In April, a bill was introduced in the U.S. Senate that if enacted, effectively would abolish the National Technical Information Service (NTIS). This organization was established in 1950 to collect scientific and technical reports and provide them to the public and to U.S. Government agencies. This interesting information came from the Special Libraries Association (SLA) in their post, “‘Google Act’ Would Terminate NTIS.”

S. 2206 is known informally as the “Let Me Google That for You Act” and it builds on the findings of a 2012 study conducted by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) that found the NTIS has been steadily increasing the size of its collection, but most of the materials it has been adding to its repository are published prior to 2000. The current demand is primarily for newer materials.

Free Government Information, an advocacy group founded by academic librarians, claims that the sponsors of S. 2206 “fundamentally misunderstand the Internet.” There is also a belief that “Google and are simply pointing to NTIS, so if NTIS goes away, the reports … found there will go away too.”

SLA members are being encouraged to contact their senators and urge them to oppose the bill.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in taxonomies, metadata, and semantic enrichment to make your content findable.