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Re: [etkn-forum] By Nov 4 - a short survey (one question) about the data

To: "Eastern Transportation Knowledge Network" <etkn-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: swyche@xxxxxxxxxx
From: "Winter, Kenneth A." <Ken.Winter@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 4 Nov 2009 11:41:29 -0500
Message-id: <D13E431915620D49B92F3C0844817D8002D1B9EA@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>



Great question, thanks for posting this to the listserv!


I suspect that of all the ETKN member libraries (and many libraries in other TKNs nationwide) you are way ahead of the pack this very important issue!  


As far as comprehensive scanning initiatives for state-generated research reports, some others may have done this selectively or possibly even comprehensively between specific year spans.  But I suspect as a group we are way behind where we need to be.


At VTRC, we are in the home stretch of a two-year scanning project to do just what you talk about.  We have scanned 1970-present as searchable pdf files and are now working on 1960-1969.  Total number of reports scanned today is about 1,700, but when all is said and done it will be around 2,000, representing about 250,000 pages. 


Limited shelf space for printed versions of older reports is indeed one issue, but not the only thing to consider.  We retain bound copies of our reports (by fiscal year) and to our surprise discovered that all 2,000 of those reports only take up about 25 lineal feet of shelf space.  We have individually bound copies in our collections too and those copies probably take up about 60-75 lineal feet of shelf space.


For us increasing “access” was more important than saving space.  And certainly the way our library works and user “preference for delivery” of content has long leaned toward digital document delivery, rapidly and directly to the desktop of the user.  “Searchability” of the documents themselves was desirable for us, so we have worked to scan our reports as pdf with optical character recognition (OCR) to make them searchable.  Having done all this work, we wanted to leverage it for the entire transportation research community by making it available to a wider audience (than just VDOT).  In addition, archiving these documents so they are not lost, accidentally deleted by IT staff, and creating persistent URLs for them so their URLs don’t change are all important details too.


Finally, providing metadata on these documents is critical.  It is not enough just to scan documents, because that alone does not ensure they can be found by the people who need them.  And if they can’t be found, they won’t be used so the work to scan them will not have made a difference.  They are found by collecting and cataloging them into systems that allow people to search by author, title, subject, abstract, key terms, report number, year of publication, etc.  The more reports you have, the more important this becomes.


I won’t get into standards for scanning, or copyright considerations, but they’re a part of the mix too.


Every state has their own needs, motivations and limitations, but in our case we are not disposing of our hard copies at this time, but we are finding many ways to make our online versions accessible to anyone with a computer and an Internet connection.  We feel that justifies the work put into scanning them, adds value for the entire community and is a responsible way to provide taxpayers access to the research they paid for.


How do we make them accessible? 


  1. Cataloging them into OCLC.
  2. Entering into an agreement with the NTL/TRB to ensure that links to full text of all our reports AND the bibliographic metadata associated with them are in TRIS.
  3. Working through above agreement to have the NTL preserve actual copies (not just URL pointing to our copies) of our reports in their digital archive.
  4. Giving all our reports to NTIS to make available.
  5. Posting all our reports (and most key metadata) that have been scanned here:
  6. Making sure Google and other search engines can “find” them and index them with their crawlers.  Point #1 does this in part because OCLC is a partner with Google.


Ken Winter, MLIS
Director of Library and Information Services
VDOT Research Library

530 Edgemont Road, Charlottesville  VA  22903
Ph: 434-962-8979 | Polycom or Skype: By apt. (11-4 ET)
Intranet: http://rclibrary


From: etkn-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:etkn-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Jared, David
Sent: Wednesday, November 04, 2009 10:00 AM
To: Eastern Transportation Knowledge Network
Cc: Wyche, Stardina
Subject: Re: [etkn-forum] By Nov 4 - a short survey (one question) about the data we are asked for


Sandy:  GDOT completed the survey, but it triggered a question which may merit a separate survey.  Do you have a feel for how many ETKN states have “e-libraries” of scanned old research reports?  Our librarian has scanned our old research reports back to the 1960’s, and we’re curious if most other states have done this.  If so, this may allow us to discard old hardcopies and use our limited space for something else.


Thank you,




David M. Jared, P.E.

Special Research Engineer

Georgia DOT/Office of Materials & Research

15 Kennedy Dr., Forest Park, GA, 30297-2534

Voice: 404.363.7569; Cell: 404.713.6549

"...the truth is in Jesus"--Ephesians 4:21


Video overview of OMR:



From: etkn-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:etkn-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Sandra Brady
Sent: Tuesday, November 03, 2009 2:19 PM
To: etkn-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [etkn-forum] By Nov 4 - a short survey (one question) about the data we are asked for
Importance: High


Hi all,

I have a real quick favor to ask of you all. It is a very short survey, but unfortunately it is due tomorrow, November 4. It came up just as I was about to leave and caught in the middle of too many things, as usual, and as you might have noticed I tend to be scattered and procrastinate. On the up side, this is a very short survey!


“The regional TKNs have been asked to identify the three types of data we are asked for, and for which we would like to have better sources. The RAC/TKN Task Force will use this information to identify opportunities for collaboration with TRB committees involved with data.”


The survey can be found her – and it is very short ;)

Thanks everyone,


Sandy Brady

2009 Chair Eastern Transportation Knowledge Network


LTRC TTEC Librarian & Transportation Research Advisor

4099 Gourrier Ave.

Baton RougeLA  70808


fax (225)767-9733



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