Water Research Library Partnerships and Governance

The Minnesota Water Research Digital Library (MnWRL) was created with funding from the Clean Water Fund as an inter-agency collaborative effort between the various State of Minnesota agencies, boards and departments charged with responsibilities for the waters of the state. The Library’s long-term maintenance and growth is guided by a Steering Team composed of a diverse group of stakeholders with vested interest in all aspects of water management and research in Minnesota.  The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) manages the MnWRL website. MDA also coordinates with partner organizations to continue populating the Library with articles, to curate collections within the Library, and to conduct ongoing outreach and promotion activities. We are also working with agencies and organizations interested in serving as curators, data entry partners, or affiliate websites.

Learn more below and Contact Us if your organization is interested in partnering with the Library in any of these ways.

Diagram showing the various possible relationships between the library and its partners.


Steering Team

The Steering Team consists of representatives from over 15 agencies and organizations with a mix of expertise and perspectives suitable to oversee and set policies for the long-term management and growth of the Digital Library. The Steering Team’s primary mission is to help ensure that the Library meets users’ needs. Toward that end, in addition to setting Library policies, the team also assists with outreach, prioritize potential enhancements, and identify Library funding needs and opportunities.


Organizations partnering with the Library as curators act as caretakers for one or more collections of articles in the Library in their areas of expertise. They help identify articles to be added and serve as gatekeepers to keep the Library focused on relevant research. They may also improve existing entries – for example, by providing additional tags, supplying links to datasets, or drafting citations and abstracts for works that lack them.

For purposes of the Library, a collection is any subset of articles that share a meaningful attribute. For example, each of the Library’s 16 main topics comprises a collection. Other collections may include articles on a given subtopic, articles published in a given journal, or articles affiliated with a given organization.

Data Entry Partners

Data entry partner organizations work independently to enter their own and others’ publications into the Library, with training and ongoing support from MDA. Data entry partners may also be curators and have affiliate website agreements with the Library.

Affiliate Websites

Affiliate websites partner with the Library by agreeing to host certain articles or publication series on their websites. Rather than storing duplicates, the Library provides users with links to these websites where they can access full-text publications at no charge. (This can be especially useful if an organization plans to regularly revise a publication and does not want older versions available online.) Conversely, the Library may agree to host certain full-text articles or publication series on behalf of another organization that provides a link on its website to the article in the Library. Whatever the specific arrangements, the Library develops agreements with affiliate website organizations to clarify both parties’ roles and responsibilities.