GSA Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, USA - 2019

Paper No. 186-4
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:30 PM


GONZALES, Leila M.1, KEANE, Christopher2 and TAHIRKHELI, Sharon1, (1)American Geosciences Institute, 4220 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22302, (2)American Geosciences Institute, 4220 King St, Alexandria, VA 22302

State government agencies produce a large amount of grey literature (e.g., technical reports, fact sheets and case studies, monographs, conference proceedings, etc.) that represents volumes of data used to inform decision making and scientific research. This literature provides a broader view of the perspectives and research on specific issues, and often provides information not found elsewhere, such as in peer-reviewed scholarly articles (Luzi, 2010; Lawrence et al, 2014). Grey literature fills gaps in scientific knowledge by corroborating conclusions found in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, and in many cases provides unique, location-specific or detailed applied science data and information.

Long-term access, lack of adequate bibliographic information, and lack of full-text searching are common issues with online repositories that archive grey literature (Lawrence et al, 2014). In addition, although the number of online grey literature repositories is increasing, it is insufficient to keep up with the amount of grey literature that is lost on a yearly basis as information is overwritten or removed from the internet (Thatje et al, 2007; Eells, 2008). Estimates from the American Geosciences Institute’s GeoRef Information System indicate that the loss of access to online geoscience literature is approximately 8% per year. Often poor discoverability can lead to resources that are actively prone to loss because of poor inventory or lack of user awareness of the publication.

State geological surveys are the primary producer of state-level geoscience grey literature and they employ a variety of approaches for discovery and access to their publications. To improve access and discoverability of state geological survey publications as a whole, the American Geosciences Institute and the state geological surveys have built and maintain the Geological Surveys Database. The database serves as a centralized hub for searching publications from multiple state geological surveys, provides standardized bibliographic metadata and full-text searching, and links users through to state geological survey websites for access to the publications. We discuss the strategies by which the database, through improved access and discoverability, along with collaboration with state geological surveys, are ensuring preservation of these unique data and often exposing them to a wider user community for the first time.

  • GSA_2019_PosterStateSurveys_final.pdf (632.7 kB)