TN B nnn. May also use DOE/XXXB nnn, where XXX represents approved site codes.
Other Contractors and Financial Assistance RecipientsDOE/XX/nnnnn B where letters and numbers are extracted from contract number.

Additional information may be added to the product number, such as the following types of suffixes:

Table 5 Additional Identifying Information
DescriptionStandard Suffix
Executive SummaryES
A summary states the key points of the report, including a description of the problem under investigation, the principal results, conclusions, findings and recommends a course of action. Any symbols, abbreviations, acronyms, and unusual terms used in the summary are defined within the text. The summary should be non-technical in nature and contain enough detail so that individuals (decision makers) who will not be reading the entire report will have a basic understanding of the research and findings.
Table of Contents
A table of contents page defines the organization and scope of a report. Headings in the table of contents should reflect the numbering and wording used in the report structure.
A brief title is recommended that describes the subject matter covered. A subtitle may be used for further clarification. Additional guidelines are provided below:
  • When an STI product has more than one volume, repeat the primary title on each volume. Use a subtitle to identify the specific subject of the individual volume.
  • If the report is other than topical, provide the report type and the period covered, if appropriate, as part of the title or subtitle. For non-major site/facility management contractor generated reports, the report type and period covered are critical for acknowledging receipt of specified deliverables.
  • Unclassified titles must be used for classified documents. The titles must be marked with the appropriate classification level, category, and any caveats, as applicable (see DOE M 471.2-1C).
Title Page
Contains abstract (optional), author, award/contract/financial assistance number, date, funding office, performing organization, report number, and title.
Last updated on Monday 27 March 2017