Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date

January 2010


Grey literature, Karst research, Information needs assessment, Karst Information Portal


The Karst Information Portal (KIP) is a digital library linking scientists, resource managers, and explorers with quality information resources concerning karst, an understudied natural environment that is crucial to the health and well-being of one out of every four people on Earth. Beginning in 2006 as a partnership between the University of South Florida Libraries, the National Cave & Karst Research Institute, the University of New Mexico Library, and the Union Internationale de Spéléologie (UIS), the KIP initiative has expanded to include databases concerning cave minerals, speleothem dating, and coastal cave surveys. This chapter outlines the evolution of the project and describes our ongoing mission to improve information access and preservation for karst researchers, a globally distributed research community characterized by a highly interdisciplinary knowledge base that is often drawn from and memorialized in grey literature.