About the Karst Information Portal

The Karst Information Portal is an open-access digital library linking scientists, managers, and explorers to quality information resources in order to inform research, to enhance collaboration, and to address policy decisions concerning karst environments.

The Founding partners in this project include:

Under the leadership of librarian Todd Chavez, the USF Libraries manage and preserve/archive the digital library. This is the third iteration of KIP since its launch in 2006. Each platform migration leads to enhancements in access and content and in the coming years, the KIP team will add a comprehensive mapping functionality that will allow readers to explore the database geospatially.

What is Karst? Globally, more than a billion people depend on karst terrains for their water supplies. These environments host great biodiversity that is poorly understood and contains rare and endangered species. The spectacular geology of karst, as well as significant archaeological and paleontological resources, contributes to the overall scientific, aesthetic, cultural, and economic value of karst landscapes.

Note Concerning Digitization Progress We have been slowly but steadily increasing the number of digital objects contained within the KIP collection. In June of 2006 we hosted just over 3,000 metadata records and no digital content. Today we host nearly 7,000 metadata records, 43 percent of which link to digital content included in the KIP collection.

Occasionally, we are approached by people offering to scan materials for the collection. This is very welcome but there are some guidelines that can be observed to improve the quality of the digital objects.

For text documents:

  • Resolution = 400 ppi
  • For initial scans, create uncompressed TIFFs
  • Use 24 bit RGB settings for color documents; grayscale for black and white documents
  • Align and crop the TIFF images before creating the PDF
  • Create PDF/A files using OCR when that is possible
  • Do not compress the files unless they exceed 50MB

For images:

  • Resolution = 400 ppi or 2400 pixels for the long edge
  • For initial scans, create uncompressed TIFFs
  • Use 24 bit RGB settings for color images; grayscale for black and white images

For questions or comments concerning the project, please contact Todd Chavez at tchavez@usf.edu.


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