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Steve

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Mel DeSart <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Tue, Mar 24, 2015 at 12:39 PM
Subject: [TRAILTALK] signifcant changes for TRAIL
To: [log in to unmask]


  Greetings all,

There are come changes pending for TRAIL that we thought you should be made
aware of.

First off, via a recent vote of TRAIL’s members, the TRAIL bylaws have been
amended to allow for personal membership in TRAIL.  This option was created
so that individuals at institutions that were likely (for whatever reasons)
to never join TRAIL would still have a way to participate in TRAIL in a
meaningful way if they wished to, although personal memberships are in no
way limited to individuals in that particular situation.  More to come on
this front after a personal membership form is created sometime in the next
few weeks.

Second, TRAIL will, effective immediately, start collecting U.S. government
technical reports from all years, doing away with the somewhat artificial
1975 cutoff date.  TRAIL will still focus primarily on older material when
it is available, but will no longer limit itself to any particular date
range of material.

And finally, TRAIL will start looking at harvesting existing quality
collections of digitized technical reports and their associated metadata
from various locations.  Prior to this, TRAIL had harvested only one
collection – NACA reports from the NASA Technical Reports Server.

An explanation for the latter two changes (sent to TRAIL’s members for
comment a few weeks ago, and appended below), explains the rationale for
these changes in more detail.

If you will be at ACRL later this week and have questions about any of the
above, please feel free to flag down any of the TRAIL Steering Committee
members who will be there: Sinai Wood from Baylor, Marilyn Von Seggern from
Washington State, Maliaca Oxnam from Arizona, Lorrie Pellack from Iowa
State, or me, Mel DeSart, from Washington.  We’d be happy to talk with you
more about any of the above.

Mel
Chair, TRAIL

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


In 2006 the Greater Western Library Alliance (GWLA) approved a strategic
initiative to “Develop a collaborative project with the Center for Research
Libraries to identify, digitize, archive, and provide persistent and
unrestricted access to federal technical reports issued prior to 1975.”
This initiative developed over time and became what we know now as the
Technical Report Archive and Image Library (TRAIL).



One of TRAIL’s original guidelines, of collecting material published only
prior to 1975, was stretched almost immediately as we quickly determined
there was little reason to digitize the first 100 reports in a series that
were published prior to 1975 and not digitize the last 10 reports in that
same series because they happened to be published after 1975.  Completing a
series was considered to be more important than publication year.



Another guideline, that TRAIL would create a catalog record for every
report added to the collection, was reviewed two and a half years ago when
the opportunity arose to harvest the full text reports and metadata of the
National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics (NACA) from the NASA Technical
Report Server (NTRS).   The TRAIL Steering Committee made the decision to
forego the cataloging and add these reports. The decision to harvest proved
particularly fruitful when the government temporarily took down NTRS (and
then slowly added content back after each report was reviewed for
potentially sensitive material).  During that time, TRAIL was providing far
more access to NACA content than did the NTRS site.



These and other considerations have prompted the TRAIL Steering Committee
to have ongoing discussions related to significantly expanding the scope of
content that could be added to TRAIL.



As a result of those discussions, the TRAIL Steering Committee is proposing
to:

·        Ignore the cutoff date of 1975.  TRAIL would still have a focus on
older technical reports, when available, but would cease to consider issues
related to publication date in considering whether to add reports to TRAIL,
particularly when newer materials are available to be harvested.

·        Significantly increase our harvesting of full text technical
report collections and metadata already available elsewhere.  This would
decrease the percentage of items within TRAIL for which catalog records are
available, but would significantly increase the overall quantity of TRAIL’s
technical report content and availability.



Different federal agencies digitize their own technical report series and
make those series available is various ways.  Expanding the scope of TRAIL
would allow us to pull much of that content together and make it searchable
via a single access point, while still continuing original digitization and
cataloging of material not readily available elsewhere.  Equally
importantly, by aggregating this content TRAIL provides an additional
access point for a broader range of technical reports and a trusted
repository for content that is subject to ever-changing federal agency
priorities and potentially precarious funding.



This change would still have TRAIL adhering largely to its original roots.  We
would still identify, digitize (or harvest), archive, and provide
persistent and unrestricted access to federal technical reports.  There
would simply be a lower percentage of the overall TRAIL collection for
which catalog records would be available, and we would do away with what
became, relatively early on, a somewhat artificial date range restriction.



-- 

Stephen Pomes, M.L.I.S., Librarian

U.S. Dept. of the Interior

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

Office of Environment

Environmental Assessment Section

1201 Elmwood Park Blvd., RM 636A

New Orleans, La. 70123

Phone: 504-736-2521

E-Mail: [log in to unmask]



-- 

Stephen Pomes, M.L.I.S., Librarian

U.S. Dept. of the Interior

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

Office of Environment

Environmental Assessment Section

1201 Elmwood Park Blvd., RM 636A

New Orleans, La. 70123

Phone: 504-736-2521

E-Mail: [log in to unmask]



-- 

Stephen Pomes, M.L.I.S., Librarian

U.S. Dept. of the Interior

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

Office of Environment

Environmental Assessment Section

1201 Elmwood Park Blvd., RM 636A

New Orleans, La. 70123

Phone: 504-736-2521

E-Mail: [log in to unmask]