AAPG Datapages has come a long way
in the past decade. It was 10 years ago when the digitization of
the AAPG BULLETIN was completed.
The digital BULLETIN started out as a 24-disc CD-ROM
database that was available only to corporate subscribers. Today,
each Active and Associate member of AAPG enjoys no-cost access to
the complete online BULLETIN archives (1917-present).
The BULLETIN archives represent the biggest resource
made available to members so far, comprising more than 155,000 pages
in more than 45,000 articles and abstracts over the past 86 years.
With the digital BULLETIN as a cornerstone, the AAPG digital library
continues to grow.
“It’s our long-term strategy to develop our digital
resources through a partnership with corporate sponsors and clients,
said AAPG Executive Director Rick Fritz. “Then we are able to release
these same products to the membership and to the geological community
after a proprietary period and after pay-out.”
GIS-Upstream Digital Reference Information Library
(GIS-UDRIL) was launched late in 2002 by AAPG/Datapages as a project
to “drill the database” and derive useful subsets of geo-referenced
data (maps, seismic lines, cross sections, well logs, etc.) that
will make the images fit into common mapping and data management
A corporate sponsorship to GIS-UDRIL provides the
client company with a spectrum of “map-able data” and databases
over the span of a five-year program.
Petroleum Abstracts Connection
Also, AAPG/Datapages passed another milestone this
past January with the announcement that Petroleum Abstracts, of
the University of Tulsa, now is offered through AAPG/Datapages,
and their abstracts will be linked to AAPG’s collection of full-text
articles. TU has offered the Petroleum Abstracts database of more
than 780,000 citations in geology, engineering, geochemistry, geophysics,
etc. since the 1960s, and it has become the premier reference database
in the petroleum industry.
“None of this could have happened without the continual
support and expression of confidence shown by Datapages’ corporate
subscribers over the years,” said Ron Hart, AAPG marketing manager
who worked on the BULLETIN digitization project in 1992-1993. “Corporate
subscribers pay most of the bills at AAPG/Datapages, and we’re counting
on corporate support to carry forward the GIS-UDRIL program as well.
“Adding latitude/longitude coordinates to our existing
data is the first step toward geographic search-and-retrieval, where
the user outlines a region of interest and the database volunteers
everything we presently have available,” he added.
Mike Barnes works with AAPG/Datapages’ corporate
subscribers as AAPG’s Houston-area representative (see February
EXPLORER). He believes that corporate clients recognize the value
of this resource and derive significant benefit from it through
rapid access to information.
He also acknowledges the role that companies play
in making the process of data collection and delivery work for everybody.
“Many company subscribers large and small have done
their part in making the data available,” Barnes said. “The individual
user maximizes the benefit for their company by adding professional
judgment … the one element we cannot provide online to any company.”
Barnes cites a curious point while servicing company
users in Houston.
“It’s crazy that a lot of guys working for subscriber
companies don’t know that the company even has a subscription,”
he said. “If your company is a subscriber and you are not aware
of the resource it’s a loss to both parties. Or, if you are aware
but don’t use the online resource, your usefulness to an employer
may not reach its full potential.”
Under a typical corporate subscription agreement,
any employee or consultant working for the subscribing company is
permitted to use the online resource, so consultants shouldn’t hesitate
to ask their clients if they subscribe to the AAPG database.
The data contained within the AAPG/Datapages online
database is extensive (more than 360,000 published pages) and growing
daily. The core collection currently consists of all AAPG publications
(including all Memoirs, etc.), the GCAGS Transactions, SEPM’s Journal
of Sedimentary Research, Journal of Petroleum Geology and all publications
of the New Orleans and East Texas geological societies.
AAPG plans this year to add publications of the Lafayette,
Houston, Ardmore, Panhandle (Amarillo), Oklahoma City and Tulsa
geological societies, plus the Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists
Bulletin. Other collections are in negotiation. In time, Datapages
hopes to have a combined search-and-retrieval capability for all
the publications of all AAPG affiliated societies.
At this time, a company wanting access to Petroleum
Abstracts must also have a full subscription through TU, but plans
are to provide subscription alternatives in the future.
“Exploring the minds of past and contemporary authors
through their published works is the legacy of our peers and a significant
contributor to the creative process,” Barnes said. “We at AAPG/Datapages
are really cooking, so come to the feast and partake. Members of
AAPG are invited and the tab (to create the databases) is being
picked up by the corporate subscribers.”