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Department of Energy's Fossil Research and Energy Development Database

October 2, 1998 - The Office of Fossil Energy (FE) of the U.S. Department of Energy is engaged in Coal, Oil and Gas research and development. This research is conducted at several geographically-dispersed field sites around the country. Approximately 500 R&D projects are active at any given time. FE has developed a real-time project fact sheet information system for use by the research scientists responsible for project management that is also accessible by the public via the World Wide Web. Information in this online database is responsive to the needs of external audiences including industry partners, universities, members of Congress, educators, state and local government officials and other interested taxpayers-both laymen and technical.

This fact sheet information system is an extension of a real-time internal network of technical R&D data that shares information among the many FE sites involved in its conduct and management. Lotus Notes replication technology is utilized over an internal network by all FE sites, including field and Headquarters. A subset of summary level data is further processed and relayed through a Lotus Domino Web server and made available to the general public on a 7x24 basis. Information relating to the 500+ projects are updated real-time as internal information is changed.

This use of information technology has centralized the information to "one-stop shopping" and made it easily available to taxpayers via the Internet. No longer is the information scattered among numerous remote research sites with availability limited to normal office hours, whatever that may be in differing time zones. The Lotus Notes Search engine assists the information seeker with tools to easily find relevant documents. Research scientists and their E-mail addresses are also provided for further information.

Lotus Domino web site logs indicate that thousands of users access this information monthly. This information service to the public has essentially been provided with no more manpower costs than is already conducted internally on a routine basis. Service is improved and costs are reduced. Now the taxpayer has a virtual direct connection for all Fossil Energy R&D between his/her desktop and that of the research scientist directly responsible for the R&D project.

The Fossil Research and Energy Development database can be accessed via under "tech info" and "R&D projects". DOE point of contact is Robert Ladesic, 301-903-2640, email at