Operations, Management, and Information Programs

Scientific Information Services

PIFSC Library
PIFSC Library

The Scientific Information Services (SIS) group provides comprehensive support to the Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center in the management and dissemination of scientific information collected, acquired or produced by Center programs. SIS handles many kinds of information, including fisheries data, scientific publications, educational materials, graphics, and library resources, and also manages the Center's Web presence.

SIS data services staff carefully screen, validate, and archive catch statistics and other information provided to NMFS by commercial fishing vessel captains or collected by the Center's fisheries research programs. SIS strives to provide full access to the data for statistical analyses, stock assessment studies, and fishery reports while meeting legal requirements to protect the confidentiality of commercial fishing enterprises. In 2007, SIS made significant progress in its PIFSC Metadata Project to compile, organize, and publish information describing all data holdings of the Center, including data reported to NMFS by fishers and data collected by PIFSC research programs. SIS staff completed a survey of data collections and launched a project to register key metadata in preparation for creating a comprehensive Center Data Catalog. SIS staff also worked to develop DARTS, a Web-based tool for managing client requests to SIS for data access and other data services.

SIS publications specialists carefully examine and edit reports, manuscripts, and other documents prepared by Center scientists to ensure they meet NOAA information quality standards before they are released to the public or submitted for publication in peer-reviewed journals. In addition to editing journal articles, SIS publications staff managed the editing, review and approval of operating plans and cruise reports for PIFSC expeditions on the NOAA Ships Oscar Elton Sette and Hi'ialakai and chartered commercial research vessels. They also edited numerous PIFSC internal reports, working papers, conference abstracts, and other documents.

SIS helps Center staff at all locations with graphical design and layout, photography, digital image processing, and other graphics needs. In 2007, SIS continued to meet needs of Center scientists for posters, banners, leaflets and other materials for presentation at conferences. Our SIS graphics specialist also provided key support for NOAA outreach events and public educational activities.

SIS manages a NOAA reference library for use by Center scientists and the public. The library has extensive up-to-date collections of scientific journals and technical books on fisheries science, oceanography, marine ecology, conservation biology, and other subjects with an emphasis on Pacific Island insular and oceanic ecosystems. In 2007, the SIS librarian continued to develop a comprehensive Oracle database of PIFSC documents enabling ready public access to the Center's publications via the PIFSC Web site. She also scanned valuable documents from historic research expeditions conducted during the 1950s and 1960s by our predecessor organization, the Pacific Oceanic Fishery Investigations, and created an electronic archive of the documents and key metadata.

SIS is responsible for developing and maintaining the PIFSC Web site. The PIFSC webmaster disseminates the Center's scientific reports, public data products, news about current research activities and other information over the Internet. Web content is produced by subject matter experts in the Center's research divisions.

Several advances were made in 2007, including full compliance with agency standards and improvement of Web page templates and contents. A new home page design is in the works for release in 2008.

SIS also manages the PIFSC Intranet, providing Center staff with comprehensive information about administrative support resources; policies and procedures; reports of current Center research activities; NOAA and NMFS corporate news; announcements of upcoming meetings, seminars, and other events; current cruise schedules; and more. In 2007 an improved "Bulletin Board" feature was created in collaboration with the Center's ITS group, enabling dynamic uploading of announcements and other content by authorized staff.

As a diverse information support group, SIS aims to ensure that marine resource managers, research colleagues, and the public have ready and timely access to important data products and the research findings of Center scientists.

SIS has established several milestones for 2008:

  • Launch the DARTS online data services request tracking system
  • Develop a Web-based manuscript processing system using the DARTS software template
  • Coordinate registration and publication of metadata for the Center's research and fishery monitoring programs using InPort
  • Create a template for publishing metadata in topic-specific online data catalogs
  • Revamp the PIFSC Intranet, improving contents, accessibility, and user features