NAO 205-17A: Information Access & Dissemination

Issued 06/14/2013; Effective 06/14/2013



Eff: 12 Aug 94; Iss: 08 SEP 94; Rev. 14 June 2013; Last Review: In Process


  1. This Order establishes policy for distributing scientific and technical information and ensures
    compliance with NOAA's mission to provide scientific, policy, and historic information to its user
  2. This policy promotes the use of NOAA information and management of the scientific results available in NOAA-authored or NOAA-sponsored publications.
  3. This Order complies with OMB Circular No. A-130 Management of Federal Information Resources.
    Undated. Accessed August 11,2011.



  1. The provisions of this Order apply to all NOAA-produced information products as defined in NOAA
    Administrative Order (NAO) 201-32G, Scientific and Technical Publications, and as defined in this
    Order, regardless of the method of production and format. Scientific and technical reports resulting from NOAA-sponsored contracts and grants are in the public domain, as are all NOAA-authored scientific and technical reports, and are specifically included in Section 7 of this Order. Scientific and technical reports developed for or during a litigation process are outside of the scope of this NAO and will not be included.

SECTION 3. References.

  1. 44 U.S.C., ch. 19, (GPO) Depository Library Program, sec. 1902, sec. 1903 .
  2. 44 U.S.C., ch. 41, Access to Federal Electronic Information, sec. 4101
  3. Public Law 102-245, American Technology Preeminence Act of 1991.
  4. White House Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies. Subject:
    Transparency and Open Government.
  5. Office of Management and Budget, Revision of Circular A-130, Management of Federal Information
    Resources. Undated. Accessed August 11, 2011.
  6. U.S. Department of Commerce Publishing and Printing Management Manual, Revised and Undated.
  7. Department Administrative Order (DAO) 219-4, Publications and Audiovisuals Control System, April
    4, 1988 .
  8. Department Organization Order DOO 10-15, Section 4. Authority and Functions of Administrator of
    NOAA. March 11,2011
  9. Department Organization Order DOO 30-7 A. Section 4. Functions. National Technical Information
    Service. November 19, 2011.
  10. NAO 201-32G, Scientific and Technical Publications, January 27, 1993 .
  11. NAO 202-735D, Scientific Misconduct, December 7, 2011 .
  12. Increasing Access to the Results of Federally Funded Scientific Research. Memorandum for
    the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies from John P. Holdren, Director, Office of
    Science and Technology Policy, Executive Office of the President, Washington, D.C., February
  13. NAO 216-112, Policy on Partnerships in the Provision of Environmental Information, July 10, 2007.


  1. NOAA-produced publications are publications prepared on Government time and produced by
    NOAA as an official Agency document irrespective of format, including:
    1. Printed documents, including technical memorandums, reports, general publications, promotional material, educational publications, maps, and charts .
    2. Tangible electronic documents, including CD-ROMs, DVDs, and any other new technologies. Diskettes and data tapes are included in this category .
    3. Remote electronic documents, including text documents, still images, and digital video published online in any format.
    4. Multimedia, including NOAA-produced videos, slides, photos, films, public service announcements (PSA) as well as NOAA-related multimedia produced by other sources
  2. Government-produced publications are publications prepared on Government time and produced
    by the Government as official Government publications irrespective of format.
  3. Other publications are NOAA-authored or NOAA-sponsored publications distributed outside the
    Department of Commerce.

SECTION 5. General.

Originating offices must preserve and/or transfer all permanent records. Individuals who wish to transfer
permanent records shall contact the NOAA Records Officer.


The NOAA Administrator is responsible for the quality and accuracy of all NOAA publications. The
Administrator has delegated this responsibility to NOAA Line Office (LO) Assistant Administrators,
Staff Office (SO) Directors, and Program Office (PO) Directors.

  1. LOs, SOs, and POs shall:
    1. create and enforce their own procedures to ensure compliance with NAO 201-32G, Scientific and Technical Publications, and this Order;
    2. certify that the policy and peer review processes have been properly performed by indicating on the CD-27, Publication Clearance Request, the name(s), office(s), reviewer(s), and the date(s) the publication was reviewed. Peer review must include at least one NOAA expert, even if the publication is reviewed outside NOAA;
    3. select the appropriate distribution channel(s), including: GPO, NTIS, and the NOAA Central Library, as described in Section 8 of this Order;
    4. follow the publication disposition procedures as described in Section 10 of this Order;
    5. submit copies of publications produced by NOAA offices/laboratories to their own individual
      laboratories or office libraries, as well as a digital copy and a printed copy if printed version differs from the digital copy to the NOAA Central Library;
    6. coordinate with the servicing acquisition or grants office to ensure that solicitations and resultant contracts/grants clearly specify the data rights required and the language for any acknowledgements and/or disclaimers the data must bear.
    7. ensure that the contracts and grants publications are distributed through the designated distribution channels as specified in Section 7 of this Order; and
    8. contact NOAA's Records Management Staff for proper guidance for transferring original scientific and technical records to the National Archives.
  2. The NOAA Central Library, as the official repository of NOAA publications, shall:
    1. develop and maintain metadata describing NOAA publications that comply with national standards. For development of metadata, NOAA publications will be prioritized as follows:
      1. NOAA technical memorandums, reports, and books;
      2. refereed NOAA authored journal articles and reports;
      3. NOAA produced information and education publications;
      4. other documents such as non-refereed journal and magazine articles, public relations brochures, etc.
    2. serve as the information repository for all NOAA scientific and technical publications regardless of the format;
    3. provide access to and preserve the published results of NOAA's research;
    4. facilitate the access, dissemination, and transfer of scientific and technical publications and
    5. develop and maintain selected environmental and legal bibliographic databases and provide user access to scientific, policy, and historic information and data products;
    6. create and maintain a database of NOAA peer-reviewed publications;
    7. maintain a database of all NOAA publications exchange agreements to ensure the printing of sufficient copies for distribution and to avoid duplication of multiple agreements with the same institution or organization; and
    8. assist NOAA offices in negotiating publications exchange agreements.


  1. Reports and other publications based on NOAA-supported projects by contractors and grantees are in the public domain and must also be distributed through the distribution channels defined in Section 8 of this Order.
    1. Scientific and technical reports prepared under NOAA contracts may be copyrighted by contractors but must acknowledge NOAA sponsorship and state that the views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of NOAA or any of its subcomponents. The contractor must grant to the Government, and others acting on its behalf, a prepaid, nonexclusive, irrevocable worldwide license to reproduce, prepare derivative works, and distribute copies of the documents to the public. Appropriate restrictive clauses shall be inserted in each contract by the appropriate procurement office.
    2. Scientific and technical reports prepared under NOAA grant programs may be copyrighted by grantees, but the Government must be given blanket exemption to reprint the information. To ensure this, the grant documentation must state that the report was developed as a result of work under the grant and should include wording as indicated in the following examples:
      1. "This publication was made possible by a grant from ... ;"
      2. "The project described in this article was supported by a cooperative agreement from ... ;" and
      3. "Funding for this program was provided in part by ... ;"
    3. The words "sponsored by," "produced for," or their equivalents do not correctly express the assistance relationship and must not be used.
    4. The acknowledgment must not represent, or suggest in any way, that the views expressed are those of the Federal Government. .
  2. It is the responsibility of the LO, SO, or PO to ensure that copies of contract and grant publications are distributed through the designated distribution channels as specified in Section 8 of this Order.
    1. NOAA Federal Program Officers are encouraged to provide bibliographic citations and abstracts of work done by grantees.
    2. The complete citation and abstract may be required in electronic format (at no charge to the Government) for submission to the NTIS or other Government office for listing in bibliographic catalogs and directories.


  1. . 01 Originating offices must provide publications, regardless of format, to the Superintendent of
    Documents (SupDocs), Government Printing Office (GPO), the National Technical Information Service (NTIS), and the NOAA Central Library.
    1. SupDocs Requirements- 44 U.S.C. 1902, 1903, GPO Depository Library Program, requires that all publishers provide the SupDocs, GPO, with copies of Government-produced publications for distribution to designated depository libraries. Copies of publications sold by the GPO are automatically distributed to the depository libraries. NOAA organizations producing "public" publications not printed by the GPO and for which copies have not been forwarded to, or ordered by, SupDocs, are responsible for providing the necessary copies to the depository libraries.
    2. NTIS Requirements - Two copies of Government-produced scientific, technical, and engineering publications must be provided to NTIS with Forms SF-298, Report Documentation Page and NTIS-79,
      Accession Notice Card. The publications and forms should be sent to:
      U.S. Department of Commerce
      National Technical Information Service
      5285 Port Royal Road
      Springfield, VA 22161

      Attn: Receiving Individuals with questions concerning distribution to NTIS, or those needing forms specified in .01 b may call (703) 605-6050, or write to the above address Attention: Input.
    3. National Archives Requirements- One copy of Government-produced scientific, technical, and engineering publications must be provided to the National Archives as required by NOAA Disposition Schedule 1 00-01 A.
    4. NOAA Central Library Requirements - The NOAA Central Library must receive a digital copy of each NOAA-authored or NOAA-sponsored scientific, technical, or administrative publication produced. If NOAA-authored or NOAA-sponsored publications are produced in a printed format that differs from the electronic document, a copy of the printed document must be provided to the NOAA Central Library. A copy of each NOAA-authored or NOAA-sponsored tangible electronic product and one copy of each NOAA-produced or NOAA-sponsored multimedia product must be provided to the NOAA Central Library. The NOAA Central Library must also receive the URL address for all NOAA-authored or NOAA-sponsored remote electronic documents and an electronic copy for each remote electronic
      document to archive and provide access to the public.
      1. Offices shall send the following documents to the
        NOAA Central Library,
        Collection Development Librarian, E/OC4,
        1315 East-West Highway, Second Floor, Silver Spring, MD 20910
        1. publications of all NOAA-authored or NOAA-sponsored scientific and technical articles published in peer-reviewed journals and/or distributed to the research community or the general public. If the issuing office cannot supply a copy to the Library, the office must send a full citation of the article to the Library;
        2. NOAA-authored and NOAA-produced data reports, technical reports, technical memorandums, administrative reports and other grey literature not produced for the general public but distributed internally;
        3. NOAA promotional or educational publications such as periodicals, pamphlets, brochures, or reports;
        4. NOAA maps and charts. Maps will be used to provide reference services to researchers and the public;
        5. NOAA-authored speeches and conference proceedings; and
        6. NOAA-published tangible electronic products or remote electronic products using NOAA data.
  2. When materials are received, the NOAA Central Library will prioritize, organize, and catalog, based
    on available resources, received materials.
  3. If more than two copies of a publication are sent to the NOAA Central Library, the collection
    development librarian will send them to other libraries within the NOAA library system.



  1. The NOAA Central Library operates a Publications Gifts and Exchange Program for publications with libraries/institutions throughout the United States and selected countries. If offices provide additional copies of publications to the NOAA Central Library, the publications will be used in the Publications Gifts and Exchange Program.
  2. Individuals with questions about the Publications Gifts and Exchange Program may call the
    Collection Development Librarian, (301) 713-2600, Extension 122 .
  3. The NOAA Central Library should be notified about a LO's, SO's, or PO's current or planned
    Publications Exchange Agreements with other agencies or Governmental organizations. This will enable the Library to assist that NOAA office in avoiding unnecessary duplication and cost.



The NOAA Central Library must be notified before the LO, SO, or PO disposes of printed documents,
including tangible or remote electronic documents, publications in employees' offices and bulk stock in
NOAA warehouses. In addition, all libraries within the NOAA library system must notify the NOAA
Central Library about intended disposition of their collections. Individuals with questions may call the
Collections Development Librarian at the NOAA Central Library at (301) 713-2600, Extension 122.




Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere

Office of Primary Interest:
Office of the Chief Information Officer
LO Assistant Chief Information Officers