PenBay Media Assists in Successful Digital Transformation of National Science Foundation’s Biennial Report to Congress

Jan 29, 2016– Maine-based technology company Penobscot Bay Media is proud to have played a significant role in the first fully digital Science & Engineering Indicators report to Congress, publicly released by the National Science Board on January 29, 2016 at PenBay Media designed and developed the new website and the content management system behind it, as a contractor to the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) in the National Science Foundation.
new website design
The National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) prepares the Science & Engineering Indicators report every two years in compliance with a congressional mandate. In the past, the report was primarily distributed as a printed publication with an accompanying website added in recent years. For 2016, the agency decided to change to a fully digital report. Previously, the printed report and PDF were available first, followed a few weeks later by the online version of the report; this year, for the first time, the entire report was released at one time as an online publication, with PDF download and printing options. No printed copies were distributed.

With the goal of fully transforming the publication to a digital experience, PenBay Media worked with NCSES to design and develop a new, responsive website and a custom content management system to handle the complex requirements for managing and displaying text and data in multiple formats on the website. The website offers users the option to save parts of the report or the entire report as a PDF for printing on their own. The website also includes hundreds of data tables and dynamic data visualizations that can be viewed online, downloaded, or shared. A new “related topics” feature helps users to find information across the report related to a specific topic such as “comparisons by age” or “distance education”.

“Without the dedicated work and flexibility of [PenBay Media], we would never have been able to launch Indicators as a primarily digital product,” praised Robin Pentola, the Web Manager overseeing the website contract at NCSES. “I appreciate the enormous efforts put forth by the team throughout the past 12 months.”

Initial public feedback about the new report website has been very positive. PenBay Media will continue working with NCSES over the coming year to plan enhancements for the next version of the Science & Indicators publication to be released in January 2018, as well as to extend the capabilities of the web content management system to other publications produced by NCSES.