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.

University of Hawaii students work part-time to help the 
        Center with timely processing of commercial fisheries catch data.
University of Hawaii students work part-time to help the Center with timely processing of commercial fisheries catch data.

SIS data services staff carefully screen and validate catch reports provided to NOAA Fisheries by commercial fishing vessel captains and enter the information into electronic databases. Data collected by the Center's fisheries research programs are also captured and archived. 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. SIS information specialists provide customized data queries and similar data services to PIFSC researchers and clients outside the Center. In 2009, 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 worked with metadata managers in other Center programs to meet an agency-wide milestone for registration of key metadata. SIS staff also compiled and reviewed information on current PIFSC practices for data backup and archival and launched a project to develop a comprehensive set of Center-wide guidelines, best practices and protocols to ensure the integrity and security of our data assets; that project will be completed in 2010.

SIS publications staff carefully manage the editing, review, and approval of journal manuscripts, technical reports, conference presentation abstracts, Web site articles, and other documents prepared by Center researchers to ensure material disseminated by the Center or submitted for publication externally meets NOAA information quality standards. The same service is provided for operating plans and cruise reports documenting PIFSC research expeditions on the NOAA Ships Oscar Elton Sette and Hi'ialakai and chartered commercial research vessels. In 2009, cruise document management was expanded to cover the growing number of research projects carried out from small boats. Finally, the publications group also designs, edits and publishes the Center's Annual Report. SIS maintains a comprehensive registry of metadata on PIFSC scientific documents.

SIS helps Center staff at all work sites with graphical design and layout, photography, digital image processing, and other graphics needs. In 2009, SIS continued to meet needs of Center scientists for posters, banners, leaflets and other materials for presentation at conferences. Our SIS graphics specialist also assisted partner agencies and provided key support for NOAA outreach events and public educational activities.

The SIS roster includes the PIFSC Librarian, who manages a NOAA science reference library at the Dole Street facility for use by Center staff 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. Many journals are available in electronic format and Center library services are extended to scientists in satellite facilities through e-mail and the Internet. In 2009, the PIFSC Librarian continued to expand the Center's digital reference collections of older research material, scanning Special Scientific Reports, produced by the Honolulu Laboratory during 1949–1982, into PDF format. She expanded the library's comprehensive Oracle database of PIFSC document metadata, enabling ready public access to the Center's publications via the PIFSC Web site.

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 2009, we continued to improve our Web presence and prepared for the 2010 transition to a new NOAA Fisheries design and website structure. We continued to provide updates on Center research through the online PIFSC Quarterly Research Bulletin.

SIS also manages the PIFSC Intranet under the leadership of the Librarian, 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 2009, 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. New sections were added enabling ready access to mission plans and reports for small-boat operations and NEPA documents that assess environmental impacts of the Center's research projects.

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 2010:

  • Update Scientific Information Services contents on the PIFSC Intranet
  • Redesign the PIFSC Web site in accordance with new NOAA Fisheries guidelines
  • Chair a PIFSC Working Group to draft a policy and develop best practices for data archival and security
  • Create online catalogs of metadata for PIFSC scientific data holdings
Last updated July 26 2011