The NOAA Institutional Repository - the journey of a PIFSC publication into the public's hands (the short/librarians version)
If you haven't seen it, you should check out the NOAA Institutional Repository (NOAA IR)! It hosts free scientific publications from all the different line offices across NOAA. The Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (PIFSC), falls under the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). As a federally-funded agency, we have an obligation to make our research results publicly accessible, so one way of doing that is depositing our publications in the NOAA IR.
Our authors/scientists work with the editorial staff to ensure quality work, and any peer-review/technical review necessary is performed; then final approval is given by the Director's Office. That final approval triggers my duties as librarian to assign PIFSC publications a publication number (accessioning by Doc Type- YY-XXX), assign and embed a doi on the front page of the publication, update the publication number in the footer of the title page, and then send it to be ingested at the NOAA IR by catalogers.
Having the document in the NOAA IR means the publication will be preserved and accessible for (in theory) forever.. or until a new technology/standard replaces it. The point of a doi is to be a permanent link to metadata which includes the location of the desired file, which makes it easier when files need to be moved since the publisher simply updates the doi's metadata that handles the URL it points to – making it more reliable than a simple URL. The full-text search capability of the IR is wonderful for helping the public find research relevant to their needs, and having a doi ensures the public can find citations without broken links. NOAA entered an agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to host and run an instance of their CDC Stacks Repository System for its institutional repository. The system runs on Fedora Commons, with an Islandora front end.
The NOAA IR catalogers are wonderful, and our documents get ingested along with proper metadata in the NOAA IR. They also register all dois with Crossref, which makes it an active link, and they submit all necessary metadata while also cataloging the publication. When the IR is finished, they notify us of the registered link and doi so the PIFSC library can update the staff publications database, which automatically updates on the library's website. Finally, I post an announcement on our intranet and notify the author their paper has been submitted to the NOAA IR, and they can access it via the doi, and the public now has access to their work. I really enjoy being a part of this process to make information accessible online, so it's fun to be working with dois again. I worked with them a little at UH Press, and the Smithsonian internship where we actually worked on creating a process to batch-register dois with Crossref for Smithsonian publications. Good times!
I have to give a shout out to Caroline at the IR, who, since I've been working here, handles almost all our requests for our publications. She is kind, quick, and awesome. Mahalo!
So much more goes into these publications. The work by researchers/scientists, support staff, the editors, division directors, technical and peer reviewers, the PIFSC director who gives final approval. And there's also the publicity done by local and national outreach staff that work with authors to help promote their work .... As a librarian, I really enjoy doing my part by helping to make their research accessible to the public.
Yesterday, I created my first-ever original bibliographic catalog record! I've been fortunate to volunteer in the past with the HoMA Archives and Collections Department, and am currently spending Saturdays in the museum's beautiful Robert Allerton Art Library. I'm lucky I can volunteer on Saturdays with Ellie Kim, who has been a great teacher and colleague. I'm discovering that I enjoy cataloging! I wasn't sure whether or not I would, and I do! This has been an invaluable experience since the recent NOAA position I got requires me to catalog. It took me almost 3 hours to create my first original record, but time flew as I analyzed this work by Japanese artist Ryojun Shirasaki!
Dropping Mad Library Science!
Here is where I write about everything library and archives related going on.