Accessing and Preserving Texas Information in TRAIL
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There is an open resource that all library types in Texas can access. TRAIL – the Technical Report Archive & Image Library - contains over 300 items about Texas. These range from biological surveys to water, to mineral deposits, to of course oil. Technical Reports might not be the first information resource people think about, but many federal agencies have published reports containing information on many different topics. Technical Reports communicate research in science and technology, technical development, and contain valuable information serving specialized audiences of researchers. Scholarly research papers often summarize research findings but technical reports often lay out the detail and data of research. This presentation will introduce attendees to the TRAIL Project and why this is a unique source for a variety of topics such as Texas oyster beds to saline water conversion. Technical reports have always been challenging to discover because of inconsistent and differing dissemination practices, no title level cataloging, and series level records with no holdings making it difficult to get technical reports via ILL. Member libraries of TRAIL are collaborating to digitize federal agency technical reports in print and micro-formats and cataloging them at the item level and depositing them in the HathiTrust and University of North Texas digital repositories where they are viewable to anyone in the world. Attendees will learn about Technical Reports and TRAIL’s mission, as well as how to publicize this free resource to their patrons.