Science.gov accelerates scientific discovery and progress by providing one-stop searching of over 60 scientific databases and an index of over 2200 websites (together known as sources), from across 12 federal agencies. All information is freely accessible, and no usernames or passwords are required. These authoritative, selective sources are chosen by member agencies of the Science.gov Alliance.
Science.gov simultaneously searches the selected sources using federated search. That is, Science.gov launches and distributes user queries to the federated, participating search engines, databases and other sources, then aggregates, ranks and displays top-level results from all sources. Each result contains a title including a link to the full information, an indication of relevance to the search query (indicated by stars where more stars indicate greater relevance), an information snippet and a link to the host agency.
Federated search technology enables Science.gov to provide key advantages to users. For example, in comparison to crawler-based search engine results, federated search results are inherently as current as the individual sources, as they are searched and retrieved in real time with existing crawler-based search engines. Also, Science.gov does not place any requirements or burdens on owners of the individual data sources, other than handling increased traffic.
Perform a Basic Search from the Science.gov homepage by entering a search query in the search box and clicking Search .
Narrow or refine your search query using Advanced Search from either:
Constructing Your Search Query
At the top of the Advanced Search page within the search box, you can construct a search query by typing in search term(s) or selecting from picklist options in one or more of the following:
Selecting Sources to Search
On the Advanced Search page under the search box, All Categories (all database and website sources) are searched by default. You can change the default to search one or more sources as follows:
Tip: Select the Clear button to reset Advanced Search between searches.
From either Basic Search or Advanced Search, you can conduct searches using multiple search terms, Boolean operators, exact phrases, parentheses, and wildcards (see more information about each, below).
Note: Searches are not case-sensitive. For example, a search for SCIENCE, Science, or science will return the same results.
Multiple Search Terms
By default, multiple terms are searched using the Boolean operator AND:
Use the operators AND, OR, and NOT to get results as follows:
Phrases contained in double quotations (" ") will be searched as an exact phrase.
Using parentheses provides control over the order in which Boolean expressions are evaluated.
Wildcards (* and ?) allow a search term to act as a "root" for words with different forms.
Using Basic Search typically yields broader, more numerous results; Advanced Search can limit them. In either case, after clicking the Search button a list of results will appear.
Refine Search Results
You may opt to narrow or limit your Search Results by using the following features on your Search Results page.
Category Tabs — at the top of the Search Results page you can select the Category Tabs to see Search Results as described:
All Collections — in the dropdown menu at the top-center of the Search Results page, you can select All Collections to limit Search Results to one agency source.
Left navigation — under the Topics tab the Date Range Picker refines Search Results by date when you slide the end points to the desired date range. Clusters enable you to:
The Visual tab displays a circular graph of topics and the number of Search Results. Clicking on a topic in the graph refines Search Results by topic.
Manage Search Results
Select Search Results — first, to manage your Select Search Results, check the box next to one or more Search Results.
Clear Selected Search Results — click the trashcan button to clear your selection of Search Results.
Print Search Results — after selecting one or more Search Results, click the printer button to print your selection.
Email Search Results — click the envelope button to display the Email Results box:
In the Email Results box:
An email from email@example.com will be delivered to the specified email address.
Set User Preferences — click the wrench button to display the User Preferences box:
Set your User Preferences as follows:
Click Save to apply new settings and return to your Search Results.
My Library (Download Search Result Citations) — click the My Library button . Under Reference Management you can choose to download your Search Results as a text file in RIS format or to a variety of citation management software tools.
Public Access Science.gov now provides the ability to limit searches to a newly added category called Public Access. This category enables searching of peer-reviewed scholarly publications resulting from federally funded scientific research from the federal repositories supporting public access. This capability is provided in support of a broad federal-wide initiative, referred to as Public Access, which aims to increase access to federally funded, peer-reviewed scholarly literature (journal articles and accepted manuscripts that have been published in peer-reviewed journals).
You can choose to narrow your search to the Public Access category of content as follows:
Using the Public Access feature gives you access to scholarly research results across the federal agencies participating in Science.gov.
The Science.gov homepage also links to more information about Public Access. If you are a federally funded author or coauthor of peer-reviewed scientific publications and need to submit your accepted manuscripts to the funding agency(ies) for purposes of public access, you can learn How To Submit Research Papers to Funding Agencies from a single place. U.S. Federal Science Agencies' Public Access Plans are also available.
Science.gov includes databases or websites that are rich in science content. The content may consist of scientific or technical data, technical reports, publications, databases, or other forms of science information. The content might also include information about, for example, scientific user facilities, experts in scientific disciplines, or contacts to consult for assistance.
Science.gov does not include websites that are merely organization home pages or sites that require a password or other access privilege. Sites must also be current and well-maintained.
The major difference is agency source and authority of the information. Rather than automatically collecting content using spiders as private sector gateways might do, the Science.gov database and websites are selected by agency information managers and librarians as representing authoritative government science information. The information content results from government-funded research and development or similar activities in which there is a U.S. Government investment. The agencies are responsible for the source of their respective content included in Science.gov.
The Science.gov Alliance provides the governance structure for Science.gov and is a partnership whereby science mission departments, agencies and programs have agreed to work together voluntarily to produce Science.gov. Vision and strategic direction are provided by the Alliance principals. Administration is provided by the chair or co-chairs selected from among the Alliance members. Task groups have been created as needed to handle the development of the Science.gov taxonomy, to support content development and website management and to conduct promotional and outreach activities. Major support is provided by CENDI, a working group of high level scientific and technical information managers in science mission agencies.
On behalf of the Science.gov Alliance, Science.gov was developed and is maintained by the Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI), an element of the Office of Science within the U.S. Department of Energy. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you represent a federal agency and host a federal science database or portal and would like your source searched by Science.gov.
Science.gov will be kept current, with each component having a regular schedule for update. Sources will be added throughout the year on a periodic basis. The deep Web database (federated) search updates immediately so that each search is current. The Science.gov websites index is re-indexed each time sources are added.
For additional assistance, Contact Us or call (301) 903-9617. Note that messages are typically returned within three business days.