ORGANIZATION AND MANAGEMENT:  References on Ground-Water Hydrology

                          GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
                      WATER RESOURCES DIVISION
                         Washington 25, D. C.

In reply refer to:                               March 31, 1960
                                                      4053 0001


To:       District Chiefs and Staff Officials, Ground Water Branch

From:     Chief, Ground Water Branch, Washington, D. C.

Subject:  ORGANIZATION AND MANAGEMENT:  References on Ground-Water

Twenty-two lists of References on Ground-Water Hydrology have been
issued by this office during the period January 1952 to January
1959.  We have supplied these lists to ground-water district
offices and to individual professional employees.  The references
generally have been in the form of abstracts prepared and (or)
submitted by personnel of the Branch.

This office is also maintaining, as time and personnel permit, a
card file of references on ground-water hydrology prepared on 4-by
6-inch cards.

We believe that these activities need to be studied, evaluated,
and redesigned.  We are not satisfied that the lists of References
on Ground-Water Hydrology are providing the service and assistance
they should be providing.  We recognize that finding either a
specific reference or all the references to a specific subject in
the current lists of references is difficult.  The system of
assembling and making the references available to personnel of the
Branch needs revision to make the references more readily
available and, thus, more usable.  Flexibility in adding new
references is an equally important factor.

Combining the two activities may be feasible and may result in an
overall saving of time and effort, or in providing better
references and service with about the same expenditure of time and

Supplying each field office a set of reference cards for each
reference has been considered.  To do so would appear to
necessitate a job of duplicating in the Washington office that is
almost impossible under current space, personnel, and equipment
limitations.  We expect little or no relief from these limitations
soon.  The size of such an effort can be realized when it is only
roughly computed.  To provide adequate cross-filing, we need an
average of perhaps 3 or 4 index cards per reference--author,
principal subject or subjects, and area.  Thus, if index cards
covering 100 references were prepared for 50 offices each
3 months, 500 separate masters would need to be prepared and
25,000 cards duplicated, sorted, and mailed.  In a year this could
easily amount to 1,500 to 2,000 master cards and 75,000 to 100,000
index cards.  This suggestion, therefore, definitely is not

Another suggested method would operate as follows:  (1) A list of
master subjects would be adopted and supplied all field offices
and certain individuals (considerable work on this already has
been done in the Reports Section in connection with the Branch
card index file on references); (2) abstracts to reference items
would be prepared in the same way as at present, except that the
offices sending in abstracts would place on each card submitted
the master subject heading under which the reference should be
filed, using as many cards and subjects from the list of master
subjects as necessary, and would place the complete abstract on
one of these cards as at present; (3) the Reports Section would
place all index reference cards in one master file; (4) the
Reports Section would furnish upon request copies (perhaps Thermo-
Fax) of reference cards in the master index file under any topic
in the list of master subjects.  Of course, requests for copies of
the reference cards would have to be on the basis of actual need,
rather than simply a desire to build up a complete reference card
file in any one field office.  Otherwise, this system would fail,
as requests from several offices for all reference cards under a
considerable number of subjects would result in a system similar
to but even more difficult than the one discussed in the preceding
paragraph.  To help keep requests under control, a small charge
would be made for each card furnished.

To explore this subject thoroughly before arriving at a decision
to revise current procedures, we request each District Chief,
after consulting with others in his office, to send to his Branch
Area Chief, with copy to this office, Code 4053 0001, (1) his
comments on the effectiveness of current procedures, (2) his
comments on the suggestion outlined in the preceding paragraph,
(3) and any other suggestions for solving the problem that he
believes would be practical.  The Branch Area Chiefs are to digest
the comments and suggestions and forward them to Mr. George H.
Taylor, Operations Research Engineer (GW), 510 Rudge-Guenzel
Building, Lincoln 8, Nebr., with their own summary and
recommendations.  District Chiefs should prepare their replies so
as to reach the Branch Area Chiefs by April 25, 1960, in order
that the Branch Area Chiefs may be prepared to discuss the subject
at their meeting here on May 2-6; and the Branch Area Chiefs
should submit their summaries to Mr. Taylor by June 10, 1960.

                                   Philip E. LaMoreaux