Will NTIS stay afloat?

A presidential commission has proposed changes to the Commerce Department's

National Technical Information Service business model to help it survive

in an electronic world.

The National Commission on Libraries and Information Science recommended

giving NTIS $5 million to cover its "public good" activities. Those activities

include collecting or acquiring reports; indexing, abstracting and cataloging

those reports; and loading and maintaining the searchable NTIS database

on a Web site for free public access. It also recommended a one-time $1.7

million appropriation.

In the summer of 1999, Commerce announced plans to close NTIS, in part

because its core function of selling government information is no longer

needed as agencies increasingly offer documents for free on their Web sites.

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