Great question, thanks for posting this to
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
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
How do we make them accessible?
them into OCLC.
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
through above agreement to have the NTL preserve actual copies (not just
URL pointing to our copies) of our reports in their digital archive.
all our reports to NTIS to make available.
all our reports (and most key metadata) that have been scanned here: http://vtrc.virginiadot.org/AllPubs.aspx
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 530 Edgemont Road, Charlottesville VA 22903
Ken Winter, MLIS
Director of Library and Information Services
VDOT Research Library
Ph: 434-962-8979 | Polycom or Skype: By apt.
etkn-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:etkn-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Jared, David
Sent: Wednesday, November 04, 2009
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.
David M. Jared, P.E.
Special Research Engineer
Georgia DOT/Office of Materials &
Kennedy Dr., Forest Park,
Voice: 404.363.7569; Cell: 404.713.6549
"...the truth is in
Video overview of OMR:
etkn-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:etkn-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Sandra Brady
Sent: Tuesday, November 03, 2009
Subject: [etkn-forum] By Nov 4 - a
short survey (one question) about the data we are asked for
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!
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.”
survey can be found her – and it is very short ;)
2009 Chair Eastern Transportation Knowledge Network
LTRC TTEC Librarian
& Transportation Research Advisor
4099 Gourrier Ave.
Baton Rouge, LA 70808