2004 Denver Annual Meeting (November 7–10, 2004)

Paper No. 1
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM


ZELLMER, Linda R., Geology Library, Indiana Univ, Geology Building, Room 601, 1001 East Tenth Street, Bloomington, IN 47401, lzellmer@indiana.edu

Modern geoscience information comes in many forms: a CD-ROM or DVD with digital data or documents on one or more topics, a publication, map or data on a web site, or a print publication. As government agencies move to economize, electronic publications are becoming more common than print publications. As a result, locating this information is becoming increasingly more difficult. Depending on format, some geoscience information is still not available in online catalogs. When records are available, they may not provide an adequate description of an item to allow users to determine whether an item contains the information they need. Finally, web search engines may not be able to locate information because of the way that information is presented on agency web sites.

This study examined access to geoscience information from federal and state agencies, including both print and digital products. Among the questions asked were: whether online catalogs and cataloging records provide enough information to allow users to find needed information, whether standard Internet search engines can locate data, publications and maps on agency web sites, whether bibliographic information on agency web sites can be searched with Internet search engines, whether the digital information can be located using publication databases, such as GeoRef and the National Geologic Map Index. All of these factors must be considered when providing reference service, instructing library users and developing library collections. Finally, suggestions on how government agencies and libraries might remedy these problems are provided.