Best Practices for Collaborating with Colleagues, Industry and Information Seekers: The TRAIL Story

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Altamirano, Isabel M.
Nesdill, Daureen
Painter, Zachary W.
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The Technical Report Archive and Image Library (TRAIL) is a hidden gem of a resource that this panel aims to reveal to a wide range of information pros. TRAIL's usefulness will be illustrated by case studies on collaborating with industry partners to obtain documents and with teaching faculty to expose this resource to students. TRAIL is a searchable digital collection of US governmental agency technical reports sponsored by the Center of Research Libraries. The mission of TRAIL is to ensure preservation, discoverability, and persistent open access to government technical publications regardless of form or format. TRAIL now has over 50 institutions and over 10 personal members working to locate, assemble, document, catalog and send off print documents for digitization and inclusion in the collection.
Daureen Nesdill served as Moderator. She explained how TRAIL started 14 years ago as an effort to preserve federal technical documents and then provided information on the current digital holdings and how this nationwide project identified, collected and processed reports. Zac Painter then explained how NEAR (Nielsen Engineering And Research) a Silicon Valley corporation wanted to donate its library of reports to Stanford. He explained the process of deciding which holdings were sent to TRAIL, to Stanford's engineering collections, or discarded. Because NEAR had not had a corporate librarian for several years, some of the classified technical reports could not be sent for digitization by TRAIL, because there was no one to verify whether the report had been declassified. Finally Isabel Altamirano showed how the reports can be used for business intelligence, science literacy, history of STEM, and sources for undergraduate engineering students' research projects and for graduate students' literature reviews. She recounted how she uses TRAIL for personal research on historical engineering events.
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25:25 minutes
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