What Do Surveyors Do?

Surveyors identify key programs, datasets, and documents on Federal Agency websites that are vulnerable to change and loss. Using templates and how-to guides, they create Main Agency Primers in order to introduce a particular agency, and Sub-Agency Primers in order to guide web archiving efforts by laying out a list of URLs that cover the breadth of an office.

Recommended Skills
Consider this path if you’re familiar with federal data, interested in particular offices or data sets that don’t already have a primer, or want to help create materials for use at other archiving events!

Getting Set up as a Surveyor

Anatomy of a Primer

For each federal agency website, we create a set of Agency Primers that consist of a Main Agency Primer and several Sub-Agency Primers.

Main Agency Primers (MAPs) describe the range of risks to the listed agencies’ current programming in the coming administration, focusing on offices with programs relating to climate change, renewable energy, sustainability, and the environment. Each agency or department has one MAP. MAPs are not used for web archiving, instead they are used as introductory documents to become familiar with a particular agency.

See Example MAP: Department of Energy

Sub-Agency Primers (SAPs) identify at-risk offices within agencies and guide the web archiving efforts. A particular agency or department can have several SAPs, one for each office. The list of SAPs is linked in the MAP for a particular department or agency.

The full list of completed Agency Archiving Primers is available on EDGI’s website. Our Google Drive has primers in the process of being prepared for use.

Claiming a Primer

  1. Identify a particular office you’d like to work with.
  2. Check the Agency Office Database for the status of the primer for that office. The possible statuses for a primer are:
    • No primer created for the office yet
      claim the primer and start writing!
    • A primer has been written but not checked
      claim the primer and start checking!
    • A primer has been written and checked
      claim the primer and start web archiving!
  3. Claim the primer for a specific purpose (writing, checking, or using) through the Add/Edit a Primer form.

Creating or Checking a New Primer

  1. Claim the primer for a specific office using the Add/Edit a Primer form.
  2. Navigate to the Agency Primers Google Drive.
  3. If there is no existing primer for that office, follow MAP or SAP instructions below:
    MAP Path

    • Create a MAP for a main agency by copying the MAP template and saving it to the agency folder (ex. DOJ folder).
    • Follow the Primer How-To (look for the MAP section) for guidance.

    SAP Path

    • Create SAP for individual office or division by copying the SAP template and saving the copy to the agency folder (ex. Bureau of Land Management in DOI folder).
    • Follow the Primer How-To (look for the SAP section) for guidance.
  4. If there is an existing primer that needs to be checked:
    Work with others from the agency’s designated community (e.g. experts from communities, librarians, professional associations) who can provide input on vulnerable or at risk information.

  5. When you’re done, update the Agency Office Database status and primer link by again submitting the Add/Edit a Primer form.