Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Science Accelerator?
The Science Accelerator is a gateway to the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) important resources that contain scientific and technical information. These resources provide the results of research and development (R&D) projects and programs, descriptions of R&D projects underway or recently completed, and major R&D accomplishments.

The Science Accelerator contributes to science discovery and technology development by providing access to high-quality scientific and technical information (STI).

What does the Science Accelerator search?
The Science Accelerator searches deep Web content of DOE-generated research and DOE-related resources containing pertinent information on energy, science, and technology. See detailed resource descriptions.

How will I know what resource to choose?
You need not know ahead of time which resource might have the information you seek, and you not limited to searching one resource at a time. From the Advanced Search page you may choose from a list of individual resources with descriptions. Also, you may read about the resources from the resource descriptions page. However, the advantage of the Science Accelerator search technology is that you no longer need to know where the information resides. All resources are searched simultaneously on the home page basic search feature.

How is the Science Accelerator search technology unique from other major search engines?
Scientific and technical databases reside within the deep Web, where major search engines typically cannot reach with their automated, Web page crawling technology. The Science Accelerator's deep Web technology is different from these search engines in that it can find, expose, and organize the full-text content in DOE Office of Scientific and Technical Information's (OSTI's) Web-accessible resources through their own search engines. Science Accelerator also ranks the information gathered from the citations and full-text documents and offers the ability to refine a search. This search technology is a “deeper” search and includes a real-time ranking system. This search may take a little longer but returns high quality science information.

What can the Science Accelerator do for science?
The Science Accelerator is important for advancing science because it provides a way for searching across OSTI's deep Web databases with one query. Barriers to locating this untapped information are removed, making it is easier for students, teachers, researchers, corporate research and development labs, government scientists, and the general public to find the information they need. Illuminating databases and speeding access to scientific information will, in turn, increase the probability of further and more rapid innovation and discovery.

Is there a charge for using the Science Accelerator or downloading documents?
There is no charge for use of the site. The Science Accelerator is a free public service provided by DOE.

How often is retrieved information updated?
Web resources searched by the Science Accelerator are kept current. Each resource and the documents made available from that resource are individually maintained and have regularly scheduled updates. Additional update information can be obtained via the contact information for individual resources.

Is this site accessible to people with disabilities?
The Science Accelerator is accessible to people with disabilities. It complies with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, which requires that individuals with disabilities who are members of the public or are federal employees have access to and use of information and data comparable to that provided to the public at large, unless it is determined that such access would impose undue burden or compromise functionality.

If you use assistive technology (such as a Braille reader, a screen reader, TTY, etc.) and the format of any material on this Web site interferes with your ability to access the information, please contact us. See Web Site Policies and Important Links for additional information.

What are the technical requirements to use the Science Accelerator?
For complete functionality, you must have a recent version of a major Web browser (e.g., FireFox, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Chrome) and related software. In order to function correctly on your computer, required browser configurations include:
  1. JavaScript must be enabled
  2. Style sheets must be supported. The application is optimized for W3C's CSS Level 2.
  3. Cookies must be accepted (uses session cookies).
  4. To display full text, a PDF Viewer [exit federal site] and unzip utility (such as WinZip for windows) are suggested. The PDF viewer should be loaded as a plug-in to view individual pages in PDF format.