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Naca/Nasa Document Indexing: 1915 95

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

ELD Poster Session

Tagged Division

Engineering Libraries

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.898.1 - 14.898.9



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Paper Authors


Larry Thompson Virginia Tech

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Larry Thompson is the Engineering Librarian at Virginia Tech. He received both his BS in Civil Engineering and his MLS in Information Science from SUNY at Buffalo.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

NACA / NASA Document Indexing: 1915 - 1995 Introduction

The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) was created in 1915, and in 1958 was renamed as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Since its inception, the organization has authored thousands of reports in various report series. Many of these documents contain information which is still useful to both students and faculty, as well as researchers involved with NASA’s current missions. Because of this, it is imperative that comprehensive and accessible indexing tools are available to search the NACA / NASA literature.

Purpose of the paper

In order to find and retrieve these reports, NACA / NASA has developed various indexes, first in print and now online. In addition, commercial database vendors have developed products which index some of the NACA / NASA produced documents. This paper samples the NACA / NASA literature and evaluates the ability of five databases to index that literature. The purpose of the study is to determine the best database(s) for librarians and researchers to use as they perform literature searches within NACA / NASA generated documents.

Sampling methodology

The samples from the NACA / NASA generated documents were collected from hardcopy NACA / NASA indexes subject to the following general guidelines:

1) The purpose of the paper is to determine the extent of NACA / NASA publication indexing. Therefore, only NACA / NASA generated documents were included in the samples. Specifically, Contractor Reports (CR), Special Publications (SP), Technical Memorandums (TM), Technical Notes (TN), and Technical Papers (TP) were included.

2) Papers outside the above categories were not used. Thus, journal articles, conference papers, translations, patents, patent applications, theses, dissertations, and other documents outside of NACA / NASA , even though they are indexed in the NACA / NASA indexes, were not included in the sampling.

3) The specifics for locating citations in each title are given below. At a starting page number specific to each NACA / NASA index, citations were scanned until a NACA / NASA document was located. In some cases the actual page number where the citation is located differs from the starting page number. This is because some indexes had several pages of conference paper, dissertation, or journal article indexing before a NACA / NASA document was located.

There are three major sources for the citations in the tables: the Index of NACA Technical Publications, the NASA Technical Publications Announcements, and the Scientific and Technical Aerospace Reports. A total of 59 citations was selected from these print indexes. The specifics for selecting the citations for each are as follows:

Thompson, L. (2009, June), Naca/Nasa Document Indexing: 1915 95 Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5051

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