NAO 201-32G: Scientific and Technical Publications

Issued 02/04/93; Effective 01/27/93; Reviewed Last: In Process


.01 This Order defines the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) policies, specifies the media categories, and assigns responsibilities for the publication of scientific and technical papers, manuals, and other documents written by NOAA personnel or for NOAA organizations.

.02 This Order supplements the Department of Commerce (DOC) Publishing and Printing Management Manual.


.01 Inclusion. The provisions of this Order apply to all organizational units involved with the printing of scientific and technical publications.

.02 Exclusion. The purchase of commercially available nongovernment publications is excluded from the provisions of this Order. NOAA organizational units are authorized to purchase commercially available publications, not printing, using a bankcard, Form CD-435, Procurement Request, or imprest fund provided the cost per order does not exceed the limitations established for use of these methods. However, the bankcard and imprest fund may not be used to purchase reprints of articles written by government authors that are published in commercial journals.


.01 Government Printing and Binding Regulations No. 26, dated February 1990.

.02 Department Administrative Order (DAO) 201-32, Publishing and Printing Management Manual, dated September 15, 1987.

.03 Department of Commerce Publishing and Printing Management Manual.

.04 Administrative Support Centers (ASC) Letter 201-32, Publishing and Printing, dated February 7, 1990.

.05 NOAA Administrative Order (NAO) 201-32E, Administrative Publications, dated August 26, 1991.


.01 Each Director of an ASC, pursuant to a delegation of authority from the Under Secretary and Administrator of NOAA, shall serve as the primary liaison with the Government Printing Office (GPO) regional offices regarding printing procurement. (See DAO 201-32, Publishing and Printing Management Manual, dated September 15, 1987.)

.02 The Joint Committee on Printing (JCP) requires that printing related services procured from commercial sources must be obtained through the GPO or GPO regional offices. The provision contained in JCP regulations to permit agency procurement of printing costing less than $1000 is not intended as a blanket exception to those regulations. Its purpose is only to allow departments and agencies to obtain small, emergency, and nonrepetitive printing requirements without regard to the GPO. All procurement of printing should first be referred to the nearest GPO facility. Only when the GPO is unable to meet the requirements is a department or agency free to proceed with its own procurement of jobs costing less than $1000. All such independent procurement must be reported to the JCP on JCP Form 2.


.01 Editorial processing is a general term embracing all editorial functions, including scientific editing, technical editing, copy editing, publication production planning, and production quality control.

.02 Scientific editing is the process of determining, in conjunction with review and comment by experts on the topic in question, whether to:

  • accept, as submitted, a manuscript for publication in a specific series or as a monograph;
  • accept the manuscript with appropriate revisions based on the editor's and/or expert's comments; or
  • reject the manuscript.

.03 Technical editing is the process of preparing a manuscript for publication by assuring that:

  • it says what it is designed to say;
  • there is a logical arrangement of parts;
  • the level of concepts, expression, and vocabulary is appropriate for the audience to which the written material is directed;
  • the conclusions drawn are valid and supportable by reference to the facts presented; and
  • statements made, or opinions expressed, are in accordance with agency policy.

.04 Copy editing is the process of:

  • adapting a manuscript's style, e.g., grammar, abbreviations, spelling, punctuation, manner of presentation, and formatting to the requirements of the medium in which it is to appear;
  • assuring that material to be published is suitable in terms of coverage, balance, method of expression, and presentation; and
  • planning the final publication in terms of appearance, format, use of illustrations, and color in relation to the purpose for which the publication was intended.

.05 Editorially-controlled publications, also referred to as "formal" publications, include the journals of scientific or technical societies, NOAA scientific journals, the formal NOAA series, and a few select series among the other categories of NOAA scientific and technical publications under the control of an editor. With advice and recommendations from reviewers, the editor has final authority to accept or reject manuscripts submitted for editorially-controlled publication.

.06 Production quality control is the development of printing specifications for printing material that has been edited and is ready to be reproduced. The Publications Coordinator is responsible for seeing that the manuscript is complete, acceptable in format, and that all parts, including illustrations and graphic materials, are clear in quality and can be reproduced without loss of information by the specified printing process.

.07 Scientific and technical publications are produced throughout NOAA, or for NOAA, by professionals engaged in scientific, technical, engineering, and economic research services and operations. They are directed primarily to scientific and technical audiences and to special user groups.

.08 Scientific and technical media are in eight categories, including both nonNOAA and NOAA, specified to meet the requirements for publication of scientific and technical material originating within NOAA or written for NOAA under contracts and grants. The eight categories are:

a. Contributions to non NOAA media. This category includes all NOAA-authored or NOAA-sponsored articles published in non-NOAA media such as:

  1. formal journals of scientific and professional societies;
  2. proceedings of symposia, workshops, and scientific meetings of such societies; and
  3. compendia and monographs published by such societies.

b. NOAA scientific journals. The NOAA scientific journals are high quality, editorially-controlled major periodicals for formal publication of results of original scientific research and technical investigations.

c. NOAA formal series. The NOAA-wide series authorized in this category are:

NOAA Professional Papers and NOAA Atlases. The NOAA Professional Paper is a high-quality, editorially-controlled major series for the formal publication of scientific or technical treatises and long, detailed high-quality papers presenting the results of original scientific research and technical investigation. To be acceptable for this series, a paper or treatise must be of the same high quality as those acceptable to professional journals, but too lengthy for such journals because of voluminous tables, numerous charts, or other special features. The NOAA Atlases are identical to the NOAA Professional Papers insofar as editorial control and quality are concerned, but they are separate because of the special formatting and printing problems unique to atlases.

d. Miscellaneous formal publications. Formal NOAA publications other than those listed above may be established.

e. NOAA informal series. Two NOAA-wide serials are authorized in this category:

1. NOAA Technical Reports. This NOAA-wide series shall be issued in several subseries as required to meet the needs of each Line Office (LO). Each LO shall use its subseries for publishing scientific and technical papers not suitable for non-NOAA media, NOAA scientific journals, and the NOAA formal series because of their length, large data sets, or similar reasons.

2. NOAA Technical Memorandum. This NOAA-wide series shall be issued in several subseries as required to meet the needs of each LO and its components. Each LO shall use its subseries for publishing scientific and technical papers not suitable for non-NOAA media, NOAA scientific journals, the NOAA formal series, and the NOAA Technical Report series because of the need for relatively fast publication, the limited audience for the paper's information, or similar reasons. Reports of preliminary, partial, or negative results, interim reports, and reports for limited distribution; e.g., to in-house offices, outside sponsors, or attendees at scientific meetings are examples.

f. Technical service publications. This category includes a number of serials and miscellaneous printed materials generated through the technical programs, services, and operations of the LOs to meet the needs of user groups both inside and outside of NOAA. In particular, the following kinds of LO issuances belong to this category:

  1. data serials;
  2. prediction and outlook periodicals;
  3. technical manuals;
  4. technical training papers;
  5. technical planning reports;
  6. technical information serials;
  7. technical news media;
  8. miscellaneous technical publications; and
  9. duplicated technical documents for limited and usually in-house distribution.

g. NOAA technical translations. This category includes serials or miscellaneous publications that contain translation, information about planned translation, or the translated tables of contents of foreign scientific and technical literature of interest to NOAA. The major NOAA-sponsored translations are produced and published in foreign countries by use of Special Foreign Currencies allotted under Public Law 480.

h. NOAA contract and grant reports. This category includes all NOAA-sponsored scientific and technical reports resulting from contracts and grants. If appropriate, manuscripts in this category may be published in any of the preceding categories.


.01 The Office of Administration is responsible for setting NOAA policy as it relates to all aspects of printing and publishing. Any other NOAA office issuing NOAA Administrative Orders, ASC Letters, etc., which address the operation of printing plants or the ordering of printing services, must forward a copy of the proposed policy document to the Printing and Visual Arts Branch, OA331, Administrative Services Division, Procurement, Grants and Administrative Services Office, Office of Administration, Room 714, Washington Science Center No. 5 (WSC-5), 6010 Executive Boulevard, Rockville, Maryland 20852, for review prior to issuance.

.02 Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area. Requests for publishing and printing services for NOAA publications that exceed the capability of the duplicating and copy facilities must be forwarded to Printing and Visual Arts Branch for processing and procurement. (See NAO 201-32E, Administrative Publications, dated August 26, 1991, and DAO 219-4, Publications and Audiovisuals Control System, dated April 4, 1988, for limitations.) NOAA organizational elements must submit requests for duplicating service on a NOAA Form 50-5A, Requisition for Duplicating Service, to the NOAA Duplicating Facility, 12227 Wilkins Avenue, Rockville, Maryland 20852. Publishing and printing services shall be procured on a Form CD-10, Publications Services Request, and shall be forwarded to the Printing and Visual Arts Branch (OA331) for processing. The printing shall be performed by the DOC, the GPO, or a commercial printing contractor selected by either the DOC or the GPO.

.03 Outside the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area. The Publications Coordinator located within each ASC serves as the liaison between NOAA components and the DOC and/or the GPO. The Publications Coordinator should be contacted at the inception of a publishing/printing project for guidance on necessary clearances and preparation of printing procurement forms. Requests for these services may be obtained by preparing a GPO Standard Form (SF)-1, Printing and Binding Requisition. Instructions on the preparation and use of the SF-1 is covered in NAO 201-32C, Printing and Binding Requisitions, dated January 9, 1991.

.04 The originating office shall be:

  • responsible for the determination of the category of the publication based on the definitions contained in Section 5. of this Order;
  • responsible for the consecutive numbering of all NOAA series and subseries publications within their LO;
  • responsible for the scientific and technical quality of materials they originate and provide for the scientific review of manuscripts prior to releasing them for publication in NOAA and non-NOAA media; (A Form CD-27, Publication Clearance Request, is required for publications that are to be distributed outside the DOC. See DAO 219-4, Publications and Audiovisual Control System, dated April 4, 1988, and ASC Letter 201-32, Publishing and Printing, dated February 7, 1990. The Description and Justification portion of the Form CD-27 must contain a certification statement which should state: "This is to certify that this manuscript was reviewed by (names[s]), (title[s]), on (date[s]), and is cleared for publication. (signature[s]), and (date[s]).")
  • encouraged to establish in-house editorial capabilities for processing the subseries of NOAA informal series and technical services publications that they originate; (NOAA organizational elements must assume responsibility for the editorial content of their publications in the manuscript stage. Editorial services are available for those organizational elements who lack these services through the DOC and may be obtained by the submission of a completed Form CD-10, Publications Services Request, to your ASC or Office of Administration Publications Coordinator.); and
  • responsible for technical translation projects.

.05 Depository Library Requirements for NOAA Publications. Title 44 of the United States Code requires that all publishers provide the Superintendent of Documents (SupDocs), U.S. GPO, with copies of publications for distribution to designated Depository Libraries. Copies of publications sold by the GPO are automatically distributed to the Depository Libraries. NOAA organizational units producing "public" publications not printed by the GPO and for which copies have not been forwarded to, or ordered by, the SupDocs are responsible for providing the necessary copies to the Depository Libraries. Contact your servicing Publications Coordinator for assistance in complying with this requirement.


This Order supersedes NOAA Administrative Order (NAO) 201-32G, Scientific and Technical Publications, dated July 29, 1991.


Director, Office of Administration

Office of Primary Interest:
Office of Administration Procurement, Grants and Administrative Services Office
Administrative Services Division
Printing and Visual Arts Branch (OA331)