The Scientific and Technical Information Program Office (STIPO)

We are the Agency’s one and only entity responsible for working with all 10 NASA Centers, including JPL, to capture, process, disseminate (yes, to the widest practicable audience), store, and safeguard for the future, the published research results from all of the unclassified NASA and NASA-funded research, to include NASA Contractor and Grantee research.

We refer to these published results as scientific and technical information (STI). We have a lot (and I mean a lot) of hard copy documents in our warehouse in Hanover, Maryland, our primary facility, and we are working hard to digitize this “corporate memory” of NASA’s research results. This is our contractor-run facility that we call CASI. (No, it’s not a girl; it’s the Center for AeroSpace Information).

We have a database that CASI runs for NASA that contains the published research results described above, in digital format, searchable through an easy-to-use interface. We have a primary internal database called the NASA Aeronautics and Space Database (NA&SD) (registered access only) and a public database called the NASA Technical Report Server (NTRS). Check them out.

We make sure that the information in this database is protected and archived. In fact, we have a Disaster Recovery (DR) system for this information, and we can deploy it in the event that our primary database is down.

You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and we also have some awesome videos on You Tube that provide lots of useful information on using the database described above. Check the links below. They're pretty cool.

And now some statistics for those of you who love that kind of stuff (and you know who you are): We have 4.5 million metadata citations and 432,000 full text documents. The estimated value of the content of the STI database at CASI is conservatively valued at $16B. We have published research results that date back to the first National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) annual report (NACA-AR-1) which recapped the activities of NASA's predecessor organization's inaugural year–1915. Really. See it for yourself.

Why It Is Important: Because we, in STIPO, make this important information available to both the Agency and the public (no one else has the full collection). In a paragraph above, I refer to STIPO as being “…the Agency’s one and only…” and that is why what we do is so important. We are doing this for all of NASA (and the public benefit as well). As President Obama said on January 21, 2009, “Information maintained by the Federal Government is a national asset.” You may want to visit this National Asset.

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