Scientific Information Services

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 NOAA Fisheries 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 2008, 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 NOAA Fisheries by fishers and data collected by PIFSC research programs. SIS staff helped metadata managers in other Center programs register key metadata and created templates for topic-specific data catalogs. SIS staff also developed and implemented DARTS, a new Web-based tool for managing requests by SIS clients 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 manage 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 edit numerous PIFSC internal reports, working papers, conference abstracts, and other documents. In 2008, SIS publications staff designed DOCMAN, a Web-based application for managing the in-house editing, review and approval of journal manuscripts and other documents prior to their dissemination by the Center or submission for publication in scientific journals. Work on the project continues with completion expected in 2009.

SIS helps Center staff at all work sites with graphical design and layout, photography, digital image processing, and other graphics needs. In 2008, 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 2008, the SIS librarian completed a comprehensive Operations Manual for the library and continued to develop a comprehensive Oracle database of PIFSC documents enabling ready public access to the Center's publications via the PIFSC Web site. The librarian also completed a special project to scan documents from research vessel cruises conducted during 1949-1990 by the Center's predecessor organization, the Honolulu Laboratory, including historic expeditions in the 1950s under the Pacific Oceanic Fishery Investigations. The librarian built a Web-based portal providing ready access to this valuable electronic document archive with links to actual data collected during the cruises.

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. In 2008, we made several improvements in our Web presence, including enhanced Web page design and expanded contents. New contents include the online PIFSC Quarterly Research Bulletin. A new home page design is in the works for release in 2009.

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 Fisheries news; announcements of upcoming meetings, seminars, and other events; current cruise schedules; and more. In 2008, priority was given to regular updating of Intranet contents, including in-house administrative procedures, policy directives, cruise documents, and announcements of Center events and new staff publications. An online Center staff directory was added to the Intranet to help newcomers and old-timers get better acquainted.

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 completion in 2009: