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2008 GIS / Data Management Conference. Decentralized QA/QC for NatureBib. How good is good enough? Kathy Dratch NRPC, NatureBib Data Manager. What is NatureBib?. One of the 12 natural resource inventories of the Natural Resource Challenge program

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Decentralized qa qc for naturebib

2008 GIS / Data Management Conference

Decentralized QA/QCfor NatureBib

How good is good enough?

Kathy Dratch

NRPC, NatureBib Data Manager

What is naturebib
What is NatureBib?

  • One of the 12 natural resource inventories of the Natural Resource Challenge program

  • Goal: to provide scientific information to improve the management of natural resources in the parks

  • Intended to be a bibliography, not necessarily a catalog

  • Currently has about 300,000 records

Natural resource challenge inventory criteria
Natural Resource Challenge Inventory Criteria

  • Must produce “core” or baseline information

    Initial bulk load of records January 2001

  • Specified protocols and QA standards

    Protocols and standards have evolved

  • Data must be compatible and allow for synthesis and analysis at broader levels

    Master web-based database; now on second version of user interface

What is cited in naturebib
What is cited in NatureBib?

  • Journal articles and published reports

  • Conference papers and proceedings

  • Theses, books and book chapters

  • Maps

  • Unpublished reports (grey literature)

  • Correspondence (letters and memos)

  • Videotapes

  • Collections (rocks, photographs, files)

  • Datasets

The things that make naturebib unique can also create qa qc challenges
The things that make NatureBib uniquecan also create QA/QC challenges

  • Gathers information under a park code

  • Journal articles and conference papers as well as books and reports

  • Includes grey literature

  • Record creation allowed with minimal metadata

  • Holdings not required

Data collection
Data Collection

  • Everything in file cabinets, closets and offices

  • Holdings of a resource library in a park

  • Search results from a commercial online database or regional library catalog

Is this draft report still in the 2 nd drawer
Is this draft report still in the 2nd drawer?

  • Draft report on the status of the Little Kern golden trout.

  • WR-SEKI / Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, Resource Management Office, Wildlife Biologist's Office, walk in closet, gray file cabinet on the left, 2nd drawer, in a folder labeled "N1621 - Golden Trout Cooperative Plans 1970-1974"

Variety is the spice or headache
Variety is the spice (or headache)

  • 1900. Author unknown. Black-and-white photos extra prints (collection). Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Ajo, AZ.

  • Aardahl, J. B. 1985. Memorandum to File 6610. Deer habitat survey and water development recommendations for the Saline Range, Inyo Mountains, CA.

  • Author unknown. n.d. Geology, mammals, skulls (specimens).

Would this information help parks manage natural resources
Would this information help parks manage natural resources?

  • Andrews, R. W. and H. A. Kirwin. 1955. This was seafaring : a sea chest of salty memories. Bonanza Books, New York.

  • Author unknown. 1985. AV production and the parks: A handbook for park personnel. Harpers Ferry Center.

  • Western Wisconsin Utilities. 1985. Transmission Planning Study Technical Information Document. Western Wisconsin Utilities, St. Paul, MN.

Data entry
Data Entry

  • ProCite (commercial software tool for publishing and managing bibliographies)

  • NatureBib desktop application (MS Access)

    - Backend files uploaded to master Oracle database

  • Online (direct data entry)

Quality assurance
Quality Assurance

  • Process oriented

  • Data QA done at the park or network level

  • Variety of training and experience in data entry

  • Guidance from the national office

Quality control
Quality Control

  • Product oriented

  • QC efforts vary

  • Objectivity, utility, and integrity of records will need to be examined at both the national and park level before wider dissemination of the records.

Objectivity substance
Objectivity: Substance

  • Accurate? A survey of the aunt fauna Hymenoptera: Formicidae.

  • Complete? Beaumont, G. n.d. Glacier. Journal title unknown.

  • Usable? 1982. Author unknown. Animals trespass. (200 slides)

  • Reliable? Rock, J. 1980. Beverages: Canned Beer and Soda Notes.


  • Find materials that meet a certain criteria

  • Identify an item

  • Select the record that meets the need

  • Obtain access to the item

Subject access
Subject access

Interim bison management operating procedures : decision notice

  • Subject heading: American bison – control – environmental aspects – Yellowstone National Park

  • Keywords: animal studies, bison (Bison bison), brucellosis, mammals, management

  • NatureBib uses keywords and park codes (YELL)

Integrity and security
Integrity and Security

  • Is the metadata sensitive?

  • Is the information in the notes or abstract sensitive?

  • Who owns the record for editing?

Naturebib for nps users
NatureBib for NPS users

  • NatureBib now requires a username and password

  • Roles of reader or editor

  • Active Directory authentication is planned

  • DO #11B does not apply to NPS distribution

Certification for public release
Certification for public release

  • What information does the public want?

  • Do we have a mission to inform the public?

  • What role should the parks and networks play?

  • What role should the national office play?

  • What resources are available?

  • Cost/benefit analysis?


  • How does a record meet user needs?

  • Are some records a priority?

  • Which fields of the record should be included?

  • What constitutes a good enough record?

  • What can be made public and who decides?

  • What might the QA/QC process look like?

Workbench concept
Workbench concept

  • NatureBib will probably have a reincarnation as the Literature Service (part of the IRMA SOA project)

  • Workbench concepts being developed for the Species Service could also be used for NatureBib

  • Would allow for a series of checks leading to certification for ‘public’ or ‘NPS only’ release

A work area to sort our stuff and the tools to fix it
A work area to sort our stuff and the tools to fix it

What could the workbench provide
What could the workbench provide?

  • Lifecycle status

  • Comments on individual records

  • ‘Work-in-progress’ option

  • Display of duplicates for merging

  • Batch updates or edits

  • Sliding quality/utility scale


All NatureBib records

Sensitive records

Incomplete records

Non-bibliographic information

Grey literature

Scientific information about the natural resources in the parks

Big picture tasks ahead
Big picture tasks ahead

  • Determine future scope and mission

  • Define role in providing NPS information

  • Research how we can better serve user needs

  • Agree on minimum standards

  • Plan for a process with both centralized and decentralized roles and responsibilities

Centralized versus decentralized qc

National office

Suggest standards

Suggest record types and fields to be released

Provide tools

Set priorities

Monitor results

Park or network

Confirm metadata details

Confirm holdings locations

Upload documents

Assign record sensitivity

Certify records for public release

Centralized versus Decentralized QC

Naturebib a unique collection

Author unknown. 1880’s. Sewer Basins, Moon Island Boston Sewerage.

Two photographs

Abstract: View of basins and processing plant depicts six male visitors daintily holding their noses.

Massachusetts Metropolitan Area Planning Council. 1973. Boston Harbor Islands Comprehensive Plan: Moon Island support documentation.

Notes: Loose-leaf stapled document; includes site maps and table of recreation benefit data. This document provides support information regarding the history, natural resources, recreation and management alternatives for Moon Island as part of the Boston Harbor Islands Comprehensive Plan

NatureBib: a unique collection